Monday, January 23, 2017

Our Living with DID talks & Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

On January 27th, 2017 we will be entering a hospital. This building is the standard when it comes to the sights, smells and sounds you may experience while walking it's halls. One thing that stands out is we're not required to be there. Myself and my parts were invited to speak to their Psychologists and psych students. They're seeing patients at this point in their careers and studies. As many people will tell you reading is one thing, but being able to see it and experience it first hand is an entirely different learning environment.

We've only done this once before, but it seemed to help these psychology students. More importantly, to me at least, is that it helped one of my parts, Bob. She is only 15 years old, but is the one who kept pursuing help. Despite the hostility she experienced from other parts, the consistent failures she felt, and harm she encountered, she continued. Knowing full well, we were in trouble. I was in trouble and we needed help in a major way. She is a protector within my system and astounds me. She deals with severe anxiety. This has caused a stutter and makes speaking difficult for her; yet she went to so many doctors she began asking other parts for help getting her further reach. She has traveled the country, literally, in an attempts to find us someone, anyone that could help. She found that in Jacksonville, FL. and in the referral received from that doctor she found the psychologist we still see today.

After our first talk, we were surprised to find that one of those future psychologists would have been able to help us. She would've been a "lily pad." The name my parts have given to doctors who were able to help one or more of us short term and give Bob the strength and hope to continue searching for the one who could help our system as a whole. The first time we did this, those "baby doctors"--what Anger called them-- of course had many questions that we answered to the best of our abilities, at the time. Bob found out many things about herself and who she is to the rest of us. It was a very beneficial experience not only for those psych students and their future patients, but for us as a whole.

We are hoping this year will be the year of awareness. For us, it's important to do. We want to use our voice(s) to speak on what the experiences of dissociation and specifically DID can be and what this often means. We are looking forward to this and what it will mean for our future but also, what it could mean for future generations who suffer through unimaginable abuses during childhood only to become teens and adults who are left by the wayside. For this teenager in me she needs to see progress in these shortcomings within the mental health field.

This Friday we will be entering that hospital in Chicago, again. We will be with a new group of people we do not know, attempting to inform them on what Dissociation and DID can look like. How my many parts are affected by physical health and how they can each have their own individual struggles and health problems. How each of them can have varying ages, and ways of expressing themselves. We want as many people as possible to know they are not alone. They can find help and then, all get the help they need. We want the doctors who will be the future of the field to be educated, well informed on the subject and able to help these people heal or be someone else's "Lily pad."

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." - Marie Curie

We are speaking out more and more, this year we hope to expand our reach. Given some of my physical health limitations we've taken to Twitter and Patreon, both we're coming to find have amazing supportive people. We are anxious and excited, yet terrified in some instances of what this year will hold for us. The book Grief Diaries: Through the Eyes of DID, Bob and a few other parts of mine have been contributing to was released last week! Something, some of us are very proud of. I'm uncertain and a bit concerned because in large part, I'm not sure what all is in there. I look forward to receiving my coauthor copy in the next few weeks. That being said, we just received news that it reached 6th on Amazon's top ratings list for the genre. A very exciting achievement for all of us who co-wrote this anthology.

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress." -Barack Obama

Today, we will be working with @mblog101 the creator of #MHChatHour on Twitter. She started this fantastic mental health chat and this week the topic is Dissociative Identity Disorder. We're a bit anxious but again excited about being given this opportunity to share a bit more insight about our lives and hopefully quash some stigma! With things like, the new Shyamalan film, being released it is a crucial moment to have our voices work together in ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.  Everyone within this supportive community speaking out together, our voices will be heard.

  • Adam Grabowski's #SayItAnyway campaign is reaching new heights and someone we're very much looking forward to speaking with more in the coming weeks about this new project and his life with Depression and Anxiety. You may recognize him from his time on the television show, America's Got Talent.
  • Beka Lombardo and her husband, Joe Lombardo, are pioneers in the mental health community. She's written a book, It's Not Your Journey, about her life with bipolar. Together they co-host a podcast radio show, Voices for Change2.0 all about mental health. Which two of our friends were on discussing the project we joined last year, #MHArtTherapy.
  • DissociativeJess** Oh Jess what to say about her and her DID system. She's an advocate for those living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, speaking out against stigma and working towards a brighter future.
  • Tyler Simmonds a mental health advocate based in Canada and is creating some real looks into the mind of mental illness. Check his twitter page for more information on his work!
  • Aidan from www.endthestigma.ie based in Ireland has been combating stigma for years now and is working with people in South Dublin and across the world to help those with mental illness. We were lucky enough to have had a guest spot on his blog, last year.
I bring up some of these amazing people because they are the one's using their voices to bring about change. We say it often, but we are all stronger together. There are so many people out there who can understand what you're going through. They're here at your finger tips; speaking, writing, vlogging, creating and working together.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." -Nikola Tesla

We are looking forward to these many exciting opportunities provided us and for the first time in many, many years; we collectively are looking towards a brighter future. One of unity and progress and hope. A future without Stigma.


4 comments:

  1. This is a very inspiring post. I admire the way in which you want to make people more aware of mental illness and try to crush the stigma surrounding it.

    xoxo
    Freya
    thatgirlyt.wordpress.com

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  2. I'm so glad you're not only willing to blog about this but willing to share it with others in person to help them better understand DID. Keep up the good work. (:

    Single Vegas Girl
    http://singlevegasgirl.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for you kind words! Today went well we were pleased!

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