From the July 2010 magazine.

I can soar!

An infrequent flyer seeks God's help to travel without fear

Only twice in my adult life did I take a trip that required getting on an airplane. I'd convinced myself that I had a paralyzing fear of flying and, like everything else I was afraid of, avoided it at all costs. But then I thought about the solutions that I had come to believe were in a bottle of alcohol and concluded that if alcohol gave me the courage to live, to dream and to love, then it could certainly give me the courage to fly as well.

With my new confidence in booze, I planned a trip to Puerto Rico with a boyfriend. Along with planning the details of the vacation, I also took great care in planning my pre-flight drinks. I clearly remember guzzling screwdrivers before getting on the plane at 7 A.M., being sure to add enough vodka to give me my nerve. Once on board, I explained to the attendant how fearful I was and in her eagerness to make me more comfortable, she happily continued to medicate me with more drinks. I had no problem being honest if I thought the reward would be a drink. This was a long time ago, when being drunk on an airplane was not all that unusual. I safely stumbled off the plane and was thrilled to have found the answer to my fear of flying.

-- KATHY V.

Queens, N.Y.

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