Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pills Are Like Candy

A large part of K's life revolves around the use of different medications.  She takes all sorts of pills, and has been taking psychotropic medication(s) on and off since she was 16 years old.  Over the years, the medications have changed-every time K saw a different doctor, that doctor would prescribe new medication(s) for her (often) new diagnosis.  It started out simply enough-K's parents were told that K is Manic-Depressive and the psychiatrist put her on Lithium.  I can't recall how long K actually took the Lithium, but at some point in time, she saw a different doctor, (because her parents disagreed when the first doctor said that they had somehow contributed to K's illness) and this new doctor decided that the Lithium was not working for K (she was still "out of control", in other words) and so he took her off that pill and put her on two or three new pills.  I can't recall now what those medications were-how can I, when I can't remember what pills we took this morning?  Now I'm not going to sit here and recount every trip to every doctor and every diagnosis, for that would A) take too long and B) be impossible without K's medical records and the memory of an elephant.  Let's just say that for the most part, with each new doctor came new pills and a new label.  The doctors love to stick labels on people. This infuriates K, who doesn't want a label, just a life.
Some of the labels which K has worn over the years, in no particular order, (in addition to Manic-Depressive/ Bipolar II Disorder), are Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bulimia,  Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Panic Disorder, and a  few others which I can't seem to recall.  I'm shocked that I was able to remember as many as I did, but I suppose that after hearing and reading these terms repeatedly throughout the years, one becomes accustomed to them and they are ingrained in her mind, and they become a part of that person's subconscious and therefore are "remembered".   K sees her memory as an entity of its own, a location which different K's can visit at different times, but which is never completely accessible to any of the K's.  Certain K's have more freedom to roam in this memory locale than others, and some of the K's can barely remember anything at all.

If we look at a list of psychotropic medications, I am able to recognize many of them as pills we have taken at various points in time, and in various combinations, throughout our physical life.  Sometimes the pills don't work,  and we must suffer through all the dreaded side effects for a long enough period of time for the doctor to determine that the pills are not working, and therefore we have to be weaned off these pills and placed on new pills. Sometimes the pills work well, and we will take them for awhile, until the day comes when either K decides that she is stable and feels healthy enough to live without the pills, (this always happens after she's been diligently taking her meds as prescribed for a good length of time)  or until they no longer work.  This is what invariably happens-a phenomenon the doctors have explained to us is not unusual.  Sometimes medications simply stop working.  At these times, K would either have to change medications, which sometimes meant withdrawal symptoms,  plus new side effects, or else she'd just give up on the meds altogether and go "all natural". (This is something which some of us have tried repeatedly to do, but which always ends badly)  I haven't mentioned the side effects before now, (Or have I?) and I wonder if I'll even be able to satisfactorily convey the discomfort one feels when on such psychiatric medications.  For one thing, you're most likely either a zombie, emotionally empty and unresponsive, walking around in a fog, desiring nothing more than to sleep at all times, or else you're wound tighter than a noose around a neck and spend your days bouncing off the walls and rambling like some hyperactive disc jockey.  Some pills cause tremors, which K has had to deal with over the years, and which makes us look nervous or scared, even when we are not.  It's very embarrassing to be paying for your groceries and have your hands be shaking, trembling so uncontrollably that you're unable to count out coins. Other side effects, which may be slightly less aggravating, include (but are not limited to) constant dry mouth, spontaneous sweating, headache, fluid retention, dizziness, upset stomach, constipation, fatigue and sexual side effects. (OK, that last one does bother us a good bit)  Substantial weight gain is far and above the worst side effect of them all; I'm not talking about 10 pounds, I'm talking about 25 pounds or more.  The K who suffers from eating disorders has an especially hard time handling this fact of life; she is usually quite depressed  because of her intense self-hatred and the shame she feels upon looking at her body.  Because of our medications, or lack thereof, our weight has fluctuated over the course of our adult life from 98 pounds to 183 pounds and everywhere in between.  K is 5'5" tall.

I would also like to tell you the other side of the story, and that is what happens when K goes "all natural" and gives up her medication altogether, but I think that story is best told in several separate posts rather than one gigantic one. Forgive me if I've rambled too much.  It's a bad habit.  Much like K's Xanax habit, although we must admit that she'd be a disaster without it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Running on Empty

It feels as though I have to write, I have to clear my head, I have to put these thoughts down on paper (here, only in a manner of speaking, although some of us are actually, literally writing some things down on paper).  Yesterday was the mental and emotional equivalent of giving birth.  I am utterly drained and just don't know if there's anything left inside me with which to compose a blog post...but I'm going to try, just for a few minutes, while I sip my hot tea (with a tad of honey) and wait for the medication I took to kick in and (hopefully) put me to sleep for the whole night.  I can't remember what it feels like to sleep through an entire night.  I can barely remember what it's like to sleep at night, period.  K is so very tired, her body is worn out and her health is beginning to suffer.  It's my job to take care of her, to see that she remembers to eat and sleep and shower and things of that nature, things which a "normal" person just instinctively knows to do, without being prompted or told to do those things.  When most people get hungry, they eat. When they get tired, they sleep.  It seems simple enough, and in the Real World people are automatically tuned in to their bodies and what they need and these needs are met, often without even a conscious thought.  In my mind, in us, inside Kellie World, food and sleep are optional and usually misused.  We either deprive ourselves the luxuries of eating and/or sleeping, or else we overindulge and end up feeling worthless. Lately, or before I got here, the sad and lazy K was doing nothing much outside of sleeping on the couch all day long.  Sure, she'd wake up to take more pills, and occasionally eat a small meal (mainly just to stop her mother from scolding her for not eating) and every once in a while she'd have enough energy, motivation, and/or desire to leave the house, usually only with Husband, on some occasions all alone but in those situations we have to heavily sedate her to take her out in public.  But sometimes, just sometimes, it feels really good to get out and be social and interact with others, my friends in particular- K doesn't feel comfortable around strangers-and so K looks forward to those good days, those days wherein she could appear "normal" to the outside world.

