Sobriety and Flying

Old 11-18-2015, 10:59 AM
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Sobriety and Flying

All, Thanks for all of the great support that is available on this site. Today is my 120th day of sobriety. I plan on taking a plane flight next month for the holiday. I woke up this morning at 4:00 a.m. with a horrible panic attack about flying.

When I flew 8 months ago, I didn't have any issues - thanks to the use of self-medicating with alcohol. I did meet with my P-Doc today and told her of my concerns / issue. She's currently working with me on the taper of the benzos (Xanax) and provided some guidance for the flight. She suggested using a 2nd Xanax before the flight and I could combine some Trazadone to make me drowsy for the flight. Yet, I have this fear that this flight could be the biggest trigger I've faced with my sobriety to date.

Just wondering how others might handle this situation who have flying fears and no longer drink alcohol. Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:13 PM
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Fear of flying

I would think a fear of flying is quite natural to a lot of people. We weren't born with wings. But also a lot of people fly without any medication and are still panicked so try to imagine you are one of those people. I myself too would be nervous but you gotta psych youself up a bit. Your medication should help but I think the fear of a situation is always worse than the situation itself.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:53 PM
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This is something that I've dealt with personally and seen on this forum a lot! It looks like you already have a benzo, so my suggestion is take that as prescribed by your doc. I usually keep my benzo in its pill box and try not to use it unless absolutely necessary. (Xanax works incredibly fast, so I don't see a reason to dose unless I have to).

I learned breathing techniques and also did a lot of reading on how safe flying really is. As soon as I get panicky I start to control my breathing and try to focus on something else. I have found getting lost in a movie or a book really helps.

The biggest thing that helps me with flying though, is time sober. The longer I've had sober, the less prone I am to anxiety. I fly about 100,000 miles a year and still am not fully comfortable with it though! You have ponied up to change your life and quit booze! If you have the strength to do that, you can make it through a flight sober!
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