2017 has been a hell of a year.

For me, it was mostly a good one. Personal highlights included:

  • Attending my first national championship game1
  • Seeing one of my favorite musicians in concert2
  • Getting a new gig3
  • Seeing a Total Eclipse4
  • Having a full blown manic episode the week after Thanksgiving, checking myself into the local hospital's mental ward, and getting diagnosed as Bipolar 1

Four outta five on the plus side ain't bad.

Regarding that last one, though: There's a lot of toxic stigma and fear associated with discussisng (and disclosing) mental health issues. It's not unwarranted, either. You don't have to think too hard to imagine how employers could wield that knowledge against you.

There are protections in place that try to prevent that, but it's still scary to talk about. In no small part because there's no guarantee those protections will work. The thing is, the cost of not talking about it can be even higher if it prevents folks from getting the care they need.

After giving it a lot of though, I decided talking about my diagnosis publically is the right thing to do. I've spent 17 years at the PGA TOUR. I trust both the organization and my manager to work with me in good faith5.

With luck, I can be a data point that helps us recognize that with our modern medicines, mental health issues like my bipolar diagnosis are still a big deal, but ones that can be managed. And, more to the point, that we recognize the stigmas we have against them are not only outdated but detrimental to everyone involved.

I'll tell the story of the manic episode another time. For now, just know I'm getting better and working with a doctor to dial in my medications.

In the mean time, may you and yours be safe and happy, and here's hoping 2018 turns out 5 by 5.

Footnotes

  1. Ideally, we would have won the game, but, you know… Roll Tide.
  2. If you are at all into Paul Simon, go see him. It's a delight and his new stuff sings to me just as much as the classics.
  3. I'm still at the TOUR. Just working on internal stuff instead of the web site and mobile platforms. It's cool because it's a change of pace, but all my institutional knowledge is still a huge asset.
  4. If you saw it too, I don't have to tell you this, but if you didn't: DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GO SEE THE NEXT ONE.
  5. So far so good, btw.