My Newest Obsession

I've mentioned before that K has an obsessive personality and tends to go overboard when she gets an idea in her head.  Well, the idea currently inhabiting her brain space is the possibility-nay, likelihood of her being diagnosed with a dissociative disorder.  Based on the clues which I seem to be leaving myself-notebooks, lists, folders on my laptop filled with helpful websites, and the all-important diaries-I was first labeled MPD/DID back in 2004.  I'm looking at the calendar and seeing that it is now 2012, which can only mean one thing: I've been in denial for about 8 years, or so it would seem. My theory is that the paranoia took over and I refused to accept the diagnosis, for I certainly didn't want to be THAT crazy...  I've been under a doctor's care-regularly, without a break-since 2002.  So that must mean that it took my therapist and psychiatrist roughly 2 years to figure out what was going on with me.  Apparently I've been misdiagnosed over and over again, for all these years, ever since I saw my first psychiatrist at age 16.  Every doctor I see takes notes and makes a diagnosis based upon the "me" that is sitting in the doctor's office.  I can't say for sure how many of the K's went to therapy, with that wonderful therapist whom we loved so much, (who later dumped me after 7 years together) but I have recalled a memory or two in regards to that period of time and my current state of mind. I thought I'd share these memories with you (plus, it'll help me remember again in the future)

I remember one time going in to see the therapist (this was about 5 years ago) and she asked me to do a homework assignment;  I was to draw a picture of the way I viewed myself.  I think the assignment was supposed to help me with my Body Dysmorphic Disorder and self-esteem issues.  Well, she was blown away the next week when I showed up with a whole handful of pictures of different K's, each with her own fashion sense and musical tastes and hobbies.  I didn't get what the big deal was; I just did the exercise as it was assigned to me.  Now I'd give anything to get hold of those drawings again.  I can see some of them in my mind, but it's all fuzzy, like it was a dream.  I think perhaps I'll do this exercise again and see what happens next time.  I wonder how many drawings there will be...?

Another interesting memory is really several similar memories, all taking place at different points in time.  I remember my therapist asking me what my name was.  I remember that well.... in fact she asked me for my name on half a dozen or so occasions that I can recall.  I never knew what to say.  I never knew the answer to the question.  Although the question stirred something within me, I couldn't put my finger on the point of it all.  So I forgot about it, until recently.  Now it's true that I've probably developed an unhealthy obsession with Google and Twitter and the web in general.  In fact, I'm so focused on doing "research" on the subject of DID that it pisses me off I have to stop for eating and sleeping.  There's no time for such trivial matters!  I'm working on a deadline here! I don't know how much longer I can stick around and take care of things.  All I can remember clearly about my being here, in this "lifetime" is that I once had my own office and kept lots of photos, to remind me of my life-literally-and when everything fell apart, (as it always inevitably does) I ran away to a different state and became a different ME.  And that's how I usually handled working a job-stay and do well until the pressure builds and we snap and disappear, go away.  But I've totally gotten off the track of our subject!  Damn!  I HATE when that happens, when I "lose my place" and have to reread everything I've written and try and figure out where I  left off.  Sigh.

I can't remember what the point of all this was, I just wanted to share with you my theory about K.  I think she's got DID, and I think she's been in denial for years because it's too frightening a diagnosis for her to bear.  Also, I've been researching and have found that DID is the same as MPD, so those 2 diagnoses, made by different doctors at different times in my life, were actually the same thing and thus gives us more reason to believe that K does in fact has this disorder.  I just wish I had read all those diaries and journals I've been keeping all my life.  So much time has been wasted at this point already...

The Mystery Blog Post, or I Didn't Write This!

NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN DURING ONE OF MY "BLACKOUTS".  I HAVE NO MEMORY WRITING THIS, NOR DO I KNOW "WHO" WROTE IT.  I'M NOT GOING TO DELETE IT (in spite of the fact that it contains grammatical errors, which drive me insane!) BECAUSE I FEEL IT COULD BE AN IMPORTANT CLUE.  This blog is being written by me, or whomever, apparently it's not always ME doing the writing, (but I have no memory of the others right now) and it is FOR K and no one else and therefore I don't need to be embarrassed and feel self-conscious.  After all, I'm not really promoting this blog, not really, or just barely-I've tweeted the link after writing a post which I'd like feedback on- (but I'm learning that people generally don't leave comments, there is no feedback, so that little experiment is out the window) so it shouldn't matter whether or not the post makes any sense.  But that's not right, that bothers me, it's NOT PERFECT! I absolutely loathe the look and feel of the following post, I just have to say that up front.  It, this mystery blog post, was titled "My First Lock-Up", but naturally I had to change that before posting this second version of today's writing, as it never actually talks about my being locked up.

