A daughter recounts the difficult experience of getting her bipolar father the help he needed to get better:
I could feel everyone getting tired. The emergency-screening service kept sending the same patient to the psychiatric hospital, only to see him again the following week. The hospital had to baby-sit for a man who refused to comply with treatment. I made dozens of phone calls and was getting nowhere. The only people who hadn’t succumbed to fatigue were my mother, though her fingers were cramped from praying so many rosaries, and the local police, who had no choice in the matter. The same roster of officers responded to each call, shepherding my father from the street to the emergency room to PESS to jail, and periodically driving past my mother’s house to make sure things were calm. I worried that before long they, too, would give up and release my father, on his own recognizance, to the street.
And then what?
I imagined him circling a drain, the pull of love and obligation dragging my mother and siblings and me behind him.