Rearing it’s Ugly Head… Again.

So recently I just switched my meds from Abilify to Latuda because the abilify made me gain too much weight.  I swear it’s a constant battle with meds and weight.  But i’m also on Zoloft for depression. Abilify clearly boosted the zoloft and now that im not abilify anymore the anti depressant isn’t working as well and im feeling the side effects.

what I want people to know is this SOMETIMES DEPRESSION IS A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE and I DONT HAVE A REASON FOR FEELING DEPRESSED.  I simply can’t help it or control it. There wasn’t anything that HAPPENED to make me feel this way. It’s simply the medication not being right and chemicals in my brain not being balanced.

Yes, things are good in my life, but what I want people to know is depression can hit at anytime, even things are going well. Thats what makes the plummet so hard, things are going well and then the black veil of depression comes over everything you care about and like to do. It’s like your on a train and then you go into a dark tunnel at random and you can see the light at the end but can’t quiet grasp it.  its a cruel feeling really, one big tease.It’s like having a bunch of good days or even months and then BAM out of the blue it hits. But this time it wasn’t out of the blue. The medication was clearly doing something right. But I also have to think of my weight and my health. This is one of those things that people don’t talk about much with depression is the fine balance it takes to find the right combination of medications that help, but that are also safe.

I may have to try a different anti depressant, which may mean feeling crappy for a while.  So if I don’t reach out or am as talkative, it’s not you. I promise.  Depression tells you lies that aren’t true.  I know logically they aren’t true, but they FEEL true. It tells you that you don’t matter, that you have nobody who cares or loves you, or that your not a good person, boring, unstable, nothing will get better (you get the picture) etc etc.

What I try to hold on in these dark moments are the good moments. But sometimes those slip away too. The fog that goes along with depression makes it hard to conjure up those things. So if anyone reading this can just give me kind words of support, I could really use that right now.  A happy memory that you have with me, something I did that mattered to you, just anything really.  Every little bit helps.  Thank you in advance.

Kay

Change, heartbreak, and self love.

So it’s been FOREVER since I updated in here. So sorry for the long hiatus! As the title reflects, there has been a lot of change in the last 3 months. Most of it is on a personal level and really getting right with myself.

First thing I want to point out is that my OCD (of which is why I started this blog) is mostly under control these days and i’m doing great!  I only see my OCD therapist as needed and or call her if I get too stuck for my own good.  Yes, the intrusive thoughts still happen, but whats CHANGED is how i’ve learned and continued to react or in this case not react. I’ve learned on  a gut level that these thoughts aren’t me, they do not define me, and thus they don’t deserve the attention I was once giving them.  Yes, I still get nervous in new situations, but i’ve learned to see it as opportunity for growth.

I guess thats another common thing in the last few months, is GROWTH. One thing nobody really tells you or prepares you for is that sometimes growth hurts and comes in many forms.  The first way that I got to experience this is in my trauma therapy.  In the last 6 months i’d say i’ve done some of the hardest work of my life. Through lots of tears, and even laughs, i’m happy to say I feel like i’m on the other side of this 10 year storm i’ve been weathering on and off.  EMDR therapy and my therapist knowing how to work with people like my self who have DID has made all the difference. So much so that we are all thinking (my parts and I) of integrating even more then we are now. This means becoming even a fuller person then I am now.  The parts and I have processed enough trauma that I now don’t need them to be separate beings of my personality. They’re jobs or roles are coming to a close.  Now some of you may be thinking, oh this sounds sort of sad, aren’t you going to miss them? Well yes and no. The way I like to think of it is, my personality is like a pie. With a pie you have ingredients right? Sugar, flour, water, egg etc etc. Think of each part in a DID system as an ingredient. They serve an individual purpose on their own as well as being mixed together. The way we see integration is like this, once the trauma is processed and dealt with, those ingredients can start coming together into a delicious pie. So one part is the sugar, and mixes with the egg and flour, which are other parts. And sooner or later, you have a completed baked pie which is me Kay as the full fledged personality that you see walking around today. So just like in the pie, the parts inside aren’t really gone, they are just in a different form.  This is just my experience and personal understanding of it, but this is why i’m not sad. Parts that were once separate, and now in the totality of the pie, I see them there, their traits, their likes and dislikes have become mine too.   This may be a hard concept to someone who doesn’t have DID but one thing is true, it takes a LOT of work in therapy to get to this point. I’ve worked my entire life thus far to get to this point of being okay with not just the possibility of full or almost full integration, but it actually becoming a reality.  Because i’ve made so many gains and strides in trauma therapy, I see my therapist now as needed also.  Usually when something comes up inside that we want to work on that could lead to further integration down the line. Integration happens on it’s own for us, it’s not forced, its natural and sometimes it takes time and sometimes its a quick process.