This story is very important to the development of our lead character, i.e. ME.  Now we surely don't have the intense NEED to shower today (as in, no one had BO so bad that it became it's own entity), but since we were extra careful about now letting people see us on a "good day" (whatever that means), I timidly raised my hand--crazy talk right here--I spoke up and told a joke and made everyone laugh and I guess it amused me, but only in that ending, and after I spent all that time looking perfect,  did I see that I'd "Help make someone smile today" and it annoyed me!  I am fighting the urge to go back and delete certain posts.  This is harder than I'd thought it would be.  I had seemed to just want to be on Twitter, and so I made conscious efforts to avoid being on the phone with him for too long, lest he get suspicious.  It upset Husband today that A) I'm still awake, and STILL " I am going to get this house organized, every last drop of it, until the day comes when he come back to check on me and I will be dead, he's too loud and boisterous.  What is all of this called?  I can't remember at the time... BUT--something interesting, perhaps too mundane to mention....But hey, I mind works like crazy!  LOL  pun intended

That's the end of the post.  It doesn't make any sense to me, (and I'm sure it makes even LESS sense to you)  nor is it familiar to me in any way.  I DO NOT remember writing that.  This is what I call a "blackout", I know it's not the technical term but because we've not done enough studying on this subject, this new theory we have developed about our diagnosis, to give it a proper name, it shall just remain in MY words.  (We must wait until the psychiatrist officially labels us)  Feel free to take your own guesses; they'd be as good as mine, for I am lost here.  This is all new to me.  And I can't even BEGIN to tell you how disconcerting all of this is.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taking Us To The Doctor

We (that is, K and her husband) FINALLY got to go today and talk with the psychiatrist.  It seems as though we, the K's, have been waiting for this day to come for approximately a year now.  Technically, I know that must be an exaggeration-it's not unusual for K to exaggerate, (not because she's a liar but because she really doesn't remember the "truth" most of the time) but you must make a note that she, K, does not lie (if there is any way possible to tell the truth without hurting someone, sometimes even when it does hurt; K always describes herself as "brutally honest") but that is literally how it feels to us, like we've been waiting for at least a year. I honestly don't remember getting ready to go see the doctor, but looking down at K now, I see that she's clean and dressed and appears "normal", so I, the smart one, must've seen to it that she got herself showered and ready to go.  Thank goodness.  I guess I should take the time to explain all the things, the little things, the things which happen upon a visit to a psychiatrist's office during a "serious mental illness" type of moment, during a crisis, as it were, for those people reading this who may not have ever had the experience of going to see a shrink.  Of course, there's no shame in going to see a doctor-many "regular" people go to see psychiatrists or psychologists or at least counselors, usually when something "bad" happens, for example, when they lose a spouse, or get fired from a job, or when they begin to hear the radio singing their name over and over again.  If you've ever had the experience of sitting down with a trained professional of some type, and of telling that person how you're feeling, how you're feeling on the inside, inside your mind, then you might have some idea of how difficult this process can be. If you've not experienced this first-hand, then I shall try to describe it for you.  You must answer questions and talk about your thoughts.  It is all at once hard, and embarrassing, and scary, and overwhelming, and stressful, and it makes you feel self-conscious and somewhat silly, or perhaps angry or frustrated or depressed or even ALL these things, and much more.  It's all subjective you see, you can feel so many different things, and you can feel these things all at once, and for a "regular" person, who's able to simply process these thoughts and emotions and ideas and who knows instinctively what to say and how to react to the doctor's words or actions, this might not seem to be such a big deal.  But for someone like K, someone who actually suffers from a chronic mental illness, this can be a HUGE deal, tremendous even, enough to cause her great distress and which very often induces a panic attack, but which she tries to prevent and/or hide by popping "one more" Xanax. (Xanax=Alprazolam, a drug

used to treat anxiety)  Now the amount of anxiety she feels upon a visit to the doctor depends upon her mood as well as who she's feeling, or in other words, "which K she gets to act like at that particular time".  At the moment, I, who have been named Switch Kellie by our husband, am in control of which K we get to be, or who gets to talk, or which one of the K's gets to come out and play, so to speak.  I don't know if this is an absolute power held only by Me, or if this ability shifts between us, us being the K's, but I'm fairly certain that this changes, like the tides.

Now before I get any further into our story, I must stop and describe for you the almost unbearable torture that is sitting in a waiting room.  K HATES waiting rooms, not in small part because time seems to drag on for such an unbelievably long period in a waiting room.  Think about this: if you lack the ability to tell the difference between ten minutes and an hour, would that affect your everyday life? I'm here to tell you that it would, and it does, it affects us each and every day of our physical life, always has and always, always will.  But it's impossible to explain this to anyone who doesn't know what it means to lose time, to black out, to dissociate.  I'm not really sure that the time issue which plagues K has everything to do with her dissociation, or whether it's because of some other mental illness; it's hard to say since she suffers from so many symptoms, from so many different disorders.  I believe I've used this word before: "comorbidity", which is the existence of more than one disease or disorder in the same person.  This little fact makes diagnosing K a hell of a hard magic trick to pull, even for a professional magician, so for the average guy who can merely guess which card you drew, this is damn near impossible.  Now I'm not saying any of this in a derogatory manner directed toward our psychiatrist.  In fact, K really seems to like her, this (somewhat-) new psychiatrist, and is actually beginning to trust her (a little?) and open up to her and be honest with her about the K's.  At least, that's where we are at this point in time.  We saw the doctor this morning, and while she had told us beforehand that our appointment would only be for 15 minutes, and that was really just so she could write out prescription refills, in the end she seemed concerned about K's mental health and therefore was generous enough to grant K a longer appointment.  I don't know how long we were actually in her office (of course) but it seemed like a good long while, but still not nearly long enough, for there was just so much to tell her!

