There are different rules or methods of flying depending upon the current conditions.
- VFR – Visual Flight Rules. In effect when the weather is clear during daylight when you can clearly make out the horizon and your orientation to it. You can also see the ground and estimate your altitude in relation to the ground. In this case you fly by using your senses. The actions you take when flying have a direct impact on your flight and you can see and sense the change in your flight pattern.
- IFR – Instrument Flight Rules. In effect at night, or during a storm where your vision is poor. You may not be able to distinguish the horizon or your altitude in relation to the ground. In this case your senses are not reliable. You are better suited to fly by the instruments found in the cockpit: the altimeter, the horizon indicator, and the amount of throttle that is applied.
Why am I talking about flying a plane? What relation does that have to depression?
When my depression is in remission I can rely on my senses and my thoughts. I have a clear and concise view of what is going on around me. I can accurately see the consequences of my actions and I can respond to the updated situation clearly. I can trust my emotions and my thoughts because they are giving me an accurate representation of reality. I can go VFR and trust my senses.
When I am in the throes of active depression my senses and my thoughts are not clear. My emotions and thoughts are sending the wrong information and I should not rely on them. I must go IFR and trust the program of recovery. I need to step up the actions of recovery and be more diligent in my recovery work. I may need to go to more meetings. I may need to initiate an outreach call each and every day. I may need to journal. I may need to pray and meditate regularly throughout the day. Remember during active depression I can not trust my thoughts and emotions so I must fly by instruments.
This is not a judgment of good vs. bad. It is just a suggestion that you become aware of your current state. Are you in clear weather and trust your emotions and thoughts? Or are you in the midst of a current storm in your depression? If you are in a storm be sure to step up your recovery program. It works if you work it.
Yours in recovery, Bill R.