We are on our way to Mammoth Mountain, high on the eastern desert side of the Sierras, for a week of downhill mountain biking. I’ve never had great balance and divalproex sodium (Depakote) makes my inherent klutziness even worse. So I’ll be sticking to beginner slopes. My husband and son, though, will be risking life and limb. They are dare-devils through and through. Besides, they are both quite athletic. My son has always had a gift for balance, physical balance that is. I would not describe any of us as zen-like. We are a small household of sensitive stimulus-reactive folk, living on a tautly woven web where each of us affects the others.
When my husband and I were first dating, before I had the definitive diagnosis of bipolar disorder type II, my boss described the two of us (my then boyfriend and me) as two thoroughbred horses chomping at the bit straining to break free of the gate and start flying down the race track. Now we are three race horses; though, medication slows me down.