For good measure, I began packing my carry-on more strategically—with brainteasers. It's physically impossible to focus on the weird sound the engines are making when you're trying to figure out which two-word anagram of dominate might appear on a ticket (the answer: admit one ). I also took a Web seminar for aviophobes, which really helped. You learn to breathe (in through the nose; as you exhale, say "relax"), watch videos of cabin turbulence, and acknowledge that aviation is the only industry in which whole teams of people are working to keep you safe. You're asked to consider that while awful things do happen—planes crash, and people die, and that's just how it is sometimes—this fact can't, and shouldn't, deter you from living. I decided not to let it. In the past eight months I've flown six times without crying. And the absence of tears feels like a kind of truth.
How you can face your demons: Donna Brazile's advice for living without fear