Anxiety, Aeroplanes, & A lot of deep breathing.

One of the many useless life skills that I've managed to  acquire over my 21 years, 4 months and 15 days of life so far, is the ability to come to the most catastrophic conclusions under relatively normal circumstances.  

I've always been an anxious person, worrying about everything for as long as I can remember. Making up hundreds of problems in my head that don't even exist. But the funny thing is, these feelings of worry and nerves can come from anywhere, can spring up at any time, and well, can be pretty damn random and illogical. 

So, put me on a plane, after years of watching Air Crash Investigation on National Geographic (one of my secret indulgences), and it's probably not going to be that much of a smooth ride. And no, I'm not talking about the turbulence. 

I'm writing this at approximately 34,000 feet in the air, travelling at 560mph, on an Airbus A321, on my way home from a much needed get away in the sun. Luckily, it's only a 4 hour flight, and we're 2 hours in. So that's just 120 minutes and one landing away from my feet being back safely on the ground. Please god, hurry up. 

Before 10 days ago, it had been 8 years since I'd last boarded an aircraft, with my family choosing to cruise rather than take a fly holiday. And after the first few days of sea sickness, and getting over the fact that the first time we entered the dining room the Titanic theme tune was being played by the resident harpist (not the wisest choice, sir.), I felt a lot safer in the knowledge that we were out at sea, (with the right amount of lifeboats, can I just add) than I do right now, (very bumpily) defying the laws of gravity, in my eyes.

Ever since boarding this plane today, I've felt panicky. I don't know why, but I have. My heart won't stop racing, I feel super light headed, I feel sick, and I've lost track of the number of times I've had to start deep breathing exercises already to slow my breathing down to a remotely normal rate. But the most frustrating thing? I was completely and utterly fine on our outbound flight. I didn't feel panicked once. I spent the whole flight sleeping, eating, and happily indulging in the latest issue of Glamour and some of my, okay, a whole packet of, Haribo Tangfastics. Even the slightly bumpy landing didn't bother me. So why on earth do I feel this bloomin' anxious now!? 

Maybe it was the fact that we were on a Boeing 757 last time, so the smaller plane has had a subconscious effect. Who knows? All that I know is that not even the professional, funny, and calm sounding voice of the pilot has put me at ease. Or reading ELLE. Or trying to sleep. Or editing photos. In fact, writing this now is the first time I'm feeling a little calmer. 

Someone calls for a member of the cabin crew? I think it's the seatbelt sign coming on to make an emergency landing. There's a little bit of a bump of turbulence? The wing has just broke a little. The not-so-smooth take off? We're definitely about to come right back down again. 

I even made the mistake of trying to read the airline's on board magazine before. However, at the back, there is a listing and numerous diagrams of all the different kinds of aircraft this airline has in operation.

An Airbus A321's maximum cruising speed? 500mph. Yes, 500mph. And yes, you're right, I did say the pilot told us before he was doing 560mph. THATS A WHOLE 60MPH FASTER THAN HE'S SUPPOSED TO. WHAT IS HE DOING? WE'RE ALREADY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL HIM TO TAKE HIS FOOT OFF THE GAS. The engine is definitely going to blow up before we get back. 

As you can probably imagine, I put the magazine straight down again. I'm already feeling mentally exhausted, although the good news is, I've just killed another 45 minutes. 75 minutes to go. And counting. 

Still not entirely sure why I wrote this, but my blog is a place for my thoughts, right? Even if they are completely irrational. 

See you guys back on the ground! ...Hopefully. 


Update: the fact that I've been able to post this means that yes, Captain Tim did a spectacular job of getting us all back down on the ground safely...

Told you there was nothing to worry about, didn't I? ;)


  1. Hahahah i'm sure you'll get back safe and sound! Hopefully it's not too rough landing x


  2. Awh, this post is so well written, I really enjoyed reading it! I've never minded flying, in fact I used to love it until early this year when I had a mini panic attack and was sick, I have no idea why, I just felt really strange! I'm glad you got home safe and I hope you enjoyed your holiday xx

  3. Glad to hear you're back on the ground safely! I fly quite often and sometimes it's fine and sometimes I'm anxious, so I can definitely relate to what you're saying! It sounds like you have some good coping techniques though :)

    Liza xx

  4. aw flying is super scary when you start actually analysing it!
    Great post and I'm glad you're back okay!

  5. I've only been on a plane once in my life so I'm not sure how well I'd cope! You should be super proud of yourself!
    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

  6. Awww I'm sure we're all glad you made it back safe and sound :) I've been on planes for years now so it's not been much of a problem but my boyfriend gets really anxious too, so I understand how the irrational thoughts can make you feel scared and panicky - definitely the best thing someone can do it make the other person (or you) calm and comfort them as much as possible!

    Cherie / sinonym

  7. I travel really frequently so I'm quite a good flyer but my best friend is absolutely awful. I'm going to share this post with her which will hopefully help!

  8. Aww I get really anxious flying too nowadays! It's so weird as I've been on over 200 flights in my lifetime, yet it's only recently that I've developed a fear of it! We had some bad turbulence once and I started crying! xx

  9. Sophie I love you! I love how this was written (even though it was written through fear!)
    I always have to distract myself when I'm on a flight because otherwise I start to think about the fact that I'm in a massive mental container IN THE SKY. The actual sky. Like, by the clouds. How the hell does that work!?!
    Books, magazines, earphones and an endless supply of food is always necessary!


  10. Hi Sophie! I just found your blog on Bloglovin (followed too) and was really intrigued. I'm not what it is but something in the way you write just really captivated me. This post was really enjoyable to read and I'm definitely going to come back for your future posts. I get pretty bad anxiety and I also have panic disorder, but I love flying! I get super anxious but because I've been flying since I was really little it's sort of familiar. Even though I get anxious about the plane crashing, I get most anxious about if someone puts drugs in my luggage or something ahh! Anyways, I'm very fond of your blog and look forward to reading your next post.

    Have a great day!
    -Sophie xx
    ♥ Cherries and Perfume ♥

  11. I really love that you've blogged about this because this is why I started blogging in the first place and love to read other blogs - to take a sneak peek into someone else's world. I'm so pleased for you for going on the plane despite your anxiety and using a healthy coping mechanism to try and overcome your fear - it's really inspiring to be honest :)

    P.S You have a lovely blog! xx
    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

  12. I absolutely love this post and can relate to everything you said!! I too am utterly useless on planes and have terrible bouts of anxiety for weeks before I'm due to fly. I try not to let it affect me but I've missed out on so many holidays because of it. I am so impressed that you have been able to write this post and joke about your irrational fears whilst still on the plane hahaha! I would not have been brave enough for fear of somehow jinxing myself!! It was a relaxing post to read though, and it's nice to hear someone else thinks crazy thoughts on planes :) xx