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Today I was amazing. Saturday February 18, 2017

Well, to be more accurate, it was last Sunday.

Many Moodscope blogs and comments advocate self-kindness. Yet many of us are all too familiar with the inner critic which taunts and heckles; that dismisses hope and diminishes enthusiasm and achievements. My own head voice tells me regularly and firmly how completely rubbish I am. And I believe it unconditionally.

So what caused this turnaround in thinking, in someone who is highly resistant to the notion that thoughts can be challenged and up-ended in a CBT kind of a way?

I've been frightened of flying for all of my adult life. And not just scared, but filled with absolute terror about the 'being trapped in so high up' issue to the point of wanting to escape and feel safe. Which really isn't helpful at 30,000 feet.

But there's a great big, beautiful world out there which, someday, somehow, I'd like to see and experience more of.

So on Sunday I joined about 100 other fearful flyers on a course which was designed to help us tackle our fears.

The day was filled with information, advice and the greatest support, but was also intense and quite emotional for me. Yet with much trepidation and a couple of false starts I boarded the plane that afternoon. We took to the skies and, instead of being filled with sheer terror, I thought how amazing it was to be high above fluffy white clouds infused with a golden glow from the winter sun. And how amazing we all were for being on that flight.

I don't think I've conquered my fears, but I've faced them head on and given them warning of my intentions. And maybe, just maybe, this new-found self-belief will filter its way into other areas of my thinking and my life.

But amazing doesn't just come in big, scary packages. Amazing is the blog which offers advice or insight into hard-earned experience when the writer might be going through the toughest of times. Amazing can be the comments which offer support, humour and understanding from afar. And most amazing of all, is everyone in the Moodscope community for simply hanging on in there.

With love

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Tracy Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 7:41am

Yay you!!! That is amazing Dragonfly! I know the type of fear you speak of because I have been diagnosed with a specific phobia myself (on top of my general anxiety disorder) so I totally get just how BIG this accomplishment is and I applaud you for seeking it out and making it happen. I love that view above the clouds, and I’m glad you got to see it for yourself. Congratulations Dragonfly!

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 8:48am

Thank you Tracy. I know how debilitating fears and phobias can be and I hope you're getting the right help to make life a little easier x

Jul Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 8:04am

Hello Dragonfly. I developed a fear of flying fairly recently, probably since 9/11 but also before that when I flew without the children and worried the plane would crash and leave them without parents. I used to fly all over the world for work and absolutely loved it. We flew to Spain last Saturday and left Stansted in the snow so you can imagine I was thinking the plane wouldn't be de-iced properly etc etc and we would all die 33,000ft up. My imagination works overtime and I can never enjoy flights anymore. But fear can seep into every aspect of our lives. I think I will go on a fear of flying course. Was it Easyjet the one you went on? I am now thinking that if a course such as the one you went on has dispelled your fears, irrational or not, maybe I can apply practical solutions to other aspects of my life where fear dominates or tries to. Sorry I have concentrated on the opposite of amazing, i.e. fear but I am hoping the amazing will come from my conquering the fear!! Julxx

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 8:56am

Hi Jules. It's understandable that this provokes your own train of thoughts. As you say, fear can affect so many aspects of our lives. I was trying to be generic and not advertise (!) but I went on the Virgin course which I found so helpful and supportive. I don't think I'm cured but I think I have the tools and a smidgen of self-belief to help me move forwards x

Leah Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 8:11am

Congratulations on being amazing and facing your fear.
I am ok flying but the thought of a 15-20hr flight for me to get anywhere I want to go, can be so overwhelming. Also the airport the packing- and yes first world problem and yes I am lucky to maybe have that choice in the future. Not complaining just worrying a bit!!
I know parents who have missed their child's wedding because their fear of flying prevented them from going.
So well done for a great blog and for taking that first step.

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 9:03am

Thank you LP. Feeling 'ok' in a flying or similarly overwhelming setting would be a massive achievement for me and is what I'm aiming for! I think the deeper issues for me were self-belief, confidence and trust, so it's still a work in progress x

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 9:05am

I'm so sorry Leah, I'm trying to reply on my little tablet as I'm away for the weekend and just realised I muddled the posts up x

LP Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 8:18am

Hi Dragonfly,
I ditto what Tracy said, you were amazing! As much for actually seeking out and getting yourself onto the course as facing it head on. You now know that not only is it possible, but can be pleasant too!

I liked you picking up on the little things that we do too, I can't remember the example but I remember recently saying "and for me that's pretty good!". What ever it was would not have seemed like much to someone else, but at the end of the day I would have been able to say "Today I was amazing!".

Thank you for your inspiring blog Dragonfly, that phrase will help me notice more. It's a good one to tell children too. Love and hugs to all LPxx

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 9:13am

Hello LP and thank you. I feel hugely boastful to refer to myself as amazing as it's not in my nature. But sometimes we do have to acknowledge our achievements and when we're struggling with life, it really can be the smaller things too which have a positive impact on others or can make the world of difference, because they are hard-won x

Orangeblossom Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 10:17am

Hi Dragonfly, thanks for the great blog which is very encouraging. I loved it!

