In the tradition of Willian Styron’s Darkness Visible and Marya Hornbacher’s Madness: A Bipolar Life, and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Josh Wickom’s Colden and Wick: Mind Intruders documents the extraordinary experience of an individual powerlessly witnessing the theft of his life by deviant alter egos.
When mild-mannered Josh Wickom retired from a successful engineering career, he and his beloved wife Ruth anticipated a life of renewed romance and enriching vacations. Instead, they and their two adult children were plunged into a three-year nightmare when Josh was submerged into the quagmire of severe depression. Then two powerful “mind intruders” proceeded to hijack Josh’s existence. First came Colden, a deeply-depressed paranoid intent on ending his own life. Then came Wick, a flamboyant concert promoter fueled by electroshock therapy-induced mania and grandiose illusions.
Unable to regain control of his own life, Josh watched helplessly as Colden and Wick steered him on a bizarre ride from bucolic Central New York State, to the steamy Mississippi Delta and New York City — with stops along the way in the county jail, a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, and divorce court.
The author’s ability to fall back on his scientific training and objectively observe and document what was happening makes his memoir a compelling read. It may also in part explain his eventual recovery.