Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

In just a few days it will be one year that daughter, Amy, lost her battle to cancer. I have had ups and downs with my feelings over the past year. As most people can imagine I have had some sad days. I knew that Amy’s time was limited when she was diagnosed with cancer. I wondered how I would cope with such a loss. I am guessing that some people who know me were expecting me to slip into the depths of despair and depression. For anyone who had such thoughts, I am NOT sorry to disappoint you. 

I am not saying I did not grieve her loss; I did. Amy’s passing was a terrible. Anyone who has lost a child knows this harsh pain. What I am saying is that I did not sink into a state of mind that would drag me down or disable me. I suppose I can look at it that I have been put through the ultimate test and survived.

I know that grief is different for everyone. Some people turn to religious beliefs for comfort in times like this while others may turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to hide the pain. We all have our own way with dealing with pain.

I am not an expert by any means when it comes to dealing with painful life situations. All I know is that I have been through my fair share of tragedy in life. I am also realistic to understand that there are many people who have suffered much harsher tragedies than I have. There is always someone out there who has had harder times than me. This is true for most people. 

When we suffer the knowledge of other people’s pain is of no comfort. Often times we think there is no reprieve from our pain. There is an old saying that time heals all pain. Anyone who believes this has never lost a child. The pain is always there. The only way to adjust to this pain is to accept it as a part of life and live with it like you might an annoying acquaintance that you just cannot get out of your life. I will refer to this imaginary person as Phil. Why did I choose Phil? It simply was the first name that popped into my head. That and the Dr. Phil show annoys me. LOL….. Dr. Phil if you ever read this I intended no malice  No matter where you go or what you do Phil is always going to be there. The best thing that can be done is accept Phil as a part of your life and stop arguing with him.

But if you stop arguing with Phil you cannot simply ignore his presence. If you attempt to  ignore him he will whisper negative things to you that will become bottled up inside. Eventually, those negative feelings will have to be dealt with. There will be times you have no idea that Phil is working to drag you down. You may be going about your job or daily activities and notice you are making mistakes. These will most likely be simple minor errors that you just cannot understand you are making. As you go about this activity making mistakes you start to judge yourself harshly not knowing what is going on. 

At some point, the light will come on and you will realize that Phil has been doing his negative job on you. The best way to deal with Phil is to not argue with him, but acknowledge his presence and communicate with him. How do you communicate with Phil? That will be different for everyone. Some people may need medications to deal with Phil. Others people may need therapy to deal with Phil. I deal with my Phil by taking a step back, shaking things off and realize that I am in control. I am the one who has to take control of my feelings. I must allow myself to grieve when needed. I am the one that must allow myself to be happy as well. 

To me one of the lessons in life that I feel is important is to understand the following; Where there is good, there is bad. Where these is up, there is down. Where there is in, there is out. Where there is happiness, there is sadness. In other words, each and everything has its opposite. When we can truly understand that I feel that the negative opposites we encounter in our lives will be easier to deal with.

Keep and eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

4 Responses

  1. I don't know you Collin, but I was very very good friends with Amy, after reading this I thought you should know that Amy would be proud of you. She talked of you often and was soooo amazingly happy when you came back into her life. This has been so hard on me but I have found peace in remembering all of our good times, I know she would want the same for you. Keep your head up, I know she's watching us all. ��

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