Now the new thing to get used to is a life without so much therapy in it. Both OCD and trauma therapy. These breaks in therapy have allowed me to look at things about myself that I didn’t have the time or energy for because it was consumed by all this other stuff. One of the things I’ve taken a hard look at about myself is how I am in and view romantic relationships.  I now understand this one thing: because of my abandonment issues from my trauma i’ve been jumping relationship to relationship and moving very quickly. One of two things happen (and maybe some of you out there can relate) 1. You jump in too quickly and find out the person isn’t who you thought they were, because you didn’t take the time to really know them, so you break it off with them, or 2. your afraid of getting hurt by them in some way so you leave the relationship before they can abandon you.   For me personally i’ve had both things happen. I’ve been doing a lot of dating the last 3 months and just realized i’m not getting what I want in a relationship because of HOW i’m going about them.  I had to take a long hard look at this pattern and why i’ve been doing it this way. And the reason is actually probably pretty common : we all want to be loved and cared for by someone.  But what i’ve realized is, I can’t  1. make anyone love or care for me, 2. I have to love myself first, and 3. I don’t need to settle.  Now these three lessons came at a high cost: for the first time in my life I experienced true heartbreak. Nobody prepares you for what that feels like and how awful it is. Being in love with someone and then finding out for various reasons you can’t be together, is something there is no handbook for.  I have never felt so horrible in my life.  But here’s why: for the first time in my life, I saw how I should be treated by  a romantic partner. For the first time I was seen as worthy, and for my kindness and compassion, and strength and smarts (all his words). I was seen for the real me, flaws included. But in the mist of heartbreak, i’ve learned one thing, I now know what I want more then ever, and the bar is set high, but above anything else, I need to NOT jump into another relationship.  I need to take the time to grieve the loss and go through the emotions.  I see why people jump from person to person, they don’t want to feel the pain of heartbreak, but I dare say, it’s necessary. I’ve learned so much about myself in these last few weeks.  Without the heartbreak, I wouldn’t know my own strength, my own capacity to see another point of view, and most of all I would have never understood my own self worth and that i’m worthy of love.  So as weird as it is to say this, I have to thank that person and for breaking my heart because now I know what I deserve and what i’m looking for moving forward. This person has allowed me to take time to pause and really see myself for who I am, and what better gift is there then that of self love?

So it’s been a whirlwind of things in the last few months, but I am a better and different person because of it. My OCD and depression are managed, I’m doing very well in school, I’m becoming a fuller person and needing therapy less and less and I got to discover self love.  There’s never a dull moment in my life, is there?

Stay tuned for exciting developments and what the future holds is bright and full of surprises!

Kay and Co.

 

 

 

Lessons Learned and Enjoying The View

So I broke it off with my boyfriend of almost a year. The details don’t really matter, beyond the fact that he just started showing his true colors and basically accused me of trying to change him, not caring about him, and me being a last ditch effort to settle down cuz he was “tired of looking”.  All this truth came out when he was pressured to tell me how he really felt.  All because he couldn’t be honest and say he didn’t want to go home with me to meet my family and friends. There were other things that made me end it too, but in the end I learned some valuable lessons, and that has made it slightly easier to move on little by little.

Lesson 1- I need someone who’s financially independent (has a job, own place, car etc). It’s not about the money, or material things,  it’s about being able to be independent and take care of yourself.

Lesson 2- I need someone who values family and friendships as much as I do. This means, someone who is close their family and values their family and friends. This lesson was really important to learn, because i’ve dated people that ultimately were trying to isolate me from my family and friends, and that’s a huge red flag that I now know what it looks like.