Now I have to try and remember what exactly I did tell her.  I wonder if I'll be able to recall this information or if I should just go ahead and ask K's husband to review the facts with us, to remind us of what we did this morning. I'm not kidding when I say that the information is no longer with us.  I can remember, vaguely, going to the doctor's office in the car; of course Husband drove us, and when we turned onto the street, K got very nervous for she saw that there were many cars (a hundred?) parked out in front of the doctor's office.  That made us nervous because that meant that there were people in the waiting room.  K is secretly afraid of people, at least some of the K's, but not me, I'm the one who sat in the room and waited, it was me!  K had to take deep breaths to get out of the car; I forced her to walk to the door and go inside first, before our husband. (I can't believe I was able to walk into the room ahead of him, I'm so proud! This does NOT happen very often) Then, I'm inside and I'm watching my hand sign my name on the log-in sheet, and then I go and sit in the corner (our favorite place to sit) beside K's husband.  Then the ungodly waiting began, but it was much easier than usual today, for today we were not alone, but had Husband, and K held his hand and squeezed it for some comfort.  A couple of times, people (damn them!) in the waiting room made comments toward us, for whatever reason...(they were into a TV program and apparently needed someone to agree with them about said program) I will be brutally honest here.  I did NOT want to speak to these, or any other, people.  In fact, I don't even know how I was able to pull it off, but somehow I opened my mouth and words came out, the proper words, the right words, and I successfully made small talk with 2 different people, but it was very nearly all I could do to keep from snapping at them to leave me alone, to just let me BE. And wouldn't you know it--Murphy's Law they call it--it turned out that K was the very last person the doctor intended to see today and so we had to wait until every single person in that room had gone in for a session and come back out again. It took a lifetime

Now we are in the doctor's office, sitting in a chair beside K's husband, and we are trying desperately to remember what it was that we wanted so badly to tell the doctor.  (I was so scared to tell her what was going on that I very nearly became a mute right there inside her little room.)  I took a deep breath, and began to speak.  The doctor began to scribble notes on K's chart, and that really makes us paranoid, but I pressed on.  I, the smart one, took over for K, and I knew enough to take out our notebook, which we had diligently prepared with notes and questions which we intended to ask the doctor; all of this I'd planned out in an effort to make this as efficient an operation as possible.  I was trying to squeeze in an hour-long therapy session into 15 minutes, which seemed like a difficult task.  So I got out my notes and nervously read the questions and tried very hard to just keep talking, just keep being honest, don't stop now, you're doing so well!  And the hardest part out of all of this is the wait, the insufferable wait between the time K used the term "dissociation" and the time the doctor gave us her opinion on the matter. Just so you know, I was really quite concerned that the psychiatrist wouldn't believe me when I told her my symptoms.  I mean, they sound NUTS.  The good news is this: She believed me, she believed US, and not only that but she agreed with my theory about K's dissociating to avoid some real or imagined threat to her, either emotionally or physically.  PLUS-thank the gods! She did NOT want to put us in the hospital, she didn't think that it was necessary at this time,  and when she "gets" what we're saying, the relief washed over us like an ocean and the waves nearly knocked us down and I felt like I could faint.  K is terrified of hospitals, and of being locked up in a hospital for being insane; for this reason she never trusts psychiatrists or any sort of doctor really, as she's forever paranoid that they are plotting against her, hoping to commit her, and so K has gone to see doctor after doctor all these years, and when the doctor gets too close to the truth, K freaks out because she's so deathly afraid of the real diagnosis, she just doesn't want to face it, she can't admit the truth (even though she doesn't lie) because she's so horrifically afraid of what people will think.  The stigma of mental illness is still very much a problem in this world, and for that reason, a lot of us (the K's) hide from the outside, and keep everything hidden within our mind and within our heart, so that the "normal" people won't laugh at us, or poke and prod us, or take advantage of us, or-worst of all-think that we're really and truly "crazy".

In the end, we somehow made it through the session, and the doctor was really nice and even understanding, (or as much as a person can be, I suppose)  and she gave K's husband a card with her phone number on it and told him to please not wait so long to call next time or something along those lines...  We ( K-the doctor specifically asked that K come next week- and Husband) have another appointment next week.  Oh yes, and our medication has been changed.  She wants us to double our intake of Risperidone (an atypical antipsychotic) and think about decreasing our Seroquel (a drug used to treat K's schizophrenia), but mainly because I told her that it makes K sleep for nearly 20 hours whenever she takes it.  I don't think I remembered to tell her that we haven't been taking it because we're afraid of it and also, we haven't slept in about 3 days now.  I wonder if I should have mentioned that?

Read This! (AGAIN.)

