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The Mentally Ill Issue

How I Spent My Vacation?

I just had a pretty high manic episode where I took off to Florida on a whim's notice.
Κείμενο Jeff Saul

Photo by Tim Barber

When I'm on a manic spin, I'm ridiculously impulsive and I'm barely conscious of what I'm doing. The part that makes it especially confusing is that I feel totally normal when it's happening, even though most people would look at me and see a derelict. I stop shaving and I don't shower. I'll just run out of the house wearing whatever. Also, I like to drink beer when I'm on an upswing. I make sure to stick to only three beers, and then I always have something to eat with them. That way my wife won't smell it on my breath. So I guess it's sneaky drinking. I like Miller Genuine Draft, or sometimes I go to this Mexican place and get Corona and a shrimp cocktail. If I'm at my regular bar, I have a mushroom Swiss burger. I just had a pretty high manic episode where I took off to Florida on a whim's notice. I got in a fight with my wife, she went out after we argued, and I guess I just packed my bags and went—headed out to the airport and hopped on a plane and took off without telling her. It turned out to be OK in the end. My wife said it was good to have me out of the house for a couple of weeks. But I was in such a state that I was barely aware of what I was doing. It was like going into a fog in Chicago and waking up in Florida. I was manic for the preparations, but I got depressed as soon as I got there. It was kind of a vacation, though. I hung out with my parents, who retired down there, went for a few dinners, played golf a few times. I never drink on a downswing, and my parents wouldn't let me anyway. They live in a retirement community down there for people 52 and over. They even have a separate wing in their place where I can stay, with my own bedroom and bathroom. I sit back there and go online to mess around with my eBay auctions. My wife's always selling my old clothes on there—Nike sweatpants and Polo shirts. I went to a doctor in Florida just to get a physical, and I had a completely clean bill of health. It's my mental health that's the issue. That's why I started coming out to this day program. I need to learn more about being bipolar, and there's something new every day here. JEFF SAUL