On Fear, Food, and Flight | BYU Studies

On Fear, Food, and Flight

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On Fear, Food, and Flight

Author Elizabeth Brady

This personal essay interweaves three seemingly disparate themes—the author’s battle with Crohn’s disease, her attempts to master a certain inversion in yoga (that she refers to as flying), and her boyfriend’s depression, which causes him to break off their relationship. “When most people think about a fear of flying, they might think of planes, mechanics. My fear of flight is personal. It resides in my body, the way Crohn’s does; a disease. And I wonder if perhaps James isn’t experiencing these same sensations: With Crohn’s, my stomach pitches with nausea, and I reject food; with depression, James’s thoughts roil with doubts, serotonin flees, and he rejects people, love.” In the end, the author achieves some success with flying, and James, with the help of an antidepressant, returns and feels more hopeful.