I found out I have Bi-Polar Disorder two weeks after I was ordained a deacon. It started several years earlier with a breakdown while I was on a trip to Appalachia with two high school classmates and a Franciscan Brother. We were off to save the world.
It was there I began that roller coaster ride from manic behavior to deep depression. I spent days eating and sleeping too little and praying too much. In my mind I thought that if I ate less, there would be more for the poor. If I prayed more, I would be holy. I wanted to be a saint and decided that I would kill myself in the process if need be.
Within two weeks I was on a flight back to New York with some unknown illness. I had lost a lot of weight, I wasn't sleeping, I experienced delusions, and I rambled on about anything. The plane ride only added to my agitated state. When I arrived home, my parents took me to a psychiatric hospital.
I spent a long and painful month in the hospital. The goal was to slow the chemical imbalance in my brain ...1