Friday, September 9, 2011

Honestly: a day in the life

     I filled out government forms applying for assistance this week, and again had to push myself to be honest.  To tell the truth about things that I had so carefully hidden my whole life, about what life with DID is like.  It's important for myself to speak out about it because silence has been such a destructive rule my entire life.  Hiding that secret was taking the burden of that on myself, and it was not something I should have ever felt the need to stay silent on, then or now.  My form questions went something like this;

     Describe your day  I know that I wake late, eat and care for myself, spend time on the computer emailing, researching, watching shows.  I know that I spend time each day cooking and usually exercising.  However I can never remember one day all the way through.  At the end of the day I can remember snippets, but I am never sure exactly what I did, so I can't tell you, because I don't really know.

     Do you have any trouble grooming, washing, feeding, bathing, using the bathroom?  I try to be dressed and groomed each day.  Usually other alters come out in the morning so it is often 2-3 hours before I can get around to that.  Showering is considered a waste of time to alters struggling to get some much sought "out" time, so between 38 alters showering usually happens every 2, or often 3 days, and even then reluctantly.  I am sometimes not in control of my body when another alter is "in front" so to speak, and many times cannot feel my body.  At these times it is difficult to have the awareness and control to do things like eat and use the toilet in a timely manner, or put a jacket on when cold, etc.

     How does your illness/condition affect your ability to sleep?  The more tired I am, the harder it is to keep control of my body.  Different alters come out at night and are unaware or don't care how tired the body is.  I often only get any sleep after the body has collapsed from exhaustion.  PTSD makes it difficult to sleep at night.  No matter how tired I am I have been unable to fall asleep before 2a.m. for the last year.  Because some alters have been conditioned not to be around other people, I have trouble feeling safe enough to sleep soundly if there is anyone else home.  I often sleep early in the day when no one is home, it is the only time I can sleep soundly.  One alter keeps me unconscious after I try and wake if there is someone else in the house.  This always lasts 2-3 hours no matter how I fight it.  Switching sometimes causes headaches and sleepiness, making it difficult to feel fully awake throughout the day, regardless of how much or how little sleep I have gotten the night before.

     Does your illness/condition limit your ability to drive?  Because of constant switching with alters that do not know how to drive, including child alters, it is unsafe for me to drive.

     How does your illness/condition affect your ability to work?  I cannot drive to work.  I cannot predict how much I will be capable of at any given day or time.  I cannot reliably remember information or scheduling for work.  I have trouble focusing or understanding verbal instructions.  I cannot prepare and bring food to work to take care of my food allergies with constant switching.  Because of some alters' conditioning, I have severe difficulty being near or interacting with other people.

     List any hobbies or interests you have.  I have 38 alternate personalities of all ages and genders, they all have their own interests and hobbies, ranging from martial arts, yoga, coloring books, guitar, cello, violin, penny whistle, harmonica, drawing, crafts, fashion, painting, boxing, watching shows (all kinds), reading (all kinds), studying french (other various languages), rollerblading, belly dancing, running, herbology, emergency medicine, alternative medicine, playing dress up, lunastix/fire dancing, photography, throwing knives/throwing stars/archery.

     How well or often do you do these interests or hobbies?  Sporadically.  Alters are rarely out frequently enough to spend much time on their hobbies unless it is shared by others, so few are at an advanced level.

     How does your illness/condition affect (speaking, talking, movement, memory)?  When another alter is "in front" I am often unable to speak, talk, move, sometimes see, to varying degrees.  Sometimes I can do these things as monitored by them by what they allow, ex: able to speak but not about a certain subject.  Often when someone else is speaking to me I find myself inert and unable to respond.  DID appears to make me very forgetful, not because I am or any of my alters are, but because they each have their own individual memory, and information is not always shared between alters.

     How well do you handle stress?  Considering that I live with quite a bit of stress in my day to day I suppose I handle it quite well.  I do have PTSD and panic attacks, and things that would seem normal to others, such as going out in public, can be quite frightening to me.  However I  am making good progress and expect to continue to do so.

1 comment:

Leslie Lim said...

I admired those who has able to create a blog as wonderful as this! You are truly a hard working person. Keep up the good work and keep on posting.