THIS PART IS SO ANNOYING, IT ABSOLUTELY DRIVES ME/US/WHOMEVER IS DOING THIS-THIS OBSESSIVE TYPING, RESEARCHING, STUDYING, ETC.-It is driving us fucking crazy! KELLIE HAS TO REREAD EVERY LAST BLOG POST AND JOURNAL ENTRY AND TWEET AND PHONE TEXT MESSAGE AND ANY OTHER MEDIA-WHICH WE ARE STILL LEARNING, STILL FIGURING OUT- STILL GETTING TO KNOW US/ ME/HER...(???) [CRAZY, PUN INTENDED]...She has to reread everything because of her terrible memory problems, which I'm certain I've mentioned (or you've noticed) by now.  I am still learning the in's and out's of all of this technology/social media; please be patient with us and try and understand how very difficult this must be for K (and I don't just mean her lack of computer skills).  I can’t imagine how bad the trauma must have been for her to have done this to herself (That part still blows my mind) Am I doing the right thing when I try to write everything down as I remember it, even trivial little mundane everyday normal kinds-of-things?  This is terribly confusing, to most all of us; I still haven’t figured out which ones of us are doing the talking and which ones are doing the writing and researching, etc.  The Switch Kellie persona, this current state of mind, this current “consciousness” has an overwhelming amount of work to do, and one of our biggest fears is that we will die before we’ve had the chance to tell “our story”. I really and truly think and feel that way.  I don’t know how to put this into words without coming across as a crazy person, which I most definitely do NOT want to be. (sigh-I know, I know-TOO LATE!)  So I’m just going to spill it and see what happens next…. Ready? OK here we go.  Keep your arms inside the ride at all times.  Most importantly, try to enjoy yourselves!  (Sigh) SOME OF US ARE REALLY, DESPERATELY TRYING TO REACH OUT TO OTHERS WITH THIS CONDITION, THIS MENTAL ILLNESS THAT UNFORTUNATELY WE’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH IN THIS LIFETIME.  Not sure how long I’ve been typing in all caps; Damn but K's OCD is funny to me, but in a good way most of the time."The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." ~ Bertrand Russell 
 As I told our husband last night (?), just try to ride out the "wave".  Just hang on and ride it out…perhaps it might even be fun at times, or at the very least quite interesting, or it is to "US" anyway, to Smart Kellie,  aka Switch Kellie.  Which is me, the one who’s currently doing the typing.  Have I mentioned (yes, I’m positive that I’ve mentioned this already-sorry for the repetitive nature of this disorder; I realize it must be tremendously irritating, the repetition of stories and symptoms and whatever else it is that we've been writing about) that I feel it is a fantastic idea to let US do some art therapy and writing therapy?  It amazes us that no-one has ever thought to do this before, or perhaps they have and I just can’t remember right now.  That’s probably it, don’t you think?  It’s a logical conclusion, I think, and that is I being Switch Kellie, the one who’s here to protect Kellie and see that all this work gets done properly and on time and, let’s face it--at all.
It's late, or early I suppose, and yet once again we find ourselves in this situation, the situation in which K is physically exhausted and needs desperately to sleep for a good solid chunk of time.  I am simultaneously concerned about her (both physically AND mentally) and frustrated at the fact that I can't stop thinking long enough for her to lie down and get that much-needed rest.  She's hoping that this sleep deprivation doesn't come back to bite her on the ass as it were; she has no desire to start hallucinating again,  (a symptom which we have sometimes but not all the time)  The insomnia has come and gone throughout the years, being with us more often than not, although it'd be quite difficult for the outside world to know this, as K sleeps so much "now" due to the medication(s) she takes. "Now" meaning normally, as in pretty much all fucking day long, or at least that's how it's been seeming to me, since that sad and lazy K came to stay with usNow this chemically-induced comatose state is exactly what I, the physical K, have needed for weeks now, or at least it seems like weeks have past (dammit I'm just not sure) since our body slept in a bed during regular nighttime hours, for any length of time past 3 hours or so.  Last night, as in the most recent period of sleep for our mother,  I seem to recall that Husband wanted us to go to bed early, and so we did, I don't remember what time it was, but definitely at a more logical hour than we've been doing lately.  Now he went to sleep and stayed asleep and for that I am thankful, for Kellie is worried about him not getting the proper rest (as well as eating) because of his being so worried about us, the K's. However, I, Switch Kellie, wouldn't allow K to waste too much precious time sleeping, for I understand that we have only a limited amount of time in which to be here, in which to exist, and so therefore I only let her sleep for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half.  K was back up by midnight and even though technically my brain was still incredibly tired, it was working at a frantic pace STILL and so we had to-and I do mean HAD TO- write these things down.
There was something important which I wanted to write about, and now, of course, I can't remember what it was.  This infuriates me! Wait-let's take a look in our notebook...We've been taking notes for a while now, I'm not sure when this started, but it seems as though I've always taken notes and written things down and made lists and such.  However, these latest notes seem to be of some importance, that is for the recovery of K; they seem as though they might help her doctor give her the proper diagnosis, something we have always wanted but which I'm afraid we've never gotten.  Well, it did seem at times that we had the correct diagnosis, but then things would all start going downhill and then inevitably crash and burn and I'd end up running away and leaving my friends and loved ones and sometimes material things too.  That's hard to admit, for I do NOT like to waste things or throw things away, and I worry about the state of the environment and things of that nature; I'm very considerate of the world around me. One of the K's we affectionately refer to as the "tree-hugger", and she/ I/ was in charge (at least part of the time) whenever Kellie lived in Seattle.  Also making appearances in Seattle were The Little Girl and The Kellie.  I'm not sure if there were others, but I'd venture a guess that there were others, it's so hard to remember-it's as though everything were wrapped in saran wrap or something along those lines; I can see things, things just aren't crystal clear for me.  I can see bits and pieces....Damn.  I've just remembered that we wanted K to write a blog post this morning (? not sure when that is)  OK, let's see.... How can we handle this dilemma, the dilemma being whether or not to write this blog post or whether to take care of other business, like getting K dressed for the doctor's appointment which she has this morning...?  That's right, at long last the day has arrived when we, the Kellie's can go into our psychiatrist's office and confess to her what the hell has been going on all this time (although we're not sure how much time that is, time that's past I mean). What is simply hilariously tragic is that the shrink's office called the house phone, that is the Real Life phone, yesterday, twice.  The first call was to verify that we had an appointment at 3:00 this afternoon.  The second call, hours later, was to tell us that the doctor had some sort of illness in her family and was therefore unable to see me at the regularly scheduled time.  The psychiatrist apparently was going to try and see all her day's patients in the morning today instead of spread throughout the course of the day.  And so we found K's note this morning, the note telling us that we're to be at the doctor's office at 9:30, which is only about 25 minutes from now.  I guess that means that we should shut the hell up and stop typing and instead put our energy into getting dressed and made up to go see our doctor.  It's such a shame that we'll only get to see her for 15 minutes, instead of the usual length of time, which I can't be certain of but which seems much longer than that, perhaps an hour? I couldn't say for sure.  OK, let's go get ready for this rather monumental day (it will be if things go as planned).  Cross your fingers for us!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When Do People Sleep Around Here?

