Earlier this century (I actually can't remember exactly when; see below) Mary and I (mostly "I") started a portrait studio and shortly thereafter went out of business.

The whys and wherefores are both simple and complex.

Simple:
   I got sick.

Complex:
    I'm bipolar, but wasn't officially diagnosed until very late in life. I'm BP I, rapid cycling, with mixed moods (being high and depressed at the same time). In my case, I was apparently mostly hypomanic (not quite manic) for most of my life, and only hit real mania occasionally. And I was seldom badly depressed, and when it did come on it only lasted a short time.

The symptoms of mania/hypomania include (from WebMD)

Only three or more symptoms are needed to suggest mania, and I suddenly had all of them. There are other symptoms associated with mania, including hallucinations and memory loss. I had all these, too.

So I quit a job I'd had seventeen years and decided to open a portrait studio. Never even discussed it with Mary, just did it. Within a year I managed to burn through all our savings and retirement accounts. Mary said "We all thought something was wrong, but you seemed to be having so much fun." Haha.

Then I crashed, and crashed hard. My affect went to extreme depression, without lingering any time at all at "normal". Then I got high, then low, then high again. I was cycling over periods of a week or less and finally ended up staying in bed for over a week. That's when I told Mary to get me an appointment with somebody, anybody, before I went absolutely crazy.

Short story from there: I finally got diagnosed, treated, and now eat a small handful of pills every day to keep me close to normal, although I still get somewhat hypomanic and and a bit depressed.

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