Depression is like a Plane

I wrote this two weeks into my Krav journey when I was in suicidal depression. I’m incredibly proud of this entry, I am amazed at my own courage and fortitude. I fought like a warrior, even when I didn’t know I was one. And things got better.

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January 18th, 2018.

I’m writing in the midst of horrific depression.

Right now, I feel like a zombie. I can’t imagine being happy. I know people say nice things to me but it doesn’t sink in.

So I tell myself this story, told to me by a friend who was in the Air Force.

There’s this condition called vertigo where the inner ear of the pilot is damaged. The pilot is unable to regulate and understand their position in space. Therefore they will fly in a way that is incredibly dangerous and often fatal.

So a young pilot is flying a training mission when he developed vertigo. He was flying in a way that would leave him crashing to the ground. Mission Control radioed and told him that he had to alter his position, or he would crash.

The pilot couldn’t understand what was wrong. His body was telling him that he was flying normally, but Mission Control was telling him that he was in great danger.

Mission Control was telling him to alter course in a way that seemed fatal.

The controller desperately said to the pilot. “You need to trust me. I’m not going to do anything that will get you killed. I have access to data you don’t have. I’m your brother in arms. I want to save you, so you must alter course NOW.”

With shaking hands, the pilot weighed his choices.

Did he trust himself or did he trust Mission Control?

Logic told him to keep going, his body was telling him to keep going.

“Oh God,” he heard over the radio. The terror of Mision Control was clear. Something was wrong and he wasn’t seeing it.

He made the most terrifying choice of his life. He put aside everything his body told him and changed course. He let Mission Control take over and guide him into the landing. He was terrified, but he put his trust in what he most believed in, his team.

And when he landed, he saw just how close he had come to a fatal crash. Only his faith in others saved him. He was treated for a busted eardrum and a few weeks later, returned to the sky. He flew happily, knowing his friends below were there for him.

Right now, nothing is making sense for me either. I feel worthless and hopeless and nothing anyone says can overcome that emotional vertigo.

So I’m trusting in my team, to tell me to change course. I’m putting my faith in them.

When I see them telling me to change course, I will do it. I know that they will guide me well. Even if I feel that there is no hope, I surrender control to them and know that they will get me to the ground. I have to believe the vertigo of depression will go away.

And it did. It made a brief but brutal appearance, but I fought it again.

And now, I have the best Mission Control of friends, who steer me right.

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