“Dad, am I crazy?”
Jared smiled sadly. “No.”
“I didn’t mean to… I mean… I wasn’t trying…” Tears filled his brown eyes. “Daddy, I don’t want to die.” He launched himself into Jared’s arms.
Jared wrapped his arms around his son and held him tightly as if he were three instead of twenty-three. “We’re going to beat this, kid.” He placed a kiss on his son’s head.
“By refusing to retreat. You have two choices. You can either take control of this disease or you can let it control you.” He stroked Ben’s dark hair. “Being bipolar controlled me for a long time before I even knew it. I spent most of my twenties drunk or hungover. I thought it was part of living it up in New York, but I was wrong. I became an alcoholic because I couldn’t control it, I wanted to ride the highest highs and obliterate the lowest lows,” Jared closed his eyes, unable to purge the images from that time in his life and devastated that his soon was going to face the same demons.
“I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I swear, Dad. A friend gave me some stuff to try… I didn’t know… I swear…” He sobbed into Jared’s shoulder.
“I know, kid.” He rubbed Ben’s back. “No matter what, you don’t have to go through any of it alone. I promise.”