I have no idea why I’ve never shared this before, but my wife recently made a status about it so I decided to share here.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I had bought her this cameo necklace of a black cat since she absolutely adores black cats. That’s another story though. Anyway, the new necklace was clanking against the one she mentioned in this status which was why she posted it.
It had been a frequent occurrence that I would be symptomatic, either voices talking to me or just paranoia, and would fear that Ariel was a hallucination, that my mind had dreamed her up, or that somehow she wasn’t actually my wife, but an impostor. Now, it goes without saying that all of these things are irrational thought so I will reiterate something once again that many people simply don’t understand about the mentally ill: You cannot reason with psychotic thought nor can you reason away symptoms of a mental disorder. Psychosis, simply put, is an extreme loss of touch with reality which is what causes most schizophrenia symptoms including the delusion I often have that my wife is not actually my wife. Unfortunately, many people misuse the word and when someone says something is ‘psychotic,’ they more often mean ‘psychopathic’ or ‘dangerously crazy.’ Psychosis can be dangerous, but not in the sense that is usually attributed to it by the general population.
We came up with this system after I gifted her the necklace for…to be honest, I don’t remember why I bought it for her. Anyway, she has literally worn it ever since and after talking me down during a particularly bad fit, had me take hold of it while she talked about how excited I had been to give it to her and how bad I was at keeping surprises secret. We soon decided that she would never take it off and that if it was ever off her neck or I saw “her” without it, I could know that something was truly wrong.
Guess what hasn’t happened again? Me freaking out and asking 20 questions trying to determine that Ariel was indeed herself and also a real person. Anytime I feel those thoughts returning, I simply find her and take hold of the pendant for a few moments and it’s enough to settle my mind. As well, when I have a problem with getting emotional or having a flashback or anxiety attack holding her and focusing on the pendant helps to relax me too.
Obviously it’s not a cure-all and it won’t work for everyone, but if you have similar problems, it might be worth a shot.