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When All Else Fails, Ask Yourself, “Is the Plane Still Flying?”

When All Else Fails, Ask Yourself, “Is the Plane Still Flying?”

When All Else Fails, Ask Yourself, “Is the Plane Still Flying?”

I got an email yesterday from Johnny, with some good advice. He didn’t say it, but I think he was responding to my most recent blog posts. They have not been happy-chappy, exclamatory or even particularly positive. I have not been a champion of recovery lately. I have had a case of the January blues.

 

Bush Pilots and Recovery

He told me to ask myself, when I am feeling anxious or out of sorts, “Is the plane still flying?” I am a visual thinker, so I love this mental image. Having spent eight years on a small island in The Bahamas, I can relate to this bush pilot’s credo. The controls might be smoking; the captain a little hung over; the landing strip a patch of beaten sand, running end to end on a tiny, coral promontory. A storm may have blown in, causing us to fly closer and closer to the Exuma Sound to get a visual. But the plane is still flying.

 

I start looking around at the rivets that hold the plane together. The aircraft is at least 30 years old, well worn and patched together with tarnished, old parts. I am being thrown around in the seat and the pilot says, “It’s all good mon’, tighten your belt so you don’t hit your head on the roof…” He smiles with all his teeth. I am thinking, landing in open water is not an option – there’s no one around for miles and the sharks… But the plane is still flying.

 

And then, tilting and bucking like something alive, the plane bumps in for a landing, all the way to the edge of the runway. Right where the ocean laps the shore. There are crashed planes rusting in the mangroves, but I am alive. And the plane was still flying, even when I was tossed like loose baggage by force majeure. Even when I had no control of the outcome.

 

It’s all good mon’…

I woke up this morning feeling like myself. Kim says there is no shame in a “season of taking something to soften the edges.” But I really don’t want to go there. These bouts of the blues are like a storm in the tropics.  Black, even a little frightening, but short lived…

 

 

Today I’m not drinking because THE PLANE IS STILL FLYING.

How come you’re not drinking?

 

 

 

 

Comments (10)

  1. Stephen W Merritt
    Jan 24, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    The sun came up today.
    The clouds are over the islands, mon! Now this I can relate to. Fair winds and a following sea.

  2. Who the hell has time to drink?
    Jan 24, 2017

    That’s a good one. Who said Sobriety means every day is super, shining, glorious. Some days suck, because your problems are too big, too pushy. The big difference is you don’t try to drown the problems, because as we all know, Problems Swim Exceptionally Well. So you get through yet another day without a glass full of something. Welcome back, Marilyn.

  3. Simon
    Jan 24, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    I still am...
    Have you heard of the tea KRATOM from Thailand, Malaysia, I’ve been reading of it’s benefits which mentions weaning off opioids and alcohol, somewhat euphoric I believe and helps manage pain. The thing is it’s still legal in North America as it’s from the family of the coffee plant Mitragyna Speciosa which one purchase on line…

  4. Eva
    Jan 24, 2017

    I am with you about the blues this month … something in the air or planet alignment! Seriously weird!

    Treat yourself to something special… I ate lots of chocolates this month, oh no!

    Eva

  5. Alice
    Jan 25, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    Because a down time when I am sober is still 1000x better than drinking
    It’s true.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Jan 26, 2017

      The bar is set so much higher, that even a lousy day is up from an old drinking day. Thanks for reminding me of this.
      XXXOOO
      M

  6. Lorraine
    Jan 25, 2017

    because I want to lose weight and I am only 2 weeks in, not drinking. Hoping and praying that this time I stay sober for the rest of whatever life I have left

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Jan 26, 2017

      Congratulations. Two weeks in is better than 2 days and if you are in for the long haul I am happy for you. All things are more manageable (including diets) when you are sober. Thanks for writing and welcome.
      XXXOOO
      M

  7. Martha
    Jan 25, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    Almost 6 months sober and a lifetime to go!
    Wow. I can really relate to this and I too love a “visual”. Yes, the plane is still flying and I haven’t jumped out of it. I’m having some trying times right now and I am SO thankful that I am a sober person dealing with them.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Jan 26, 2017

      So great to hear from you! And congratulations. I am sorry you are having some trying times (and I didn’t think about jumping…). The good news is that a clear head is always best when dealing with difficult times. Dealing with are the operative words…
      XXXOOO
      M

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