You know how visualizations for air travel (and other) anxiety often recommend you go to your happy place? Pretend you're not on a plane? I can tell you right now: bullsh*t. No way, no how, do those work for me.
I just got back from visiting my dad, and the trip convinced me that the airsickness to which I've always been prone is getting too awful to handle on my own. I need to get some help, and some serious, prescription-strength meds. I can't even describe the misery. Even drugged to the gills with Bonine or Dramamine, I'm a mess: shaking, sweating, gulping in deep breaths of air, and convinced I'm going to vomit every second of some descents, while in others I can relatively easily keep it together. I never know which it's going to be, and my life-long history of being so ill during flights has made it worse and worse, so I work myself up into a state of terror before most flights.
Okay, taking a deep breath. I feel nauseous just *talking* about airsickness. I joke that it's just exhausting trying to keep the airplane up in the air by sheer will-power, and that's why I need a full day to recover from any flight, but it's not really a conscious fear of the plane dropping out of mid-air. I know that it won't. Really I do! It's that my body, for some reason super-sensitive to that feeling of the plane fighting gravity, anticipates every bobble to be a possibly endless freefall. That's why the only visualization that helps is for me to imagine that the wobbles and bumps are of wheels on a road. I have to visualize that I'm somehow in more control than I really am: I can see the horizon, as if I'm on a bus or something, watching the countryside whizz by. Even flying the plane, visualizing that I can control the forward trajectory, is a better imagined scenario to stave off the panic.
So I have steadily been accumulating an arsenal of precautions and strategies to not let the airsickness get the upper hand. Eating something bready before the flight, taking an anti-emetic, taking a mild muscle-relaxant, bringing a baguette or crackers for the flight, staying hydrated, chewing gum, keeping my head still and looking out toward the horizon, deep breathing, visualizations, noise-cancelling headphones. Geez, what a neurotic mess. I wonder if perfume could be part of this arsenal. I mean, why not? It could be put to good use that way.
Believe me, I've tried all those homeopathic motion sickness remedies like the acupressure wristbands, ginger, peppermint, etc. etc. All useless when you're talking neurosis of this magnitude. But I did find that one recent flight was made a little more bearable when I huffed on my vintage Rumeur. (I didn't wear enough of it to assault anyone else's nose on the plane.) I have to wonder if perhaps this animalic carnation scent that I've been so fascinated by lately has therapeutic qualities. I find the costus in it to be a very comforting skin/body odor scent, myself, although I know most would not find those notes to be anything like a comfort scent.
It's probably just that my familiarity with and affection for my vintage juice calms me and distracts me from my misery. But it made me curious: how do other people calm themselves on plane flights, and do others use perfume as aromatherapy in stressful situations? Do you have a scent that you wear when you fly? Do you find aromatherapy oils to be useful when you're anxious, or do you consider Cristalle aromatherapy? Or do you say to hell with aromatherapy, just never fly sober, like my friend M.? Personally, I would prefer to be knocked unconscious upon strapping myself into my seat, because I hate hangovers. But until that great day, I'm hoping you, dear reader, have suggestions or experiences regarding how to survive air travel or other similarly stressful situations. Because I *gulp* have to get back on a plane again in less than a month for my dad's wedding.
Thanks! And happy travel season!