Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

Since my CNN interviewed aired I have received emails from all around the world. Most of the communications were basic comments. I have had some people ask for advice and other people have told me about their struggles. One story in particular touched me. A woman wrote to me and told me about the death of someone close to her. I wrote briefly about it in my blog. I titled this particular blog entry, “The Loss of a Brother.”
Writing about such a tragic event has made me reflect on some of the things that are important in life. I have written that the main thing that has helped me through my struggles is my faith in God. That is the most important thing in my life. But I would like to reflect upon other things that sometimes we take for granted.
Until I forced myself to take a good look at life I have not realized all of the wonderful things in this earthly existence. I looked back at my childhood and realized that most of my childhood dreams have come true. I remember as a child there were two things I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be a cowboy and a pilot. For those of you who have followed my blog or this article you know that I flew a CitationJet 2+ before I lost my medical. One thing I have not written much about is my life before flying. Therefore, not many people who have followed my writings know that I rode bulls for eighteen years. Yes, I got to be a cowboy and a pilot.
Recently, I have realized at how important positive memories are to a good attitude.  I was reminded of this when I got together with an old rodeo friend of mine. I had not seen this friend in twenty years. He sent me a message that he would be in Las Vegas and that he would have time to get together. As my friend I talked we remised about other people that we knew and what they were doing. It was great fun to ponder the days of yore.
Since my friend and I talked I have thought much about how many wonderful things there are in this life. When I became too old to ride bulls I felt badly that I was no longer a cowboy. When I was grounded for medical reasons I was sad that I was no longer a pilot. However, in visiting with my friend I realized that the things I have accomplished in life would always be a part of me.
I look back through my life and remember the fun I had when I was traveling down the road with friends going to the next rodeo. I remember the jokes we used to play on each other while we were behind the chutes waiting to compete. The friendships made in those days will last the rest of my life.
Now I also look back at my days of flying. My contact list in my phone and my friends list on Facebook contains people I used to fly with. These also are bonds that will endure throughout my mortality. The bonds that we form with others while on this earth are important. The opportunity to care about others is such a wonderful part of life.
I have also been thinking about the beauty I have seen as a pilot. I remember being in the flight levels and watched as a small cloud grew into a huge thunderstorm. Being able to watch nature develop in such a manner was amazing.
Through all this rambling I have done the thing I want to point out is my hope that I can encourage others to take a stronger look at the wonders of this life. Do not let the downside of life hold you back. Be sure to let the positive side of life have a strong influence on how you live. We are each made to be great. I hope we all can work to be the best that we can be.

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