Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder was like losing my flight plan. It was as if my destination and alternate airports had disappeared. My engines were on fire during the height of my first full-blown manic episode and I was certain that a crash was imminent. An emergency was declared. To my surprise I learned that I had on board with me the love and support of family and friends. In the end I landed safe and sound, just not where I had intended. I was never able to make a career out of flying. Having worked four commercial pilot jobs as a flight instructor and charter pilot, I now know that those years were the beginning of unrecognized signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder. I was too restless to stay at one job long enough to be truly prepared for the next.
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