04 October 2008


He was my golden haired little boy. He was always smiling, always happy, always trying to catch up with his older brother. He is bi-polar. Like so many with that problem, he wont stick to a medication regime. He knows, much better than the doctors, what he needs. Or so in his delusional mind it appears.

He is currently heading for another stay in a mental ward. This will be his sixth in a couple years. This time will be different. He wont be coming home to mom and dad. I have finally had enough, and simply wont let him into our home again. He will have to, at 28, finally find his own way.

I hate this. I hate the whole crud one hears about "tough love." I hate the idea that somehow the street is better. I hate the tears from my wife, the anger I feel when he rejects medication and help.

It has to hurt, being wherever he is, with his brain dashing from obsession to obsession without any control. But he wont give up the pain because sometimes it is a high that I understand makes cocaine seem mild. He wont stop the Mary-go-round and I cannot ride it anymore. My other son and his kids live in the same building -- they and we deserve a bit of quiet.

He has slipped his moorings, and he wont come to shore. All I can do, all anyone can do is pray that something finally gets his attention.

Pray for Stephan, a lost soul on the sea of life.


Anonymous said...


I share your and your wife's pain and loss. May God give you, Stephen, and your family, strength and comfort during this difficult time. I will include all of you in my daily prayers.


Leonard said...

I'm sorry...I have it around my daily life too...the actions often leave me speechless as the mind goes from "obsession" to "obsession" I try and stay focused and leave open/create a positive space (that most always gets filled in with positive actions). I wish I could "do" something to heal and fix...but, that's the place where I can't go.

Blessings to you and yours

JimB said...

Thanks both of you.

No improvement to report, if anything he is getting worse.

Phil Snider said...


I'm very sorry to hear about your son and,certainly, I'll pray for you, your family, and your son. Mental health issues are among the harder illnesses to deal with because one of the symptoms of the disease is thinking you don't have a problem. Bi-polar and schizophrenia are among the worst for that.

I hesistate to recommend anything, but have you seen Kathryn Greene-McCreight's book, Darkness is My Only Companion. A Christian Response to Mental Illness? Greene-McCreight is an Episcopal priest who also is also bipolar and has lived through some pretty horrendous episodes before managing to stabilize. She has a section for families, but both my wife and I found the whole thing extremely helpful. In fact, I re-read it last year when one of my students were having serious mental health issues.

No book can solve the pain your feeling now, but what I liked about it is that it gave an inside look on what it is like to have a serious mental illness and it struggles with how to keep the faith in that position and for families in that position. As much as a book can help, this one might.


JimB said...


Thanks. I will look up the book. My elder son, dau-in-law and grandchildren live upstairs -- we own a two flat together. So we are all deeply impacted by Stephan's illness. Anything that helps make some sense of our universe at the moment is a good thing.

I appreciate the prayers more than I can say. As I write this, Stephan is at his psychiatrist's office. If he brings home a plan of care and meds he will take, the immediate crises will pass. If he does not, he is out. The tension here is indescribable.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dad,

Drew and I are here with you in the storm, as we look at Steve out at sea. May the Lord preserve us today and always, Amen.

"The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of Glory thundereth; the Lord is upon many waters."

Psalm 29:3

Anonymous said...

I pray for you, your son Stephen and the rest of you family. May he strengthen, guide and comfort all of you.

Obadiah Slope

Anonymous said...

More passing lurkers than just me alone are surely continuing to hold Stephen, and you and the rest of the family, in our prayers.

Kay & Sarah said...

We pray for your entire family. This is such a difficult time for you.

St Laika's

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