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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Saturday 12 March: McReadie Due To Take To The Skies

You may remember that the mental health dudes at the Maudsley were so successful in embedding in me this "face the fear" bullshit that I had wondered whether I should get on a plane and kick one of my longest-standing and most severe phobias.

About a month ago, I decided to do just this, and booked a short flight. I booked it for this Saturday, 12 March.

The date was chosen carefully. In a completely non-obsessional fashion, 12 is one of my "good numbers". I felt 12 March was a good date for this endeavour. I will not be telling the mental health dudes this.

(I will tell them. I find it impossible to lie to them. It's very irritating.)

Further research shows that I may have been wrong about this date being "a good one". A few very unpleasant things seemed to have happened on 12 March. In 1888, Chinese labourers were excluded from the US. In 1968, Joe McCarthy did well in the Democratic primaries. And in 1938, Hitler announced Anschluss between Germany and Austria. Yeah, that'd be the event that pretty much started World War II. I think we can agree that 12 March doesn't have a great history.

I'm struggling to remember how I ever thought getting on a plane was a good idea. I mean, I suggested it, for Chrissake! What the hell was I thinking? The mental health dudes hadn't even raised it as an area for particular discussion. No, it was me who went in there and told them I was considering taking a flight. Daft, daft, daft.

The nerves have been around ever since I told the dudes I was gonna try and take a flight. But in the past week, they've become pretty bad. We're talking waking up feeling like vomiting, going to bed feeling like vomiting, and - last night - head-in-hands-tears-why-am-I-doing-this-to-myself? In fact, I decided last night that I shouldn't go. Why should I put myself through this? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Today, I'm back to thinking I'll just force myself to do it. Having mentioned it to the dudes, and to family, and now to you, faithful readers (!), there's a whole host of people beyond myself who I'll be letting down if I chicken out.

But, oh God, I'd love to chicken out. See, the essential problem is this: I'm scared. Really very scared. And I don't wanna go on a bloody plane.


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