Lesson 3- I need someone who isn’t socially inept.  I need someone who is social like me, and who knows how to carry on a conversation, goes out and does things, likes to try new things and go on adventures.  I’ve realized about myself, that I am quiet a free spirit  and need someone who can be spontaneous and complement that aspect of me.

Lesson 4- That my next relationship needs to be with someone who I build a solid foundation with as a FRIEND first before anything else. Not jump right into the romantic relationship side of things.  I’ve made this mistake, and i’ve finally realized that this is truly needed, and not just some cliqshay that I have heard through out my life.

Lesson 5-  Most of all- I need some Me time first before ANY of this can happen. Enjoy the single life. Not tie myself down.  Really discover who I AM now that i’ve cleared out all of the trauma and toxic-ness in my life. Figure out what I want, what i’m about. What do my goals look like right now? Right now, it’s just sitting back and relaxing and enjoying the view of all my hard work of personal growth (which doesn’t ever really stop).

So as much as breakups suck, there’s always room for a few lessons to be learned. I am giving myself permission to grieve the loss, and what will never be, the good times (it wasn’t all bad), and just not be hard on myself.

In the end, I took a bold step, (not an easy one at that) and didn’t settle and loved myself enough to know that I deserved better.  And what more can you ask for then that?  Each day I learn that i’m worth more and more and that I deserve nothing but the best in my life.  I’ve worked too hard to settle for “good enough”.

Signing off,

Kay

Breakthrough In Therapy

So for those of you who don’t know, therapy is one BIG process that goes up and down and back up and back down and up again.  This is especially true when doing EMDR which is a specific therapy for trauma and PTSD where the client processes memories or stressful events and looks at their cognitive distortions or negative self beliefs (im not worthy, i’m not safe, i’m stupid) and puts it into a more adaptive perspective.  This is what i’ve been doing for the last year or so with memories from my Russian days and other things from growing up. Not all memories are as traumatic as others, and the way you typically start out with EMDR therapy is that you start with the lesser trauma’s and work your way up to the bigger ones. The one’s that really effect you and change you as a person. The reason for this is that theoretically, (and this has been my experience) you become stronger and more able to handle processing more traumatic events.

So why explain this all? What’s the point?  Well, let me tell you, today I processed the worst trauma of my Russian days. My entire life in terms of therapy has been to get to THIS moment, to be STRONG enough to process and adaptivelly change my thinking about my own self worth and how I feel about myself. This is no small thing and at the risk of traumatizing my readers, i wont share the memory, but just know, its taken me years to be able to face this memory.  This is a VICTORY. That sounds funny to say considering how crappy I felt and continue to feel after therapy today. But I know that it can only go back up from here. I can learn to move forward and move on to my present day life.  Or better stated, be 1000% present in my current life, rather then having one foot back in the past. And that is the true breakthrough- breaking away from the past and leaving it behind, to fully be in the present.  I’m excited for what’s next: the future.

 

 

 

Social Anxiety and Depression

Can’t believe another almost 2 weeks went by without a blog post!

I’ll be candid with all my readers, i’ve been avoiding writing here because I feel like it should always be uplifting and have some sort of lesson or something that you all can take away, and frankly I haven’t found that one topic to write about that fits that description.

But here’s what i’ve been dealing with my life and maybe someone out there won’t feel as alone in their struggle too.

I’ve first been dealing with social anxiety again. Not because of OCD unwanted thoughts though.  Just more of like a panic feeling? More of like a dread of having to interact with people.  I get all nervous and unsure of myself when I have to talk face to face with someone.  It’s becoming something that I think I’m going to get help for, because i’ll tell you guys one thing, I DON’T like it, it’s NOT me.  I shouldn’t be having a hard time talking to people and those I love around me.  It just shouldn’t be the case.  This social anxiety I thought was getting better because I had friends visit from NH and I did REALLY good socially and everything with them and the various people we met along the way. But for some reason this week, it’s like none of that ever happened, or the fact that I went to a church event 2 weeks ago, it’s like that never happened either. Even talking to my trauma therapist has become somewhat of a struggle because of the anxiety.  So I’m going to be seeing my OCD therapist to help me with social anxiety and panic.