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 3:17pm

Thank you! x

The Gardener Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 11:06am

Dear Dragonfly - brought up an awful memory (had its funny side) of fear. I was not scared of heights till my mid-30's (quite a common phenomenon I'm told). When we first went to Indonesia we took a complicated and very expensive mix of anti-malarial pills. One was only once a week, but had the same effect as benzedrine. I was invited on one of the amazing boats which ply all round the islands. Fine, up a steep plank, about a foot wide, over thick inky water. Half way through the visit I suddenly realised where I was and THAT I HAD TO GET OFF! There is a picture of me tottering down the plank, Mr G in front of me holding one hand, and a boatman on a parralel plank holding the other. Falling in that water would have provoked near death from pollution. I am illogically terrified of getting out of my depth in sea or swimming pool, on the grounds that as I can see through the water it can't support me. Illogicality, 2nd son scared of heights yet loves ski-ing.

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 3:24pm

Dear Gardener you've had so many adventures! Fear and phobias can be so subjective - what seems illogical and irrational to one person can be completely otherwise for another.

Brum Mum Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 2:33pm

You are amazing. Ooh phobias....inherited phobias of dogs and flying from my Dad. Now have a dog and fly regularly, although I still feel sick every time I get to the airport. I try and fly once a year and have discovered so many fab places, but I can't sleep on a plane despite my ex's attempts to ply me with double rum and coke!! To confront deep seated fears is an act of bravery....

Dragonfly Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 3:26pm

Thank you Brum Mum :)

The Gardener Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 6:31pm

Slightly different tack - somebody mentioned not going to daughter's wedding as too scared too fly - sadness all round. Where I have to tread on egg-shells is when a situation arises (recently in Australia) where an English woman's daughter had gone out because her husband was coach to a yachting team - she was desperately home-sick, and wanted her Mum - but her mum decided the dog was more important, and could not be put in kennels. Daughter became completely distraught, HER daughter had trouble in school in OZ, marriage broke up - I'm British, supposed to love animals, but when they come first?

The Gardener Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 7:41pm

I wonder if it is fear of flying which provokes pre-journey nerves? Once we started travelling to exotic places every end of holiday was wrecked by Mr G's travel nerves. Even on a package tour, where we had no responsibility, he would not go to the last night party because we were travelling the next day. The nights I've spent in tears on the hotel bed listening to the revelry coming from the party - often on balmy nights, under the stars, with the sound of the sea. Once at the airport he would dance up and down in front of the departure board in case our gates were changed. Often, pre 9/11, I would be knitting dolls' clothes for my costume collection in front of an admiring crowd of kids - Mr G would come and chivvy me nearer the departure gate. Then, if the plane was delayed, our seats had filled up and we had to stand and wait. His brother's just the same - although even more widely travelled as a 'visiting fireman'.

Sal Sat, Feb 18th 2017 @ 11:20pm

Lovely blog Dragonfly, thank you. Had me smiling, even before the lovely last paragraph. Please write more (when the time is right).

Dragonfly Sun, Feb 19th 2017 @ 7:56am

Thanks so much for your encouragement Sal. I would like to write more but usually feel stuck for inspiration and very much admire those who contribute regularly. Your last phrase hits the mark too and sets me free from 'Frau Should'! And I can't remember which Moodscope member I must attribute that title to!

DAVE Sun, Feb 19th 2017 @ 12:52pm

Dragonfly....Lovely positive, expressive blog, taking control of your emotions in a very challenging way, what a great example t us all.
Your bravery is to be commended !

Dragonfly Sun, Feb 19th 2017 @ 6:44pm

Thanks so much Dave. I just hope it's something I can continue to build on and extend to other areas of my life. Here's hoping!

Jane Sun, Feb 19th 2017 @ 3:37pm

I'm sorry I'm a day late Dragonfly. I love the title of this blog, it's so uplifting. You were, and you are, amazing xx

Dragonfly Sun, Feb 19th 2017 @ 6:49pm

Never too late Jane. I do feel quite audacious referring to myself in that way but, well, just once in a while I think we need to give ourselves due credit. I hope I can take that feeling and ... fly!x

Nicco Mon, Feb 20th 2017 @ 12:54pm

That's an amazing achievement, DF. Very well done you. I did the same with my fear of moths and butterflies last year - went into the butterfly house at a zoo and was so totally amazed at the diversity, beauty and clever design of the various species, I actually forgot about my fear and replaced it with fascination! I'm not sure how I'd react if a huge one was indoors with me but, like you, I faced my fear and don't now run in the opposite direction when one comes towards me outside!

Dragonfly Mon, Feb 20th 2017 @ 1:55pm

Thank you Nicco and well done to you too! It's fantastic that you faced your fear and turned it on its head like that. I do feel now that finding beauty, pleasure or even just 'it's ok' in something that we once feared has a positive impact on our thinking in other ways too. And hopefully this summer you will be able to think how pretty a butterfly is as it flutters around and settles on flowers :)

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