Jim Swain wants to take everyone on a “a spiritual journey” in his new book. Why Me? is an effort to tell his story, and acquaint readers with what experiences in his life brought him closer to God, and helped him overcoming the struggles of his past.
As a man with bipolar manic-depressive disorder, Swain found that reading about prominent people who live with the same disorder, like Margaret Trudeau, helped him see accounts different from his own experiences.
“I couldn’t identify with her – not when I grew up living in an 8X10 room, as a child, living with the same disorder,” said Swain.
In light of that disconnect, Swain took it upon himself to share his own story, to reach out to everyone else who may not have had the same experiences as high profile people suffering from the same disorder.
Why Me? starts out from an early stage in Swain’s life, where he grew up in the former Birch Hill orphanage, in Stellarton, and the process of writing of his life from that point was a difficult one.
In his book, Swain takes an unswerving look at much of the childhood pain and traumas he faced in his life, eventually finding an unshakable faith in God.
“It was difficult to put it in proper words, but I kept it short and to the point,” said Swain. “If only one person picks it up, and they realize there is hope, that’s my wish.”
In addition to exploring the hardships of living with manic-depressive disorder, Why Me? contains deeply personal spiritual revelations on the part of the author.
Swain’s profound faith in God was the result of what he calls a “burning bush moment” that took place in Monastery – one that shook him so much, he couldn’t return to the same cross in Antigonish County for two decades.
Swain said his book documents his search for his mother, for which he “did everything short of walking house to house, asking, across Nova Scotia and the west coast of Newfoundland.”
Originally, he planned to call the book Freedom Does Not Come Easy – a title that was eventually given to the final chapter. At the request of his editor, Swain went to church and meditated on what he felt would be an appropriate title. Swain said he eventually appealed to God and came up with the title Why Me? – one his editor instantly liked.
Swain said his book is dedicated to his foster father and biological mother. The official launch for the book will take place on Nov. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Father’s House Church, 400 Stewart St.