The other thing I want to talk about and demystify for people is depression.  Yes, i’ve been depressed and yet I have nothing to be depressed over in the current day life.  I want to put it out there that this is a chemical imbalance and I understand that this is why i’ve been feeling this way. But I carry shame around it and feel like I can’t talk to other’s about it because my life is good right now, how can I possibly be depressed?!  Well it’s clearly chemicals in my brain that aren’t right. So i’m going to take control of this before it gets out of control, and go see my psychiatrist and have her up my antidepressant and maybe even let me take anti anxiety meds again as needed. So i’m taking the control back and doing something about it.

So I guess what I want people to know is if your suffering from either anxiety or depression, your not alone, and try your best not to carry the shame that I am trying to get rid of myself.  It’s not your fault, there is nothing wrong with you, and there is help out there.  The first step is admitting that I have felt this way, and now the second thing is to act on it and use my support systems and health care professionals to help me get over this with more ease.

so without apologizing for the fact that this wasn’t a “happy” post, i’ll sign off here. Because after all, i’ve got nothing to apologize for.

Kay

Completed A Huge Goal- God is Good!

It’s seriously too long in between posts when I write in here!  It’s been crazy busy though to be fair! Lets see, I finished my current term in school and should be getting A’s in both my psych class and my English class. So that’s pretty awesome because I get to keep my 4.0 average.  Next term starts the week after next and i’m kinda nervous about it, not gonna lie, because I have to take Biology-intro to anatomy and physiology.  Not my strong suit. But i’m going to get a tutor so that’s gonna be my safety net to make sure I pass with at least a B.  If I get the A, great, but i’ll be more then happy with a high B.  So we’ll see how that goes as the new term starts and continues on.

I’m very excited because two of my best friends are coming to visit in 3 days! I haven’t seen my best friend in over a year!  I’ll also be going home with my boyfriend in May til end of june so will see them again then!  It’ll be here before I know it!  We are going to go to a Bingo night together with my uncle, his friend, and my boyfriend. Should be a good time out on the town, and then after we’re going to stay over with my friend’s and have a mini party!  I can’t wait to catch up with my bestie!

So as some of you have read, as part of my OCD it’s really difficult for me still to socialize in NEW situations. Situations where i’m familiar with the people and setting I do okay. But yesterday I did a big exposure (ERP) on myself by going to a church event with new people and in a new place….and… i’m happy to report that I did it and was successful!   This is huge for me because I have been here in my new home for over a year and I’ve only made 2 solid friends.  Not that numbers count, but it’s to say that I have a really hard time socializing sometimes because of Harm OCD thoughts. I get unwanted thoughts and images of hurting those around me. These thoughts are disturbing and make it so I don’t want to be around new people.  But yesterday I was feeling like I could go to this church event and be okay, and it was okay!  It was a mixture of worship, prayer, bible study, and fellowship (socializing) afterwards.  I cannot explain how difficult this would have been for me a few short months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do it at all.  Not only did I go, but I introduced myself, and I read part of the bible as part of the group discussion.  The people there were so nice and welcoming, and it was SO nice to feel like I was with Like minded people.  I learned so much too about one topic that I knew very little about.  It made me appreciate the personal goal I have of completely reading the bible cover to cover.   What I learned about myself is that i’m stronger then I think I am, and with perseverance and practice, I can accomplish my OCD therapy goals. What’s more is, I did this without my OCD therapist! (Which reminds me she’d love to know!). No coaching, no prepping, nothing. All by my own power.   I had a friend too that gave me encouragement as I went along with the event and getting there. Was super nice of my friend to support me through this process.  I prayed to G-d that things would turn out, and they turned out wonderfully! Next goal is to go to woman’s bible study or sunday bible study, just depending on the timing.  This gave me momentum to continue to get involved in my church.  My tri-fekta goal is to eventually sing in the choir at church but that’s a way off yet.   I need to build up to that. But going to WNL event at church was a good start!

That’s the main thing I wanted to share with you all!

Kay and Co.

