The February Triumph

“Depression affects so many of us that it is impossible to continue to ignore. I never imagined that my story of depression would be my most eagerly awaited book for 2015″….( Patricc Fortiori)

On February 7, 2013, The Carnival Triumph set sail from Galveston, Texas on a short three day Western Caribbean tour that turned into an eight day disaster for over 3, 400 people lost at sea. The February Triumph: A Memoir chronicles this life changing event that occurred simultaneously at the height of Patricc Fortiori’s  struggle with depression. The February Triumph is the true story of his battle through depression and the disaster aboard the Triumph.

The February Triumph is closely personal and dives deeply into the depths of his struggles with depression while cut off from the world on a ship helplessly lost at sea for six days with no power, no water, no buoyancy system, no communications, no toilets or showers and no food on a ship choked with smoke and ash from an engine fire and explosion.

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The February Triumph


 Read the opening excerpt here:  Novella_Exceprt2_TheFebruary Triumph
January 2023 The February Triumph: 10 Year Anniversary 
February 2023 marks the ten year anniversary of this event.  In recognition of this mark, a Special Edition will be released.  The 10 year Special Edition includes additional content and updates since the premier release!  Don’t miss it. 
July 2019 The February Triumph: A Memoir Writing A Memoir, Part Two – The ageing process.
In Part One the basics of the memoir is compared to a fine wine, a Bordeaux. A fine wine changes its condition through a long process of fermentation and similarly, the memoir must mature. A memoir can be difficult to write because the story must also evolve and age to its most potent, palatable and unforgettable body. The February Triumph matured alongside my recognition of depression as a fiercely potent disease, one that is deeply personal and imparts an intimate frailty. The point of view of a man suffering from depression became a more full bodied story as the disaster aboard the ship, in good times and bad, fueled the disease and we began to see my depression in its different forms such as emptiness, self denial, irrational fear and anxiety. As the minutes of each day tic away aboard The Triumph and one tragic turn lead to another, the description of the depression intensified revealing these different tones.
You experience this transition in The Characters and The Cake as reality became more animated and two dimensional, emphasizing the lack of wholeness and connection to people, hallmarks of depression in men. This is the ageing process of a memoir and for The February Triumph it occurred as my depression moved away from its broad general base to one, two or three very specific descriptions and triggers.
June 2017 The February Triumph: A Memoir   Writing A Memoir, Part One- A fine Bordeaux. A memoir is different from an autobiography. They are both true stories of a real person’s life and include a historical rendition with few embellishments and may include the subject’s perspectives, feelings and thoughts. A memoir is different in that it is driven by a singular event in a shorter time frame than the years of an autobiography’s life time. A memoir is also different in that conveys a very specific emphasis on a feeling, emotion, psychological or societal condition. Shortly after the tragedy aboard the Triumph, within minutes, details on what we experienced emerged in short pulses of saved tweets, blogs and posts. But, when do you write a memoir? Is the time frame of when it is written significant? In fact it is! The closer we are to when the story occurred the more likely we are to report the events of the story and that is usually underscored by a broad emotional response to the immediate situation. An important factor in a memoir is the maturing of the story’s usually singular emphasis. Compare a memoir to the aging of a fine wine, a Bordeaux. Time, is a maturing factor in both and makes the story, like the wine, better by smoothing out the one high emotional tone into separate more definable peaks. The memoir becomes refined and ripens to include feelings, perceptions and reactions to a persons fear, hope, love, despair and happiness. This sometimes subtle maturing process gives a memoir its very particular and specific shape, or body, and like a Bordeaux this takes time. In Part 2 of Writing a Memoir, The February Triumph we’ll consider the effects of the ageing process.  May 2017 Introducing The February Triumph: A Memoir   A memoir has always been on the list for me, but I felt it would be very far off into to the future, somewhere near when all the ink has run out of the pen, if you know what I mean.
Suddenly there was The Triumph, the ill fated February 2013 sailing out of Galveston Texas touring the Western Caribbean. In the early morning hours of Sunday, February 10, a fire and explosion occurred that crippled and disabled the ship leaving it stranded in Atlantic Ocean far off the Yucatan Peninsula. It was a perilous time and dangerous experience as the incompetence of Carnival Company was as wide and deep as the Gulf of Mexico itself. The ship was completely disabled with no propulsion, no buoyancy system, no communication, no plumbing, no running water and no ventilation.  Food supplies ran dangerously low as urine and feces saturated the floors and walls. An author’s dream right? If it’s a horror story – yes! Days later, amid a quite vivid anamnesis, I was propelled back to that week as I recognized it as the absolute height of my depression, an ascension I was propelling shortly before going aboard. More than 18 months in the creation, The February Triumph: A Memoir chronicles this life changing event at sea that occurred simultaneously with my struggle with depression.
Depression is a dangerous disease.
In 2013, over 41,000 people committed suicide due to depression and many, many more continue to function at high levels of impairment, but there is always hope for relief. The February Triumph is dedicated to that hope for me, Angelica and to the memory of Robin Williams.
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