Austin, Aspen or Beyond?
By Ray Loyd Tune
Key Themes: Mental Health, Bipolar, Manic Depression, Biography
“The author has found his way into the minds of many Americans through his most personal thoughts. Ray defines bipolar disorder through a multiplicity of various character defects, and takes us on a roller coaster of a ride through his own mind. He paints a vivid mental picture of the 60's and 70’s. With college color contrasts, and a generous amount of Colorado and Texas, he allows us to identify with his character. His intended pathos is to write a work in which identification can be made by many to the magnanimous aspects of Alcoholism/Addiction. I know, my name is Michael, and I’m an Alcoholic/Addict.”
About the Author
Ray Loyd Tune lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he manages his real estate and other investments. He received his MBA from Texas A&M, Commerce, Texas in 1978 and went on to manage operations for several Fortune 500 companies. He has written several articles for trade magazines and periodicals; he continues to work as a free-lance writer for Oil and Gas publications. Ray taught business related courses at two colleges for three years in the 1980’s.
My story is of a child who grew up with stunning successes, one after another. After a near-death experience in the late 60s however, family and friends saw changes in my personality — some immediately, some over the course of time. Me? The only change I noticed was my ability to foresee events before they occurred.
Bipolarity is not something people expect, especially if you’ve been a “good” kid. Okie born and Okie reared on a small dirt farm in the mouth of the Panhandle, I learned to appreciate what I had rather than what I wanted. Needs were simple. There was a parlor pot in each bedroom and an outhouse in the back. Sears Roebuck supplied wiping paper as well as entertainment . . . an outhouse just wouldn’t be complete without a copy of a catalogue filled with glossy pictures of women’s underwear. Life on the farm was simple and uncomplicated, never boring. Polio was the talk of the times, hitting nearly one family in each of the surrounding communities. Manic depression was unheard of, let alone bipolar disorder.
Alcohol was available through moonshiners and bootleggers but was not widely used. The strongest chemical we kept around the farm was DDT. We weren’t concerned about it at the time. Either use it or lose a crop, maybe some cattle. Vegetables and grains were 100% organic, fertilized with the best chicken shit in the land.
How could one grow up in this Utopian setting and later morph into a bipolar maniac? The transformation is so subtle, so gradual that one never suspects the storm looming over the horizon. Like the cicada, it can remain dormant for years then, one day, all hell breaks loose.
I’ve tried to come to grips with my bizarre life. What triggered the transformation? Was it the DDT? Some say perhaps the hardships of growing up poor had something to do with it. I say not. Then again, I ingested many a vial of amphetamines in undergraduate school. Was that the trigger? Was it my near-death experience? There is no doubt an NDE can — and will — radically alter one’s perception of life. It changes the perception of what is right and what is wrong; what is important and what is bullshit.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 05 April, 2012.