Ok, so it’s the first time I will have flown since being in the hospital for depression.
I am an avid adventurer and have been flying for over 50 years. I remember when people smoked on a plane.
I remember pre 9/11 security and when we called flight attendants “stewardesses.” Giving up control to the pilot and crew has never been an issue for me.
Now that doesn’t mean I am not vigilant.
Even before 9/11, I was always mindful of my surroundings while at the airport. And I want to have a safe flight to my final destination. So, I am engaging with the flight attendants, making sure everyone got a good night’s sleep, etc.
As I enter the plane, I peek into the cockpit and using a completely unscientific method, gauge the health and alertness of the pilot and crew. Once on the plane, I am committed. And I have never turned around and not gotten on a plane. I guess my routine helps me let go and commit to flying, to having my fate in other people’s hands.
None of the flights have ever ended badly, although I do remember feeling the rear of a jet slipping a bit on an icy runway as we landed at JFK. And I have been on jets that have gone back to the gate as the crew determined the jet was overweight and once because there was a problem before taking off with a sensor. We ended up in the airport for hours as the airline moved planes around and finally got us to NOLA.
I am flying to Chicago this weekend to attend a SMART Conference.
I figure one of the best ways to learn about depression and recovery is from the experts. I will get to attend a SMART Recovery meeting Friday night, and hear speakers over the weekend on topics related to depression and recovery. I plan to network with as many professionals as I can, learning all I can about depression and how to build a healthy, productive life around it.
Since it is only a weekend, I can pack light.
My laptop, a change of clothes and my water bottle. I just need to remember not to fill it until I get past the checkpoints and am in the terminal. And then I put my faith in the flight crew. I am not sure why I am focused on control with this flight, but I guess I have always surrendered control when I fly. Today, I am just more aware of it.