Bed Bound (Part 4)

This is my favorite Christmas present, my Princess Leia hat. Bill’s mom gave it to me. I feel like a warrior princess. Part of the involuntary movement I’ve been experiencing is that my eyes open wide and I space out.

For 10+ months, I’ve had what doctors have been calling a suicidal psychosis

I don’t want to end my life. But, 24 hours a day my brain shows me suicidal images, unless I’m distracted.

I call these suicidal images “the imposter” because they feel like an alien has taken over part of my brain.

Lately, the images are less seeing myself end my life from the outside, and more seeing myself end my life from the inside.

For example, if I’ve hung myself in a doorway, I now see out my own eyes as it’s happening. It’s more real.

I’ve been in bed, bedbound the past 17 weeks. I thought this was because after these many months of images, my brain needed to shut down. But now I’m not so sure.

The imposter’s horrific images, are now accompanied by a more and more frequent and intense, involuntary movement of my body–mostly face, neck, shoulders, upper torso.

It’s worst when I am extra-fatigued, or in any environment where there are multiple people, or lots of activity, or lots of simultaneous input. 

It’s like now the imposter is on the outside too, for everyone to see.

I’ve been trying to put into words what it feels like now that people can see the imposter on the outside of me. I don’t yet have all the words. But here are some:

I feel vulnerable as the movement is happening, in a way I’ve not felt before. It’s like my body has no skin or muscle, that everyone who can see me this way, can see inside of me, right into my chest.

And, I notice that some of the people who see me like this, wish they weren’t seeing me this way–they wish they could take it away, wish they could banish the imposter forever. They look uncomfortable.

Most do their best to talk to me just as they always have. Others talk to me through Bill.

Bill will be sitting next to me, and instead of talking to me directly, they will talk to Bill about me in the third-person, as if I can’t hear them talking. But, I hear and understand everything.

My first appointment with a neurologist, is February 9th. We’re anxious and praying the doctor will know what’s wrong.

My intuition is telling me, that whatever’s been causing this suicidal imposter in my brain these 10+ months, is also the cause of these physical symptoms. 

As scared as we are, we’re still optimistic that we’ll figure this out, that we’ll get through this.

If you have interest in making a donation: https://www.gofundme.com/living-and-medical-expenses-for-amy (there are also several drawings available as well as new “Perpetual Yard Sale” items).

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24-hour): 1-800-273-8255

17 Comments

  1. Amy, I read your posts every time you send them. I haven’t responded. We were in a show together but I don’t think we ever met. We almost did one time when I was in a show in Maine but for reason, we didn’t connect. I’ve always enjoyed seeing your installations documented. My heart goes out to you and look forward to seeing more art when you get better.

    1. Thank you so much Thomas. I look forward to making more work too. I know it will happen. Thanks again for this encouragement.

    1. Hi Asherah, Thank you so much for your words. Yes, it has seemed incredibly important to share this information, the idea that suicide is not always a choice, and maybe rarely. xo

  2. Amy, your candid and clear writing about your experience shows so much strength and courage. You are a warrior princess! So much love to you and Bill and doggies.

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement. Through all of this I have been so grateful that I can still think and process. See you soon xoxo

  3. I was so happy to see the Sunday morning blog in my inbox today. Even happier to see you in that hat! Sad to read what you’re going through…you’re in my heart & I pray for a helpful diagnosis that will lead to resolution. I’m here & I love you guys.

  4. Amy, thank you for sharing your words and wisdom. I think about you often. Your “installations” of writings are a most powerful emotional and physical journey that you have allowed us to witness. Your artist self speaks.

    1. Hi Berri, Thank you so much for your thoughts. I know they help. And thanks for that thought that these writings have been installations. That is helpful too. xo

  5. Your contortions sound like a form of Dystonia, rather fitting as the rest seems to be wiring gone a muck so to speak. I suffer dystonia symptoms and hate that visibility.
    Amy I am sorry you are struggling so and hope you can find some balance and peace.

  6. I haven’t commented much only because there are really no words other than “love you.” But it occurred to me last night that I know the imposter, only it tries to kill my creativity, not “me”, with doubt and feelings of being literally an imposter in just about everything I do. It is crippling in many ways. You have astounding creativity and endurance. It will never die, and so the imposter went for much higher stakes. I know that you won’t let it win. Love to you and Bill, always.

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