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From the middle of June through the beginning of July, I will get to spend about 2 weeks with my brother, which is unusual. Since I got married almost 13 years ago, we have lived in different locales and for much of it, the closest we have been is a 10 hour car ride. Add in kids and spouse work schedules and our own work schedules (which, for me, often included Sundays) and we do not get to see each other a lot. But, where there is a good jamband show, there is a way.

So, now he lives outside of Denver. He was here in Northern Indiana last week, combining a trip home with seeing our beloved Cubs at Wrigley Field and seeing an epic Phish show at the same venue. (Picture of my brother and I with my dad below). We had a blast. And our kids, along with our sisters’ kids, had a grand time playing together. We only missed his wife being here, as she had to put some bread on the table.

Now it’s my turn. I travel on July 1 to Denver to see my brother and his family for a few days…and to see Umphrey’s McGee at the very famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. It’s my first Red Rocks show and I am really excited to see Umphrey’s for two nights (did I mention it is a two-night stand that also includes Dweezil Zappa one evening and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead the next). It’ll be great because, even if all the bands have an off night, they are still killer live acts. I’m really looking forward to it.

The trip also comes with some trepidation though. Traveling as someone with bipolar and anxiety is not an easy task. I am dependent on the rhythm that governs my life. Without that, I tend to spiral (the funny thing being that I’m not a real fan of structure, but it is necessary to my recovery). I know rhythms will be messed up already by going to the concerts at night. My sleep will be a little off, as it was last week. And that can cause some issues, even with my sleeping pills. And speaking of sleeping, doing so in new places with new noises can be terrible, even though my brother and his wife will be gracious hosts and do everything to help.

In addition to sleep, there is the fun with my meds. My meds make me quite sick to my stomach some days. It can be terrible and seem like the flu. I am used to it and so is my family, but others aren’t and it can be a tad worrying. It’s also worrying to me about taking my meds. It’s easy for me to forget when I’m not in my space, doing my thing, when I’m not in my normal rhythm. 

This is all to say nothing of the issues that would arise if, God forbid, I spiral downward or upward. The idea of someone else having to deal with that is seriously anxiety inducing. My depression results in some real pain and feelings of nothingness, emptiness. Going through it sucks terribly but it is made worse by others being there and around. And what if I have to go to the hospital or some such thing. I have tried to put contingencies in place, but these are all sticking points when I travel. 

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a good trip. I’m looking forward to the concerts, of course, but I’m also looking forward to seeing my brother and his family in their environment, to see their house, to experience their world. But, being mindful of my illness, the trip also induces some trepidation. But, I’ll be ok.