Well it happened. My first true blue panic attack. It all started when I was leaving SD last night after a weekend with Dan for his SDSU baseball alumni weekend. I ended my night at Ruby's with my family and was badgering my dad about the storm." I am going to fly out of it right dad? It already passed up North so if it is already in San Diego I will fly out of it?! Right dad? Right? He proceeds to tell me, "yes, I think you will" to provide some sort of sense of relief for me. We are about to take off and I am feeling good! "I'm going to miss it, yes!" I thought. All of a sudden the Captian comes on to tell us it will be a bit "bumpy." And at that moment, all hell broke loose in my mind.
I knew it was going to be bumpy, but not like this. If you know me, you know even in perfectly clear weather I am scared to fly. A rough storm along the west coast like this is sheer terror. I knew it was going to be rough when we capped off at 20,000 feet. I fly so much that I knew wind must have been horrible up higher and we were safe. I knew it was going to be really rough when the turbulance started and they told the flight attendants to stay in their seats and not serve drinks. And I knew I was as good as dead when the plane (heading over Malibu area) started free falling out of the sky and shook like an 11.0 earthquake. I decided now was a good time to start making deals with God. Now I make deals with God a lot, but these were the I will volunteer everyday for the rest of my life, and I will never drink again type deals. Just let me live! And wait! I want to get married! I want children one day! For not being a religious girl by any standards God became my best friend last night. I. Became. Hysterical.
I believe in a little self deprecation so I will share the absolute worst part. I curled myself in a little ball crying my eyes out with the brown paper throw up bag in my face trying to breathe against the window. Before I knew it my head was in my lap and I was singing Bob Marley (it was on my ipod)as loud as I could trying to get my mind off the fact I have never even told anyone who should get Funny Bunny if I die! And... During all of this, what's the man next to me doing? Playing his video game! Not one word of a "hey crazy chick, you okay over there?"
As the turbulance proceeded to get worse I prepared for the worst. I hung my head in my knees and can only describe the fear I felt as an outer body experience. I had to. I had to leave my body because the horrific thought of death was too much. This continues through the shaking and rattling and dropping for the next 20 minutes. All of a sudden the Captain comes on. " Hey folks, sorry for all the tuurrrrrbbbulance, this is a rough one. We will have you on the ground in just another 20 minutes." I prayed a little more that we wouldn't free fall out of the sky before 20 minutes was up and cried a little more.
After the worst hour of my life we made it through the storm. We smooth sailed into SF and landed. I cheered! I cried! I pinched myself to make sure we really made it! I immediately called my mom and burst into tears again! I told her "I am never flying again mom! Never again!" ( I have to fly next Monday.) And what's funny is sometimes even at 28 you still just need your mom!
I do have a new appreciation for pilots and planes though. Both those suckers are tough. If they can keep a plane in the air through all of that, then it (and I) can get through anything!