I’ve just realized that a year has passed since I began writing Dissociative Living here at HealthyPlace. This is a pretty significant achievement for me. And that’s partly because I’m just plain proud of the content I’ve written. But this blog’s anniversary is also the anniversary of my coming out publicly as someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder. By choosing to write Dissociative Living I also chose to stop writing anonymously and from that point on, attach my real name and real picture to my thoughts and perspectives on DID. It was a pivotal decision and one that, had I asked, most people would have advised against. One year, three weeks, eighty-two posts, and a thousand comments later, I don’t regret it even a little bit.
Disclosure and Dissociative Living
In the past year I’ve received a lot of emails and comments from people who use the word “brave” to describe my choice to write publicly about Dissociative Identity Disorder. But the truth is this blog gave me that opportunity. I couldn’t ask the largest consumer mental health site on the web to give me a platform for publishing my words without my own willingness to publicly stand behind them. In other words, my credibility as a mental health writer depends at least a little bit on my authenticity. Writing Dissociative Living gives me a solid foundation to stand on and say, “Hey world, I have Dissociative Identity Disorder!” Most people don’t have that foundation. For many, keeping a job means keeping silent about their diagnosis. And if they write about it, they must do so behind a pseudonym. But my job is talking about Dissociative Identity Disorder. My paycheck doesn’t depend on my ability to hide parts of who I am. When it comes to the issue of disclosure, I’m not so much brave as I am lucky. Dissociative Living is a gift.
Dissociative Living and You
I admit it did take courage to unwrap this particular gift. On July 21st, 2010 I wrote on my personal blog, “I’ve thought a lot lately about disclosure; and while there is relief in considering coming out of the closet as someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder, I can’t predict with real accuracy whether doing so will truly be the relief I envision.” I worried, among other things, that no one would read Dissociative Living and I’d just be hanging out there in my skivvies so to speak, talking to myself. And that’s where you come in. Every person who took the time to read my blog, whether it was one post or many, has helped make it a success for me. Whether you’ve commented with a question, a criticism, or simply a note to say hello, each of your comments has helped create dialogue. And that’s where I believe the real change happens … in conversation, in the sharing and challenging of ideas.
I am so grateful to HealthyPlace and to you for giving me the opportunity to write about Dissociative Identity Disorder. Here’s to another year of Dissociative Living!