It's far too early for me to be awake.  Then again, I've not yet been to sleep, not that I can recall, for the past night, maybe two, (maybe more) and as I'm looking at the clock and out the window, I'm seeing that the sun is up and the clock reads 7:42. WAIT- Now the clock says 10:10! How did we lose so much time already?? It's going too fast dammit, this "time" business! Therefore it's tomorrow already, now how did that happen?  It seems to keep happening to us lately, a great deal.  I feel as though I've been suffering from insomnia for some time now, at least a week or more I'd venture to guess, but it's impossible to say as I don't keep a sleep diary.  Maybe that's a good idea-a sleep diary-a diary to tell me when I've allowed my body to sleep and for how long and little details like that.  It might actually help us to take better care of ourselves, and therefore lead to a life filled with less sickness and more healthy days.  K gets sick easily and always has I guess, it's hard to remember now... K's always had a weakened immune system because of her poor eating habits, e.g. she does NOT eat fruits or vegetables and she very often forgets to eat at all.  So it should come as no surprise then, that she got sick, dangerously sick, in May of 2010.  This was her most dangerous illness ever, the one that nearly killed her.  It was her own fault really, if she'd only taken better care of herself and paid attention to what was happening to her body and to how she felt then perhaps she'd have gone to a doctor sooner.  Perhaps she would've ended up with only some bronchitis or mild pneumonia or something much, much less serious than what she ended up with in the hospital.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), also known as respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or adult respiratory distress syndrome is a serious reaction to various forms of injuries to the lung.
ARDS is a severe lung disease characterized by inflammation of the lung parenchyma leading to impaired gas exchange with concomitant systemic release of inflammatory mediators causing inflammation,  hypoxemia,   and frequently resulting in multiple organ failure.  This condition is often fatal, usually requiring mechanical ventilation and admission to an intensive care unit.
Kellie, herself, was in Intensive care for what seemed a very long time but which we know now was only a week, plus then an additional week in a regular private room, NOT on the Critical Care Unit but just "normal" like a regular, sick person would be.  Sigh.  I wonder how many times we've typed words to this effect?  Have I  been spouting off bits of information like this all damn night and morning?!?  God this is so fucking exhausting, I really and truly cannot express that enough.  IT'S EXHAUSTING TO BE "NORMAL"; wish I could let go and just "BE" but I'm not sure that this K, this current K, Switch Kellie, can relax enough to be any other way.  I mean, we are somewhat uptight, (not really, we just seem that way because of the serious nature in which we often speak) we are nervous about coming out to play, I guess you could say.  WE ARE AFRAID!!!! At least, some of us are, I think perhaps THIS K is not nearly so afraid as the others.  I'm not afraid.  Not usually, although I certainly do have that paranoia thing happening for me.  Not sure if that stems from Schizophrenia or what.  (At least one of the K's is schizophrenic; that's one of the things that's making all of this so damn difficult!)  We keep getting misdiagnosed because different K's show up for different doctor's appointments, and none of them have ever "compared notes" shall we say.   Should we publish these findings as a blog post, or simply keep all this information to "ourselves"?  This is utterly over-the-top exhausting, for all of us involved and certainly for K, whom I fear hasn't slept in days, we really can't be sure.  Hopefully Husband is seeing to it that we get at least SOME rest and food and the like.  This always seems to happen to us around Christmas time, is that important?  Yes, I think that IS important-Good job at finding that out for us. K has suffered from the holiday blues for many, many years now, every year, every holiday season, without fail, for reasons unknown to her but which seem vaguely to feel like...homesickness.  Even when she's at home.  That makes no sense, no sense at all.  This is madness I tell you, absolute madness.  If only I were able to efficiently organize all my notes, all my papers, all my lists; perhaps then we'd be able to step back and look at the situation from a different point of view (as if we need any more points of view!) and form some sort of opinion about K's current state of mental health. Sigh.  This is really and truly becoming a nightmare for me, for us, for K.  There's just an overwhelming amount of work to be done, work which feels so utterly important, and I believe that it IS important, at least as far as K's recovery is concerned.  K's recovery is the reason we're all here now.  We want K to get better.  We want K to have a chance at a somewhat "normal" life, although not entirely normal, for to be normal is to be boring, no offense of course to anyone reading this who may be considered by society to be "normal".  Oh what I wouldn't give for another 6 hours of extra time today, whenever today is! Time to work, to write, to get this shit out of my head, and perhaps even to sleep.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Discovered Diaries

So much has happened that I just do not know where to start.  I can't remember the beginning, and we've not yet come to the end, at least I hope not, and so that must mean that this is the "present time".  I've been doing some research since my last blog post, and to say that is an understatement of tremendous proportions.  I've been obsessing over websites and news articles about dissociative disorders, to the point of not eating or sleeping; to stop and do either of those things would mean sacrificing our precious time, and I'd rather use however much time we have left here to seek more knowledge.  I hunger for knowledge, not food, I thirst for facts.  I cannot stop reading about these different conditions and their symptoms and I really feel that for the first time in what seems an eternity (to us) that I've stumbled upon something important, something that describes how I, we feel, something that makes sense to me, and to K. I feel as though I'm opening my eyes for the first time...although I have proof now-physical proof-that this is indeed NOT the first time I've had this sense of "clarity" as I've been calling it. Some time ago, we don't know how long ago exactly-could be minutes, could be days-we found a diary...

