Staying Put or Moving On?

I’m sitting in the living room of the flat that I’ve called home for the last three years. It’s peaceful, other than the sound of muffled hip hop beats penetrating the wall from the flat next door. The distraction, which I’m quite used to, is annoying but bearable. Normally my neighbour’s routine is to start pumping out music at 1pm, gradually get more and more stoned throughout the afternoon, and then collapse into bed around 6pm (or that’s what I assume he does, as that’s when the music stops).

There’s so much that I love about living here. This flat has afforded me my first spell of peace and stability since I found myself caught up in the mental health system in 2007 after experiencing an episode of psychosis. I have moved home about five times since then, and have had four spells in hospital, so it’s been a fairly chaotic time. But my last spell in hospital was over five years ago, and I feel very blessed to have enjoyed an extended period of stability, both in terms of my mental health and my living situation.

Unfortunately, that could be about to change. My present accommodation is ‘supported’ which means I have a rolling week-to-week contract that is tied to the support I’m getting from a local mental health charity called Mind. After my last spell in hospital in 2013 I moved first into a shared house supported by Mind, and then after a year and a half I moved into my current accommodation, a self-contained one bedroom flat (also supported by Mind). The shared house was utter chaos – non-stop antisocial behaviour from several of the tenants – so I was delighted to move into a flat where I would be living alone.

I have had regular assessments from the staff at Mind since I’ve been living here, and within the mental health system supported housing is generally regarded as temporary. When you are well enough you are expected to move on. I have a review meeting tomorrow and I’m expecting I will be put under pressure to move on.

Naturally, tomorrow’s review meeting has been occupying my thoughts and prayers in recent days. I’m quite anxious about it. During times of prayer God has spoken to me and indicated he wants me to stay where I am, and so part of me feels I must trust what I hear from God and fight to stay, even if that doesn’t chime with the norms of the supported housing process, or even my instincts.

Obviously, work and finances come into the equation. I’m not going to go into the details of my financial situation on a public forum, but I’ll just say that I have some savings, though they would only be enough for me to rent privately for one-to-two years before I would need to be in full-time work or claim state benefits if I want to stay in London.

Part of me would love to be working and to own my own flat. But it would be very difficult for me to get a mortgage with my mental health condition, and it would also be difficult for me to find a suitable job because of my turbulent past and ongoing mental health problems. I have a lot of good experience and skills, but the medication which I’ve been taking now for over a decade has sadly affected my mental and physical health due to some pretty unpleasant side effects that I now live with on a daily basis.

There are many other aspects to this situation that if I were to discuss would mean a really lengthy blog post which I suspect no one would read. After all, it’s not nearly as interesting as discussing the omnipresence of God or my latest musical endeavour! But I wanted to give you this overview of my situation in the hope that some of you will pray for me, particularly over this meeting tomorrow, and that God would grant me wisdom in dealing with all of these issues. Please pray that the way forward would become clear, and that I would have peace of mind whatever happens.

Thank you so much for reading and God bless you.

To read the follow-up to this post, from after the meeting, click here.


  1. Our God is faithful. He tells us to ask for wisdom and He will answer. Wait on his direction, His word promises to be a lamp unto our feet. You will be in my prayers and know that if you seek Him you will find Him and when we listen He does provide the path. I find my problem is that I don’t always listen to well, or I assume His answer to quickly. I pray peace and a resting in whatever the outcome is and moreso a quick ear to hear and obey.

  2. That’s a tough situation and you’ve already been through so much. I’ll pray for you that all goes well, and you find some relief. God bless, Steven

  3. Hi Steven

    Thank you for sharing details about your plight that were probably not easy to state.

    I have a friend who was diagnosed as schizophrenic about 25 years ago. As a result of the new PIP regime, he lost a significant amount in his benefits. I knew that he would not cope with a full-time job and urged him to work for one day per week at a micro-brewery, as he had a degree in brewing. Although he suffers anxiety for about five of the eight hours that he works, he persists with it.

    My friend has been the Treasurer of a church for some years. The parish was sufficiently impressed with the amount of additional money he was able to save them that they offered him an honorarium which he accepted and brought his total income back to the level prior to PIP.

