By: Kathleen Blandin
When you are afraid of something, unless you face it head on—the fear of the unknown manifests into much bigger and frightening possibilities that can keep you from a bigger and brighter reality.
As for me, I had a fear of flying. I am not saying that being up miles in the sky relying on motors and strangers to keep me alive isn’t scary, now. I’m saying that, at the time, the thought of the unknown really had me in my head when it came to flying.
These feelings were first tested when my boyfriend and I planned a trip to Aruba. The direct flight is about four hours so when the time came closer to the actual trip—my mind won over any sense of reason or reassurance. Instead of enjoying the positive feelings rendered from the previous weeks of motivation, hopeless debilitating thoughts took over.
With a ton of support from friends and family, I was reassured constantly that I would be fine on this new adventure, despite the struggle I held in my mind over this new experience. However, I decided maybe my own will power wasn’t enough to take the journey so I reached out to my doctor. She, thankfully, prescribed me anxiety medication to help ease the fears inside my head and relax me. I had never taken any anxiety medication before and this was a whole different adventure of unknown.
About 20 minutes before my boyfriend and I reached the security checkpoint, I took the anxiety medication as instructed by my doctor. I can tell you that it was helpful in the sense that my body wasn’t in a fight-or-flight, nervous-wreck-state anymore. However, my mind was still obsessing over every horrible possibility that could happen. The only real difference was that the thoughts did not bring as strong of a reaction to the surface as I had before my trip to the doctor.
Once we were in the air, on our way down to Aruba, the flight hit A LOT of turbulence. Turbulence, to be clear, is NOT fun and VERY scary. After an adrenaline-filled ride of about five hours (our plane ride took longer due to weather), I was physically and mentally exhausted beyond belief. I was so tired I couldn’t even fully appreciate being where I was, or feel proud of what I had just accomplished.
After we got to the resort, I crashed—for nearly FOURTEEN HOURS. My doctor did mention that it would make me tired—I had no idea I would be THAT tired. The good thing is that I had a week there and still had days ahead of me to enjoy the trip.
Now, before the trip, I joked with my boyfriend saying how we needed to make the trip just like the show The Bachelor—we would need to do some crazy excursions and live a fairy tale for a week. He joked along and this eased my fear in the back of my mind, combatting my anxiety with sweet positivity.
Little did I know, the day following what seemed like days of sleep—while watching the colorful Aruba sunset, my boyfriend pulled out a rose that had an engagement ring inside and asked me if I would be forever his.
My real-life Bachelor/Bachelorette daydream come true.
Through a leap of faith, I conquered one of the biggest fears in my life; flying.
And by doing so, I fell head-first into my very own fairytale with the love of my life.
Sometimes when life gives you challenges, it’s up to you to have faith, take a deep breath, and face anything in front of you head on.
Always do what you are afraid to do! It may seem scary at first, but in the end, it can truly be worth the adventure!