Living (for now) with my suicidal psychosis, doing puzzles keeps “the imposter” distracted.
As we separate end pieces, find pieces with certain colors, and search for shapes for specific spots, the imposter isn’t showing me what it wants me to do to end my life.
I’m coexisting with the imposter, as we figure out how to first keep it at bay, then hopefully get rid of it, or heal it, or whatever it needs to stop its obsession.
It’s like I have a roommate with me in my head—my head a small apartment for one—with two, strong, organized, control-freak women squeezed in, trying to share the same tiny space.
When I say, “I’m living ‘for now’ with my suicidal psychosis,” that’s what I mean, that my new roommate won’t be with me the rest of my life. I’ll have the whole small apartment in which to roam, spread out, and do what I want again, someday.
I think the “for now” also means I’m trying to be present. This seems the best thing to do, to take one day at a time, as me and my roommate work to get along. To live for now.
A good friend wrote (paraphrased): If taking “one day at a time” becomes too hard, you can take one hour at a time or one minute at a time.
Bill and I are doing a lot of puzzles.
Everything is harder as the medication trial and error continues and we work toward the source (the “whys”) of what’s happening to me.
Since I’ve been home (March 30 after a 2.5-week stay in a psychiatric ward), my brain doesn’t let me work more than an hour or so each day.
It took over a week to write a difficult email I’ll be sending Monday, its words recycled for much of this and a future post.
I know this too will get better.
We think this hour or so each day is my mind’s way of saying, “Focus on getting better. But here. You can have this little bit of time each day to do a little bit of what you feel you need to do.”
I still do that little bit of writing first-thing in the morning, during my peak, creative-juice time. Might as well get as much bang’s I can with the little buck.
Then it’s on to making breakfast, eating breakfast, doing a little yardwork, petting the dogs, petting the kitty, doing a little housework, making lunch, eating lunch, taking a nap, petting the dogs, petting the kitty, taking a walk, making dinner, eating dinner, doing some yoga, playing cribbage, petting the dogs, petting the kitty, watching a TV episode, and going to sleep (this is the plan, I don’t always do all of it)…
But, we always have a puzzle going on the table. As much as a visit or talk on the phone, these puzzles’ve been distracting for all of us—me, Bill, and our new roommate.
It might sound like another kind of non-stop life, but it’s not. We don’t just distract and figure out where the pieces go.
I have to stop every few hours—sit or stand and do nothing, stop moving as long as it takes, to see where the imposter is in my mind, how intense its thoughts and images are, all so I can monitor my safety and make reports to my “team,” who, with my two cents, collectively adjusts my meds accordingly.
As soon as I do nothing, my roommate’s right there with the thought, or the plan.
This said, sometimes I can be doing something and my roommate will push through. I’ll realize Bill must put that knife, or scissors away. Or, I’ll choose to eat my breakfast with a spoon rather than the fork. Or, she’ll make me look at the upper hinge on the closest open door.
I’ve been splitting my condensed writing time between what I feel are the priorities for now:
writing/responding to emails (Bill does some of this too);
writing/responding/processing my thoughts (for now for this blog, and for our Go Fund Me account);
applying for grants (much of last Sunday’s post was recycled from an emergency grant narrative I wrote in the psychiatric ward—all with a short, blunt, I-can’t-hold-long-sharp-objects pencil, each word typed at home by Bill);
and trying to finish a first-draft of my solo-biennial book’s 9th chapter.
It feels good when I write. And I’m grateful for this little bit of time my roommate’s giving me each day.
Last Sunday’s blog post was the scariest thing I’ve ever written, then shared, including my book about trauma.
But it’s been important information to share.
And, I suspect, from the amount of readership so far (1,500+ page views last week), plus the heart-felt sharing of readers’ personal experiences, responses, comments, and support, this information was important to receive.
Myself, I had no idea suicide could be something you don’t choose or decide to do.
Now I wonder if most people who’ve committed suicide couldn’t stop themselves. Did they have an imposter too?
For now, I hope to continue to write and share about this process on my blog. It’s been infinitely helpful to write this stuff out.
And, like doing puzzles, writing and sharing distracts my own imposter from its own artist plan. Thank you so much for reading and sharing this.