 

School, Relationship, DID and Life- Balancing Act

Wow, so it’s been 11 days since I last wrote here.  I’ve been busy being sick, with school, with boyfriend, and did I mention school?!?  Yea it’s been sort of crazy as of late and with the last two week of this terms classes underway it’s only going to get more crazy.

So on the school front things have continued to go really well.  I have A’s in both of my classes this term, and barring anything crazy happening like failing my final 12 page paper, or my final exam, I should be able to keep my 4.0.  Also on the school front I decided that I do in fact want to go to my masters, so I started looking for volunteer opportunities that will help me in the field.  Long story short, I got a volunteer position as a column writer on a research project involving an organization that educates on Human Sex/Labor Trafficking.  This is as intense as it sounds,  but has been really interesting to research and help on something i’m passionate about- helping people who are in need.  Also the person who’s in charge of the project wants me to help him re-do his website design and layout and organize the information in a more concise way!  This is so up my alley as well!  I’m very excited for what this opportunity will bring in the future.  I will continue to update on this portion of my schooling as I think it’s important topic to talk about. I’ll make another post on Human Trafficking and how it’s effected my life at some point.

Boyfriend front- So if I haven’t mentioned in awhile how great he is, well, he is. Seriously, he continues to amazing me with his support and openness and what I deal with. So most recently we had a rough patch, just like any couple does.  He was working for 2 weeks straight without me seeing him,  then he finally got his car repo-ed which him and I expected due to unforseen circumstances, which brought up the topic of finances, which of course is stressful on any relationship.  On top of that my relationship OCD was acting up and I was feeling insecure about how he really felt about me and where things were going.  One of those things was that BF really hasn’t had the time or opportunity to get to know the other’s inside of my DID system.  Parts felt ignored and not listened to and it was taking a toll on the relationship as well.   All of this is to say, both BF and I had plenty on our plate at once.  So finally one night, we just put it all out on the table about everything that was bothering both of us, and we ended up going to my therapist together with BF and coming up with solutions to the issues we were having.  It’s weird how OCD can come creeping up at any time, but more so in stress.  It’s also amazing that my boyfriend even WANTED and CONSIDERED going to me with my therapist.  But he said that my issues effect the relationship just like his issues do as well.  What we ended up talking about with my therapist is ways that he can communicate with the others so he knows that there is a difference of opinion and idea’s, ways for others inside to get heard. Boyfriend has been unsure as to how to approach this, but with the help of my therapist we were able to come up with a communication solutions.  BF was so understanding and even felt bad that the other’s felt neglected.  He said he loves all of us, and that they all make up me as Kay.  My DID friends will understand how amazing this is.  Even more amazing, few days later, he planned an entire day where the other’s could spend some quality time with him.  He spent time with little Mia, and with Red and Michael. He had an activity to do with each one of them.  Was so nice that he put in the effort like that.  My BF is truly a gem.  If it hadn’t been for our rough patch, we wouldn’t have made it to this other side of clearer, more open communication.  Our relationship is now better for it, and I actually love him even more as a result.  Now granted, with his struggles that he’s going through, bf tried to give me a free pass to leave if I wanted because he was having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel if you will regarding money.  But I reassured him he could be dirt poor and i’d be okay with that because money doesnt buy happiness. I told him just like he didnt leave while I was in the hospital (back in September of 2015), and in no way was I going to leave him because of some financial hardship.  What people have to realize is, he’s been trying to find steady (not temp) work for awhile now, but without any luck.  He’s been applying every day after work from temp jobs, and continues to look everyday he can.  He’s even looking at opportunties to work from home since he needs to save up money for a used car. It’s not from the lack of trying. I love that about him, his drive to never really give up.  We both have that in common.  Anyway, long winded there about him and what’s been going on, but it proves the point that if you work hard and work through the issues as they come up, a strong foundation is the result.  I am very lucky to have such a caring and understanding person in my life who is willing to put in the work for a healthy relationship and doesn’t just ignore the issues.

I guess i’ve rambled long enough but sometimes it’s good to get it out on paper so that it’s off the mind. OCD loves to ruminate on things over and over, and this is one of the coping strategies i’ve learned is to write it all out as a way of letting go.

Thanks for reading  about my crazy, but good life!

Kay and Co.