Hanging On

I hang all the cards we receive in our windows for a constant reminder of the support people send.

Next weekend it will have been 6 months since the imposter became obsessed with ending my life. 

I have a suicidal psychosis, diagnosed as having “suicidal ideation with psychotic features.” I call my suicidal thoughts “the imposter” because they feel like an alien which has taken over the right side of my brain.

I don’t want to end my life. But this is all the imposter thinks about and tries to get me to do.

Bill and I are beyond tired and stressed, both of us hanging from the end of a long rope, high above a vast canyon, not tied to the rope, but gripping it as tight as we can, hoping the last inch doesn’t slip from our grasp.

We just want this chapter to be over, for the ground to rush up to meet our feet, so we can let go of the rope and relax. 

ash tree rings
This card was sent from New York, the detail of a print (Red Ash, 2007) created by Bryan Nash Gill and documenting the life of an 82-year-old tree.

I mentioned in my previous post that the imposter’s been consistently worst (“Level 3”) each time my period approaches. This is when it wills me toward ending my life, rather than just projecting images of my suicide in my mind (Levels 1 & 2).

Two weeks ago, I had an appointment at Planned Parenthood to see about testing for hormone replacement therapy. Maybe my hormones are out of whack, and they‘ve been the cause of my problem?

Planned Parenthood suggested I first try a birth control pill, essentially stopping my period altogether. They think this could keep the imposter’s visual thoughts at Level 1 or 2. 

The best scenario, would be that the pill gets rid of the imposter altogether. 

I’m just glad to have something new to try. 

This card was sent by one of my best friends, the image printed by the Natural History Museum in 2012 (“Papilio sp, butterfly” by Edward Donovan 1768-1837).

The goal has been to find a way to keep me at a consistent Level 1 or 2, so I can then try things like EMDR, hypnosis, Shamanistic exorcism, then medical marijuana…whatever it takes to get rid of the imposter altogether.

Meanwhile, I’ve weaned off my 7th antipsychotic drug (Abilify)—which made me restless, anxious, and unable to stop moving.

It seems like me, and antipsychotic drugs, do not mix.

My next period is due sometime after tomorrow, August 28 (our 24th wedding anniversary).

We are anxious to see how I do without an antipsychotic, with just the birth control pill, to see if just before I would have had my period, I will peak again above that Level where I don’t feel safe. 

In case I do have another peak—in hopes of staying out of another psychiatric ward—my psychiatrist has prescribed an 8th antipsychotic (Seroquel), which I can take as needed.

In other words, I will take this new-for-me antipsychotic drug if it seems like the birth control pills aren’t or aren’t yet taking that Level-3 edge off.

It’s a lot of risk but we are hopeful.

Thank you, all of your for your words of support. They have been crucial in helping Bill and me hang on.

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

This is an image from a 1987 Japanese postcard, I believe the artist’s name is Voyuen. It makes me think of the imposter, on the right side of my head.


  1. Dear Amy and Bill,

    Please know that you are both in my hearts. I am doing a practice called filling my body with love. I imagine the force of love in the sky and air around me like a shower, just pouring into every cell in my body. Sometimes I use the image from a memory of a person smiling at me, offering me care or kindness. Now as I do the practice I imagine the two of yourespecailly the lovely dinner Caitlin and I shared with you and LOVE is pouring into every cell of your bodies. It is an easy practice to do any time any where, so I am stepping it up to offer it to you both many moments during the day. With love,

  2. Hang in there, Amy. It seems to me that you and Bill are doing all the right things to push that Imposter away. You know more and more as your battle with the Imposter goes on, and these new tools and knowledge will make success come sooner!

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