I’m weary. I’ve been living on the wrong side of my stress threshold for a while now. Part of the problem is that my stress threshold is maddeningly low. But part of the problem is that major things keep happening in my personal life lately; things that create enormous stress even for the most mentally healthy among us. As a result, my Dissociative Identity Disorder symptoms have amplified steadily over the last eighteen months. In the words of my fellow blogger Natasha Tracy, “When life gets nasty disease gets nasty too.” She’s right, of course. But I kept thinking, ‘hey, life is really turbulent sometimes and you just have to rise to the occasion.’ I failed to recognize, though, that doing so usually involves letting go of other, less urgent occasions.
Between a loved one’s suicide, another’s serious substance abuse problem and recently developed severe mental illness, and my own frustrating limitations as someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder, I’ve finally accepted that something has to give. That something is this blog, Dissociative Living. I’m sad about it. I have unrealistic attitudes about what I should be able to do, not to mention a fairly powerful hang-up about “quitting.” I hope that in time I’ll feel less like I’ve thrown away something precious, and more like I’ve made a healthy decision grounded in self-care. Though frankly, this doesn’t feel so much optional as inevitable.
Putting the Living Back in Dissociative Living
I chose the title of this blog, Dissociative Living, as an expression of my belief that one can live a fulfilling life with Dissociative Identity Disorder. The emphasis for me was on living. It’s ironic that I’ve unintentionally used my blog to create distance between myself and my life, my treatment; to live less, in other words. Which isn’t to say I don’t stand by my work. I absolutely do. It isn’t as though it’s only a distraction. Far from it. But those of us who use dissociation as their primary way of coping with life can turn even the most meaningful things into distractions. And severe dissociation always comes with a cost. I don’t have any control over that right now. All I can do is choose how I pay. I have to give something up, and it won’t be my treatment, my family, my friends, or what’s left of my mind.
Thanks for Reading Dissociative Living
I don’t know if I thought I was going to keep writing this blog forever or what. But I do know I wasn’t kidding when I said, “Here’s to another year of Dissociative Living!” Part of that is because you’ve helped make this a rewarding endeavor for me, and not one I’m gladly giving up. Thank you.
You can still find me at Don’t Call Me Sybil, though I don’t publish on any particular schedule and have been known to disappear for weeks at a time. Consistency and Dissociative Identity Disorder are natural enemies; it’s not ideal, but I’ve been swimming against that particular tide for over a year and, like I said, I’m weary.