A peom on diagnosis 

One of my writings from the diagnosis process of the last 2 months.

 Titled: In Your Chair of Assumptions 
In a state of confusion 

I’m trying to see 

Of What is a core personality trait 

And what isn’t really me. 
My whole life you’ve used labels 

To try and make sense 

Of my behavior and emotions 

That you couldn’t place.  

You had this unrelenting need 

To put it all neatly into a box  

Of expectations ,Of should’s and have to’s 

Categorizing it all By what society wants.  
Your standardized tests didn’t really ask

What my experiences really were. 

They only were limited by an ABC options

As I read across the page. 

And even worse, when I couldn’t decide

Because nothing fit how I was feeling

You said just to pick one 

because it doesn’t matter all that much. 
Did it ever occur to anyone 

That I feel above all else 

That I am me and uniquely made?

And at the end of the day, 

it doesn’t matter how you diagnose my brain? 

But did you ever consider 

That I have a view and an interpretation 

Of what it means to be me?

that all my life could not be summed up 

By some personality test 

Of who you guessed I’d be. 
Instead what remained

 as a series of stories untold. 

It was way easier for you 

To sit in your chair of assumptions 

Without considering how I’d be impacted. 
And all it did when the tester time rang

Was cause a ringing in my ears, and 

The rattling in my brain 

to continue to bounce about

Leaving me in a state of disarray. 
You created a monster of self pity and doubt

as I lay with the moon shining through my window

Trying to figure it all out. 
The back and forth conversations with my self 

Continue throughout the dark night

I say to myself, that you must be right

Because at the end of the day you possess a degree, 

higher then me no doubt

why else do I pay you a fee? 
But even with that potentially being so 

I lay there trying to decipher 

What all your reports say 

Vs the reality that I’ve lived

And the most horrible fear of all

That I’m beyond help 

And it’s simply to late

Or god forbid you’ve always been right.

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A year in the making 

Wow it’s been a year close to the day since my last update. Thanks for all my committed peeps for stockpot out my hiatus. The last year has been absolutely crazy, beautiful and full of newness and at the end of it all I can say the future is bright. Here are the highlights:

Sept.2016- I reached a really low point of depression to the point I thought suicide was the answer. Lucky thanks to my mom and therapist and a deeply rooted yet secret hope that was still there I ended up in a program for depression for 5 weeks. That was the most 5 life changing weeks of my life. I learned cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and it was the key to changing and unlocking my negative self talk. It was the springboard for all that was to come. 

Nov2016- starter having back pain after tiing my shoes one morning. Fast forward months of tests and scans to find out I had degenerative disk and 3 bulging disks. All leading to surgery in feb 2017. Doc took out disk without consent and resulted in malpractice suit nightmare. Also resulted in a 10 day hospital stay since I now had a missing disk. PT and doc appointments for months and only now in June of 2017 is my back way better. They are surprised I’m waking again. 

Feb2017- after surgery for back knee on left side was in lots of pain and buckling. March and April were spent on more tests and shots and scans and pain management clinics. Fast forward to July when saw knee specialist. Now knee surgery is happening on aug 18. Of this year. 

March 2017- went to new therapist for ocd issues (point of this blog) and thru assessments and talking therapist suspected aspergers now called autism spectrum disorder. So sent for further testing by neuro psych. In early July 2017 He says nope borderline ASD but definitely sensory processing disorder. SPD. Tells me to get tested for that. End  of July 2017 into now go to varying occupational therapist who 2 say yes ASD and SPD and other two say no autism but yes sensory. Insurance won’t cover services unless I have reports to back up one or both. After long convo with team and mom I decide to diagnose as both so can get more help. Both at the end of the day encompass my life and experience my 28 years of breathing. So now waiting to assessments and therapy plan from occupational therapy and ASD specialists. Will wait til after knee surgery. 

July 2017- mild to moderate depressive episode with hospital admission avoided. Upping lexapro did the trick. Proud of self for using skills and supports to avoid impatient and full relaps. 
So moving forward my blog will focus on all aspects of life even tho it says ocd in the name. I still deal with ocd issues but they have been ruled as part of the ASD which is neurological in Origin vs psychological. This is why erp therapy was successful to only a point. (More on that later). 

My DID and therapy issues are so much better too from a year ago. Future blogs will address charges and progress.  But short version is that it’s going super well. New found technique for us of body work and integration work is absolutely amazing combo. Getting medication too for ADHD diagnosis that came along with the autism diagnosis has helped me focus more and made therapy a great deal easier. 

School is great. I’ve graduated with my bachelors in may of 2017 and now going  on my masters now in marketing. Best grades I’ve had all my schooling life thanks to meds for ADHD. Don’t know how I made it so long struggling like I have. 

I’ve been single for over a year now too and it’s the best decision I have ever made. It allowed for this growth to occur. Focus to be on me for a bit. 
So that’s it for now. Thanks to you patients and for continuing to follow in the mist of my silence. Hope to update with some regularity now. 
Nara (yes a name change also happened in the last year due to info found out about adoption and bio family. Stay tuned) 

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