1000 pieces: breaking down and rebuilding

I’ve been completely free from the voice in my head for two weeks now.
It’s such an immense relief!
For a long time I thought I would never be free. That I would never again have a normal life (well, what used to be normal for me, anyway).
The original prognosis was that since it was an acute psychotic breakdown caused by serious sleep deprivation (don’t try to go a week without sleep!), it should resolve itself in 2-3 months. That would’ve been January 2013. None of the psychiatrists I’ve been in contact with understand why it’s taken so long.

When I had my breakdown in November 2012, I felt that I was torn to pieces by the voices which never left me alone. They talked incessantly; every minute of every hour of ever day. I heard the same tormenting voices for 7 months. There was no room for me in my own head. I felt like a prisoner in my own mind, unable to think my own thoughts because of the never ending noise. Nothing I did blocked the voices out completely.
I felt like I was torn into a thousand pieces, that I became just a physical shell with nothing whole inside. I lost my self; I didn’t know who I was any more. I didn’t know where or how to begin to put my self back together again.
It’s a terrible experience to loose control of you own mind.

With a change in medication in May 2013, the old, tormenting voices went away. A new voice took their place, but it was mostly a kind voice. It was actually an insidious voice; it made me want to listen to it. It never shut up, though. For months I actually thought it was Loki talking to me. I should’ve known it wasn’t, because the voice always talked/chanted to a set rhythm, and the few times I had heard Loki speak to me, He spoke in a normal manner.
I had read that some people who hear voices manage to do better if they engage the voice in conversation, so that is what I did, for months. Now I know that a better strategy would have been to work on ignoring the voice, but hindsight is 20/20.
I did begin to work on blocking it out during the day, though. I found that having an external focus on something, like reading or playing computer games, helped me block the voice out. Then I tried to deal with the voice by saying that I would give it an hour every evening, where I would talk with it. It didn’t help; it still wouldn’t shut up during the day, unless I was very focused on something else.

The turning point came in early November when I heard Loki say to me “that is enough!” while I was talking with the voice in my head one evening. I understood that He meant that I shouldn’t engage the voice. I realised then that the voice wasn’t Loki’s.
From then on, I worked on blocking the voice out. I spent my entire day reading and playing games, and I took no pauses to listen to and engage the voice, like I had done before. And after a couple of months this strategy began to pay off. The voice became fainter, and stopped bothering me during the day. I began to find room to think my own thoughts, again. I also discovered that it was possible for me to meditate again. My mind stayed quiet for the half hour I meditated. Then I began to only hear the voice early in the morning, shortly after getting up, and in the evening when I had gone to bed.

And now I’ve been voice free for two weeks.
I finally have room to think again, and I have a bit more energy which I can use on other things than blocking the voice.
I can finally begin to rebuild my self, and not only rebuild; I’m at a point where I can remake myself. I can choose what kind of person I want to be.
When everything shattered, both the positive and the negative parts of me were broken.
I can choose to let go of old issues; of anger, pain, and resentment.
I can choose to focus on things like patience, gratefulness, mindfulness and compassion.
I can consciously choose to treat others how I’d want to be treated myself.
I can choose to live in the present, to let go of the part of the past which was unnecessary baggage, and to not worry about the future.

I’ve been having very symbolic dreams lately about laying a jigsaw puzzle.
The puzzle box has “1000 pieces” written on it. The rest is grey; there’s no image of how the puzzle is supposed to look like to be used as a guide. The image in the puzzle is always an abstract painting with only a few colours. I manage to lay the first pieces of the frame, but the rest is chaos.
In the last dream I had half of the pieces were gold, the rest different shades of purple and blue. After finishing the frame, I got impatient. I took half a dozen pieces and forced them halfway together. Then I borrowed Thor’s hammer, and tried to hammer the pieces into fitting with each other. That turned out to be an exercise in futility; the hammer didn’t make as much as a dent in the pieces.
These dreams are very clear messages. I need to be patient in rebuilding myself. It has to be a natural process – it takes the time it takes – and I can’t force the it.

 

 

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About Amber Drake

AKA Darkamber.
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One Response to 1000 pieces: breaking down and rebuilding

  1. Pingback: Oops… | Fire and Ink

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