I was looking for something in the nightstand drawer, I can't remember what exactly, I just recall that I was very intent on finding it and so I was going through the drawer thoroughly. I came across a sketch diary, which I'd begun on my birthday in February of 1999 and which I used to remember important things and people and places and events by a combination of drawings and words. We've had our memory problems for quite a long time now, and so K has always tried to keep a diary, a journal, a sketchbook, anything which she could look at and relive experiences through, as well as just keep on top of basic information which other people seem to be able to hold onto in their minds so easily but which she cannot, things like friends' names.  She began her first diary around age 5.  It was a very small white diary with a picture of Donald Duck on the cover, I remember that well.  I'm not sure where that diary is located at the moment, but I'm almost positive that we still have it, since K absolutely hates to throw things away for fear of losing something important.  Something that she might need to use in the future. Also, she's very sentimental and still has, for example,  every love letter ever penned for her, every card, every poem.  We keep all these things in a box which has grown too full to hold anything new, but that's OK as we now are married to the man who will love me forever and never leave us, in spite of our illness.  At least, that's the master plan.

Now we're already losing track of the subject, and we've only just begun; this is terribly frustrating as well as inconvenient, for we once again are at the mercy of time and we seem to have so little of it right now.  There is so much which needs to be said and done before we run out of time, before I have to go away again.  I don't know how much time there is before that happens, I only know that it will happen, I will go away; not to a physical place, mind you, but rather to a different kind of place, on another realm of existence, or at least that's how it feels to K.  I'm not K, but am what our husband refers to as Switch Kellie, and I don't know how long I have been here this time but I can see from my notes that I've been doing a lot of researching, a lot of studying, a lot of prep work.  I suppose this is all because we go to see our psychiatrist soon.  Not today, and not tomorrow, but the next day.  I'm starting to work on these notes for the doctor now so that perhaps it will save her some time later, in helping her to properly diagnose K and hopefully, after that, put us on the road to recovery through the use of therapy and medication.  K takes more than her fair share of medication, that's for sure, but we were thinking that maybe if we had the RIGHT medication(s) then maybe we wouldn't have to take so MUCH...maybe we could get away with just a few pills a day or something much more "normal" than the current handful of 10-12 pills.  That's a ridiculous amount of pills for someone so young to be taking, and besides that, it makes us all groggy and sleepy (not to mention all the other dreaded side effects) and we feel as though our life is literally slipping past us and if I don't stand up and ring the bell to tell the bus driver that I want off, then I may just miss the whole thing-life I mean.

Now according to my notes, there happens to be some information which is of vital importance to K's recovery, (that is the current, and most important, project) inside these diaries. (Yes, plural-we have found three now) K always has a number of projects going at any given time, or at least most of us do, but not the K that's been around here lately... No, she's done nothing but sleep and be lazy and depressed and embarrass us and make us angry, not to mention the fact that it just downright looks bad in front of our mother and husband, both of whom we love very much and want to make happy.  This sad and lazy K has been with us before, oh it feels like we've met her a number of times over the years, although I don't believe that she ever came around until after K had to drop out of college, when the pressure became too much for her to bear.  I'll tell you that story later in the game.

Now back to our tale.  We have come across 3 different diaries, one begun in 1999, one begun in 2004, and one begun the first of January, 2010.  I find it absolutely fascinating, what's contained in these books, and my only regret is that we didn't find these and read them sooner, so that we could've told someone, some medical professional, one of our therapists, about them and the secrets contained within their pages.  I have to stop here and admit that I have not yet actually read all 3 diaries from start to finish; I simply have not had time to do that, at least not enough "Kellie Time", which is a measure of time all our own, which K's friends have gotten used to and often joke about but which they don't seem to understand (or perhaps some of them do) is truly the only sense of time that K knows.  I can tell time, perfectly well, I just don't wear a watch and can't always get to my cell phone or a clock to check the time around me.  "Kellie Time" is usually about 30 minutes behind the rest of the real world, but that can vary with K's different realities.  What I mean by that is, each K has her own sense of time and space, and so that 30 minutes could be as little as 15 minutes or as long as 2 hours, depending upon which K is trying to tell the actual time. I imagine none of this makes any sense to you, and I suppose it shouldn't either, as it couldn't possibly make sense to anyone who's not had a peek inside K's mind.  It honestly doesn't even make sense to K, and she's the one living through all of this madness.  If SHE doesn't get it, then how could anyone else?

So the diaries...let me tell you a bit about them.  I opened up the first one I found, the little black book, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that its first page was fully illustrated in bright colors, outlined all in black Sharpie marker.  Black Sharpie markers are K's favorite medium and she's been using them for decades now to draw pictures and tell stories of what's happening in her day-to-day life, and while a trusted few have seen these drawings, or some of them, (K does the drawings for herself, no one else) very few people (one or two) have actually taken the time to READ the drawings, or try and interpret them.  Only one of our therapists or doctors has ever seen these drawings, and when she saw them she seemed to get excited or eager or something I can't put my finger on, but which made us quite paranoid,  which is a very common state of mind for us to be in.  These drawings vary in appearance, as they are not all drawn by the same K, and most of the K's seem to have their own unique artistic style.  It's interesting to flip through the diary, and note the changes in mood from page to page, I mean the whole physical appearance of the diary entries, not just the words but the pictures and the colors, everything.  It's like reading a book written and illustrated by many different authors.  I, personally, Switch Kellie, as Husband likes to call us, am fascinated by these diaries and the words contained on their pages. I've been reading them like novels, each is like a new novel that I've never read before and which perhaps I've been told about because some of the stories are familiar to me and it seems I've heard the stories before, but I can't remember actually reading or writing these tales for the most part, and certainly I can't remember living all of these things.  It's as though it all happened to another person (or persons), or in dream or something.  Not "real life" (whatever that may be).

