We just had to share this lovely email with you. It was written to us to pass onto a young person that was on our last Gatwick flying without fear course. Names and email addresses protected, we passed on the message. We also got permission to share the email with you as it was so positive for people that suffer from a fear of flying. Here it is.
From: martinSubject: Gatwick 26th April
Hi Flying without Fear team,
I went on the Gatwick flight a couple of weeks ago & there was a young girl I was trying to help on the plane. She inspired me to write this message to pass onto her.
Remember me? I was sitting in front of you on the plane that popped up to try and help - tall guy, dark hair! I wanted to write to you to try and help a little bit from someone who knows exactly how you feel. I was sad to see you getting upset; I know how tough it is when you get those dreadful thoughts and just want to run and then feel really low when you didn't do it and feeling you've let your Mum down too. Try not to be too down as best you can & take some credit for what you DID achieve. I thought you did really well - you got on that plane, you sat in your seat for I guess 30 mins so you actually experienced bring on a plane for quite a while ! Ok so you didn't feel comfortable & you needed to check you could still leave if you wanted to. I felt like that too as if I would have a panic attack as soon as the door closes. I didn't of course but my mind kept telling me I would !Hi C, <name removed>
I avoided a lot of things after one I flight I had which I felt uncomfortable during; making excuses for not going to places with my friends and family, missing holidays, trips with my friends, the list kept getting bigger. I took the easy way out. I didn't want to face my fear; to put myself in the position of getting anxious. And as a result I have missed out a lot in life. I'm pleased to say I'm well on my way & now will be taking my wife & children away this year for the very first time. You can get over this - I am proof ! Please don't give in like I did - be brave !
I thought I'd share a few things that helped me on my way..1. Set yourself goals & practice! Think about what makes you anxious (being on a plane) and think about other things similar you feel the same - lifts, tubes etc. set yourself a challenge then break it down into manageable chunks. Repeat each until you are confident & bored of doing it! Last year I started my goal of going abroad - I started getting on a bus to my local town, yes I was anxious at first but once I did that a few times & was confident doing it, I then got a train to another town nearby till I got bored then got in a lift on my own. Did this lots until it got boring! This all builds your confidence up & tells your mind you can handle it.
2. Have a little kitbag with you with things that will help. I had some cards with positive statements like 'this is just anxiety, nothing's going to happen to me. It will pass'. Create lists like what do I want for my birthday/Xmas, have some sweets or mints with you, a bottle of water, a rubber band for your wrist.
3. Each time you get anticipatory feelings remind yourself 'it's just anxiety, nothing bad is going to happen to me.'
I remember you said you will get on a plane in the summer & your face lit up when you said there's lots of places you want to go to. You really can do this !!
I hope that helps. Always remember you're not alone in how you feel.
Good luck and best wishes,
Hope that you found that useful?
Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear
Premium courses: Leeds Bradford May 17th; Birmingham June 7th; Southampton June 21st; Manchester November 8th