Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for Xanax

I have a fear of flying. Although I love everything building up to the point of lift-off—going to the airport, grabbing a coffee in the lobby while I’m waiting, watching people hurry around pulling their carry-on luggage as I wonder where they’re going—but as soon as the engines fire up and we catapult down the runway, I experience acute symptoms of anxiety. I have to force myself to breathe deeply to prevent hyperventilation, I sweat, and I feel an overwhelming sense of impending doom. Usually once we’re in the air at cruising altitude, I settle down a little, but if there is any kind of turbulence, all bets are off.

A few years ago when I was flying to Australia, I decided to visit the doctor’s office before flying, and they prescribed me Xanax. “Take a half a pill before you fly, and if you need another half later in the flight, take that too.” Half of a Xanax did absolutely nothing. Within the hour, I had taken a whole pill. A few hours later, I took another half. By the time I finally got to sleep on the plane that night, I had taken two and a half of those suckers.  I guess I have a pretty solid metabolism and/or medication tolerance. I will say that once I awoke after sleeping eight hours, I did feel pretty calm.

I don’t take Xanax for flights anymore. Now I just take Ambien. I might as well just sleep and not experience anxiety over whether or not I will have anxiety.


  1. Oh my gosh, that's a lot of Xanax. :-) I never used to be anxious about it, but have developed an aversion, serious aversion to flying. I'll lose two or three days of vacation time driving to destinations. Glad you found out that Ambien does the trick. :-)

  2. I'm not the best flyer, but I usually do it with my kids, so I have to set the good example or deal with crazy fallout!

    Good thinking on the Ambient!

    Happy atoz!

  3. Someone gave me one of those when a flood damaged our home. I didn't notice any difference. I don't like flying, but I have a feeling a margarita would probably do more than a Xanax!

    1. Stephanie, I used to have a no alcohol while flying rule. I no longer subscribe to that theory. Flying to England this summer we received free alcohol on a Virgin flight. I had no problem...

  4. Although we are finished with the A/Z challenge, I was over at Stephanie's blog and I saw the blogs participating in her blog hop. I saw the name of your blog, it looked interesting (blog names fascinate me) so I came to check your blog out. I've read a few of your entries and enjoyed them. I had to laugh about your Xanax and flying story.

    I haven't flown since 2005 and hope never to again, LOL :)

    But when I did fly in 2005, particularly when we were visiting my sister/family in DC area, I had my trusty Xanax with me (which was the only way I would get onto an airplane). I think I must have taken 2-3 mg of it before I finally felt relaxed enough on the plane. I think I was just too hyper with the thought of flying :)


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