    I’m not advising you to follow his example but to give you information on how God can help people when appropriate prayers are offered to Him. I offer you my prayers for an outcome that will truly suit you.

    Peace and love to you,


    1. Thank you, Dinos! Yes it’s always good to remember that with God there are infinite possibilities, and as you say, He does respond to prayer. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers, and God bless you!

  4. I will begin praying as soon as I hit the “post” comment button! And I will continue to pray throughout the days ahead until you let us know what the outcome is and how God has provided. πŸ™‚ Praying for all the very best for you tomorrow, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn! It really is a great help to know you are praying for me – surely God hears all our prayers πŸ™‚ I’ll probably post an update soon, depending on how things unfold this afternoon. Blessings upon you, dear friend!

    1. Thank you so much, Nate, for your thoughtful and heartfelt prayer. It means a lot to me! Particularly the anxiety part as I am feeling pretty anxious right now. I was listening to the song ‘Good Good Father’ earlier which brought me more peace… God bless you, bro!

  5. Lord God

    You know Steven and his needs. You understand his past, present and future and you will never leave him or forsake him. I pray right now thankfulness for Steven and his spirit to move forward and not allow his circumstanced to get the better of him. During this time Lord I pray that he will continue to trust in your faithfulness and remember your goodness from his past, for we change like the wind but you are always awesome. His living situation is in your hands. Thank you that you and may the holy spirit be working in the people who work in Mind. Amen.

    Thanks for sharing Steven!

  6. I hear you brother!!! From one Londonder to another. Love the honesty of this post Steven. I decided, after I had my breakdown in 2014, I would talk about it openly. Especially to men. You’d be surprised how many conversations that’s opened up. Δ’od bless you. Glad I stumbled upon this blog πŸ™‚ Thank you.

    1. Hi Ian, pleasure to meet you. Always a joy to meet a fellow Londoner! I think it’s always best to be open, trying to conceal things is too much hard work and normally only causes problems. Thanks so much for following, will follow you back and look forward to your posts. God bless you and keep in touch!

      1. Bless you Steven. I agree. Although I grew up in Middlesex I haven’t been a ‘Londoner’ for quite some time. Lived in various parts of London but now happily settled on the border between England and Wales… overlooking the Black Mountains!! Do you get good support – Christian/churchwise?
        God bless you πŸ™‚

        1. Hi Ian, I actually went to uni in Middlesex but then immediately after I graduated began working in SW London, where I have remained since (although as I said in the post, I’ve moved around this area a lot). I’ve been to Wales a few times, I had a girlfriend who lived in Cardiff for some time and I’ve also been to Snowdonia which was truly beautiful.

          I’m not currently attending a church (if you read my About page you’ll understand why) but I do have many Christian friends and a lot of support and encouragement from Christians here on WordPress, which I appreciate immensely!

          Looking forward to interacting with you in blogland!

          Peace and blessings,


  7. Steven, I sit here among piles of boxes ready to be put into a truck and moved about 500 miles to another state. My wife and I are moving to continue to take care of her aging parents. So, I found your entry today pleasantly ironic.

    We had to make some of those difficult decisions and weigh so many consequences in our choice to relocate. Our financial and health circumstances are very different, but regardless, for anyone, moving, or just the prospect of moving pushes and stretches our faith. There’s simply too many unknowns, and so much out of our control. It’s very uncomfortable to even consider.

    I will certainly keep you in prayer. Keep us in prayer as well. We’re moving from a house to a travel trailer (8 rooms to 1). And we’re not sure how long we’ll be in that before God locates a house for us. But we know He will.

    Blessings upon you as you go through this season. Have peace knowing our Master cannot be thwarted by the decisions of His human creatures. His purpose will prevail regardless.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thank you so much for sharing a bit about your circumstances and your imminent move. I appreciate everything you said about the uncertainty and how it stretches our faith. I also agree that God’s purposes always prevail, and I will pray that God blesses every area of your move, calms any anxiety, and gives you total peace of mind as you settle in to your accommodation, and as you search for a house.

      God bless you abundantly, friend, and I trust everything will work out for you. I’d offer to help you lift all those boxes, but I think you’re a little far away for that πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰

      Prayers going up!


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