On the Road - Again

John McManamy Health Guide
  • It's been a week since I returned home from my conference in Irvine. I have put out another Newsletter and my second fund drive appeal, and caught up on some email but not all of it. Plus, for BipolarConnect, I cranked out two blogs, an Ask the Expert Patient feature, and two quizzes that should appear shortly. Yesterday (Saturday) I played water volleyball at a resort that my housemate Paul and I go to.


    Water volleyball is my one opportunity to play like a five-year-old and act like a five-year-year old. The other people in the pool feel the same way. Remember what life was like at age five? Everyone should get a chance to relive that time. We start splashing in the pool, and instantly the stress from several crazy weeks drops away. In between games we relax out in the high desert sun. This is the life.

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    Today I pulled out my dirty laundry from my travel bag and washed and dried it. A lot of the laundry is going right back in. Tomorrow morning, my other housemate Rick is dropping me off at the airport on his way to work. There is a conference in Iowa I will be speaking at. Then I head straight from the conference to Madison, Wisconsin where I will be spending a few days looking at Clydesdales. This is the premier event in the Clydesdale world, and the first time it has been held in the US in more than a century.


    My interest in Clydesdales has to do with my suddenly complicated personal life. Sharon, whom I met at a recent conference, raises Clydesdales. She will be there, right in her element, and I will be sparking off her excitement. It should be a fun beer and bratwurst Octoberfest time for both of us.


    Then it's out of Milwaukee Airport to Washington DC. NAMI is hosting a fund-raising gala, and I'll be there as a guest of HealthCentral, which hosts my blog at BipolarConnect. A year ago, I was there with my then-wife "Sophy." It turned out to be our last hurrah together. A month later, we broke up and very soon after I was living in southern California in a rural world far removed from the New Jersey that I had just left.


    I usually have a low-grade depression before I leave on trips, and this evening is no exception. I'm feeling an energy drain, and my jaw is throbbing. I really just want to crawl in bed with a cup of tea and a mystery novel, pop a couple of Tylenols, and not wake up until a new Administration is in office.


    Instead, I have packing to do, plus a bunch of work I need to get out of the way. I know I will perk up once I'm on the road, and that my heart will soar at being with Sharon again. But I'm having trouble right now seeing that far ahead. In the past 12 months, I've had a book come out, a marriage break-up, a move to a different coast, done nearly 20 speaking engagements, received a major international award, attended five major conferences and two minor ones, moved ahead on some new projects, and started a long-distance relationship with a woman who raises horses.


    It's been an extremely gratifying and heart-wrenching and disruptive and healing and exhausting year.


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    I have one more trip this year, a NAMI CT conference combined with a family visit in early Nov. Then I'm looking forward to staying put in my splendid mountain isolation for a few months.


    Time to pack.

Published On: October 07, 2007