Since last week, I had a few “ok” days in there. Last night, the suicidal ideation was back, but this time instead of being coupled with depression it was coupled with overwhelming fear. I tried to stay present with grounding techniques, positive self-talk, meditation, but nothing was dialing the emotions down, not one little bit.
I asked internally if anyone wanted to write, draw, color, paint, or collage. I went to my art supplies and hit a big wall of resistance. That wasn’t happening.
Finally, I took some PRNs, picked up the phone and left our therapist, K., a voicemail. Then, I collected our journal and did some cluster journaling. That finally seemed to (albeit very slowly) dial things down a notch.
This morning, K. called us back.
"Good morning, Nel, I hope I didn't wake you." She said calmly.
"Oh, no you didn't. I'm awake."
"I wanted to call you because you said you were a 4 on your Crisis Continuum last night. And you were dealing with suicidal ideation again."
I awkwardly shifted in my recliner chair in the living room, clutching my cell phone a bit tighter, "Yah. Yah that's where I was at. I had to seriously sedate myself to get some sleep."
"Did you sleep through the night?" K. asked.
"Yes." I responded. "No problems there."
"Good." She replied, "I need to know what our plan is here. I'm concerned about the suicidal ideation. Has there been any intention or plan?"
"No." I responded confidently, and I wasn't lying. As far as I have been aware, it's just been this oppressive feeling overwhelmingness and wish for death. "Nothing like that. I ... uh...." Long silence while I checked internally, and K. is used to these silences. She just politely waits. "I'm not sure what we should do."
"Well, we can have another session before Saturday to address the suicidal ideation." She offered, "Or I can check in with you for 5-10 minutes on the phone periodically outside of your work hours, to see if you need any assistance with grounding."
"I don't know." And I really don't. I'm just getting a blank nothing from inside.
"Ok, how about I'll be checking my voicemails after your work hours, so that if you leave me a message during the day, I'll know to call back that evening." She offered.
"That sounds ok." I answer flatly.
"And one more thing," She jumped in. "I had another thought."
Now I was curious, "Oookay."
"I know you said you're getting resistance from doing any drawing." She paused, "What if instead of using drawing as expression, you draw something that is comforting for little ones?"
"Oh, kind of like safe place imagery?" I asked.
"Kind of. But it doesn't even need to be detailed. It could just be drawing a picture of a stuffed animal." She offered.
So, there we are. Back to basics. Can’t even draw to express, so let’s draw generic safe things. Sigh, I get her point, to allow parts to see we care, to see comforting images, and promote a feeling a safety. It really is all we can do right now, so she’s right about that.
Right now I just keep on breathing.