Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hi, I'm Laura. I have anxiety disorder, so I'm here to help.

Episode 1: How to keep the plane from crashing

1. When you get on the plane, tell the flight attendant that you have anxiety disorder and that you need to meet the captain.  If the flight attendant won't let you meet the captain, don't panic too much.  I have flown on planes where I was not allowed to meet the captain, and the plane did not crash.*

2. Make sure you're in a window seat. If not, convince someone in a window that your well-being and their well-being depends upon your being in a window seat and trade seats. Or the plane will definitely crash.
3. Despite the fact that you know the whole protocol for what to do IF the plane crashes, watch every moment of the flight attendant's presentation of how to buckle seat belt, put oxygen mask on face, etc. Or the plane will most likely crash.

4. Inform the person sitting beside you that at some point during the flight, you will become convinced that the plane is going to crash, and you will melt down, possibly wet yourself, cry uncontrollably, and go into shock. Also hope to god not to be seated next to a likeminded flier. Two such fliers in a row increases the likelihood that the plane will crash by 35%.

5. Take a Xanax to keep the plane from crashing. No Xanax?  Well, that's just poor planning.  Get off the plane now, forgo the cost of the ticket, and thank me later, because the plane is gonna crash.  Go to the doctor and get yourself a prescription for Xanax.  Try again.
6. Follow with a glass of wine as soon as cabin service begins to further increase chances of survival.  If the plane hits turbulence prior to the flight attendants reaching you with the beverage cart and they have to take a seat, your chances of crashing will increase inversely with the time it takes to get through the turbulence.  Here's the mathematical formula, where T = turbulence, W = wine, and t = time.  T + t - W = Death x .08.

7. If the plane hits turbulence, hyperventilate (actually, this won't really help to keep the plane from crashing; it's simply unavoidable).

8. Tap feet repeatedly on floor and grip armrests as hard as possible to keep plane aloft during turbulence. Don't ask me how the foot tapping thing works, but thus far, it has kept every plane I've been on from crashing, so there you go.  You're welcome.

9. When pilot is not experiencing turbulence -- but only after a Xanax and glass of wine -- attempt to do the crossword puzzle in the back of the airline magazine located in the seat pocket in front of you. BUT BE WARNED: attempting the crossword increases the chance of turbulence by 50%.
10. For particularly long flights, repeat steps 4 and 5 above up to 7000 times.

11.  Twirl your hair in order to focus your senses somewhere other than your impending death.  You've twirled your hair until you've broken most of it off or you've cut your hair off so you can't twirl it?  I feel you on that.  In that case, I suggest that you run your tongue repeatedly over the rough edge of your upper, right, back molar.

Please let me know that you made it, even if you get there at 3 in the morning.  I have insomnia, and I'll be worried about you anyway.

* Not meeting the pilot increases your chances of having a suicidal pilot like that Germanwings guy last year by 17%.  Just know that.

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