Zia Hassan

A Few Bumps

I have airplane anxiety. I’ve written about it before. I’ve described the different techniques I’ve used to try and get over it. Though my phobia seems to be getting better, I still get uncomfortable when the plane begins to jostle around in the air.

The interesting thing is that the ride is even bumpier on the ground before takeoff. And when I’m on the Amtrak, sometimes it’s so bumpy that I get violently thrown against the window next to my seat. Yet these situations never seem to make me uncomfortable at all.

So it is quite a mind game, airplane anxiety. The bumps are not what it makes it uncomfortable, clearly, since I can filter them out when I’m on a train or on the ground.

It’s the context that scares me. The fear of being in the air, of something that could go wrong, of falling from the sky to my death. The bumps are simply a cue, or a trigger, that activates this habit.

I wonder what else in my life feels uncomfortable but is actually just a trigger that activates discomfort.