Friday, March 2, 2012

Four flights, four opportunities to practice

As frequent readers of my blog know, I am not a huge fan of flying. Thankfully, I have my Recovery tools to help me.

This week I had a day trip that required me to be on four planes in one day. I tried to remember that anticipation is often worse than realization. On the first flight I was very nervous and on edge. I did not make a full effort to address my symptoms.

By the second flight I knew I had to make my mental health a business. So instead of sitting and worrying, I decided to focus on reading my graduate class's textbook. Amazingly, even when the plane experienced turbulence, I remained calm and indifferent. I applied Dr. Low's method of using objectivity to concentrate on something else. This strategy worked on my third flight as well. On the fourth flight I spoke with a fellow passenger during the trip to keep my mind off my fears--another form of objectivity. And once the trip was over, I endorsed for having the will to effort and tolerating uncomfortable feelings.

Before Recovery I would have been terrified during the entire experience. I might have even avoided the trip altogether. But with my Recovery training I know it is not how I feel but how I function that really matters. Despite some uncomfortableness, I muddled through. I chose obligation over inclination, and I demonstrated leadership in my own Recovery process.