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Though my next few flights were smooth—no rough air—the fear of what I’d experienced crept back in by degrees. Flying is the safest way to travel; we all know that. But the claustrophobic seating, the orange alerts and x-rays at the airport, the 400 mph at 30,000 feet in minus 40 degree temps with a total stranger at the controls . . . seems a tad unsafe, doesn’t it? Within a few years, my fear of flying had reached phobic levels. What to do? Time for a little self-talk. Me (to myself): OK, this is getting out of hand—like your arachnophobia. You need to face your fear. Analyze it. What are you afraid of? Myself: Dying . . . and maybe the pain before death. Yeah, the pain, the death. Well, despite the reassuring statistics, it could happen: a deadly air crash. What are you going to do about the fear? (long pause, like several weeks) I said what are you going to do? Face my fears. I guess that means I have to . . . plan on dying? Now we’re getting somewhere. You have to get ready. 8

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