While Andy Irons’ bipolar disorder may have gone unnoticed by many for years, his notoriously loud partying habits certainly didn’t. Andy’s brother Bruce recalls a few instances when living it up chasing a good time turned into trouble, like rolling a car into the ocean and leaving it there.
The struggles of dealing with his brother weighed heavy on Bruce, especially while Andy was off touring and living the life of a pro surfer. When Andy would come home, his habits tended to take him off the rails.
Recalling the time when Andy rolled his truck into the ocean and left it there in order to make it to a party, Bruce says: “I remember the school bus the next day, I was going to school like, ‘There's my brother's truck in the water, upside down.’ And then a week later, does the same thing into the river with a different car.”
These kinds of things added up quickly, and Bruce remembers them as a form of learning for Andy. “He was living a real fast life, and he wasn't going up, he was not going up, he was going down. But I think he kind of learned from his mistakes early on, and kind of fucking flies. And kind of learned with his mistakes the best he could, because we were never really taught. Growing up, we were not really taught a lot from... I don't know, my dad, he worked a lot, a carpenter. So he gave us a nice house to sleep in, right in front of the waves, and food for dinner. But other than that, he worked a lot, so he was gone all day, and come home and he's tired and stuff.”
If you suspect you or someone you know may be suffering from a bipolar disorder, please, contact the SAMHSA national helpline.