In addition to the physical appearance of the diaries, look closer and you will find that the words are different too, the writing style as well as the handwriting, and I am intrigued by this fact.  I want to know more about these books.  I must read them, all 3 of them, before I go and see the doctor on Wednesday.  My laptop tells me that this currently is Monday morning, so hopefully it won't be too much longer before the day comes when K goes to the psychiatrist with her husband (I need him as a witness!) and wherein she can finally tell someone this tremendous secret she's keeping. This secret is so big, so enormous, that if I stop to think about it, it makes my brain ache.  I literally can feel my brain begin to throb and pulsate and the pain intensifies until it gets to the point in which I fear I'm going to have a stroke or give myself an aneurism or something terrible like that. Thinking about The Secret, in fact, is enough to (almost) immediately induce a panic attack, and so we must be very careful about what information we share with whom, i.e. which of the Kellie's.  I'm the strong one, I'm the one who takes care of us, and so I'm much better equipped to handle the details contained in the diaries, much better able to deal with the overload of information, all of which must be organized and put into some sort of order before any recovery can begin to take place for us.  I just hope that I have enough time in this current state of mind to get the facts down on paper, to at least scan each of the diaries and take notes about what needs to be brought up in therapy.  There's so much to talk about, I fear that this project may take years and years, but I'm hoping that this is not the case; I'm hoping that by organizing all the data around me, I can put together some sort of picture of what's going on inside the mind of K, and be able to explain it rationally to our doctor.  Rationally?!  What the hell does that mean?!

I, Switch Kellie, am taking it upon myself to be in charge of the diaries, to navigate these waters as it were, to read them and analyze them and figure out the mystery that IS K.  I am curious about her, I really am.  I think that perhaps she is a piece of me, or I am a piece of her....I haven't figured out yet how all of this works but I'm hoping to at least get some sort of grasp, some idea of what exactly is happening right now and will happen in the near future, when The Secret is revealed.  I have to stop now and tell you that this big secret is too much for K's mother and therefore we will NOT be telling her anything about any of this.  She absolutely cannot know, she mustn't find out what's been going on right under her nose, for that information would be too much for her to bear, she's not open-minded enough, she could never imagine the likes of what I need to to say, to share, to understand.  K's mother is over 80 years old and is very old-fashioned and naive about things, particularly things which one generally does not hear about on TV or in newspapers. She doesn't really have friends at her age, aside from a couple of relatives who come to check on her and socialize with her from time to time. These times, the times when, say Aunt B comes over and takes Mom to the grocery store, these are the times which K looks forward to, not because she doesn't enjoy being with her mother-she does love and enjoy being with her mother-but because while Mom is out of the house, K can relax her brain and let go and not have to put forth such an effort to appear "sane", which is absolutely exhausting for us to do everyday.  K's mother has no real concept of what the internet is, she just knows that she can ask K a question and K can look it up on her computer and find an answer usually.  This is important!  This is how I intend to find out about what's "wrong" with K, even though I detest that we must use that word "wrong", for it implies that K is defective, which I suppose she must be to be going through all of these symptoms and what have you, but which I, Switch Kellie, find hard to accept.  I don't want to be defective. I just want to be happy.

Happy is a fairly foreign concept to us, to K, for she's been unhappy for so long that she can barely remember what it's like to feel anything else, except that now that she's gotten married, this feeling of "happiness" has come over her and to be honest, it freaks her out a great deal.  It freaks her out because it just feels so alien to her, this feeling of true happiness (we have faked being happy for eons); K has suffered from depression for almost her entire life and she's therefore used to being unhappy and she understands these dark feelings of doom and gloom and while they may not be ideal for her, she's at least familiar with them and is comfortable feeling them.  This new feeling of "happiness" makes K very nervous, for we are unsure how to go about it, it's something different, something scary, something we've not been around much, and K doesn't know exactly how to "be" happy.  It frightens her, this new concept, although she'd very much like to experience it the way that other people, regular people, seem to experience it.  And wouldn't it be lovely if K could appreciate life and all that it has to offer, without being bothered by that nasty depression cloud which has hung over her head for so many years now...Perhaps we are on the pathway to that place, that feeling, to being "happy" (which we've been on and off before throughout the years but the feeling never lingers, it's always been a temporary rush).  I just hope I can get there, to that place, to "happy" before I run out of time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Time For Words

Here we go again.  I wonder how long I've been doing this?  and by "This" I mean coming to reality, waking up from my dreamworld, snapping into focus.  I'm back, I've been here very recently, perhaps in the last 24 hours, I can't say for sure because of the damn time thing. K has no concept of time, not time the way you know it, but rather we have what we affectionately refer to as "Kellie Time".  I'm still having trouble in learning which words to use, which phrases are proper, which ideas hold "true" (whatever that means).  I think that perhaps Kellie is hoping to come to a good stopping point before she takes a break from her studies to write a blog post.  Blog post. How funny.  Kellie is such a non-techie, in spite of the fact that her astrological sign, Aquarius, is supposedly very much into computers and technology and gadgets and the like.  Oh dear.  I've just come to the somewhat distressing realization that this could take an exceptionally long time to complete, this latest project.  Perhaps even a lifetime. (I wonder how long that is...)<--- Naturally, we know how long a "lifetime" averages, we know this based upon what we've learned in school and in books, and besides that, these days it's simply a matter of going to your favorite search engine and asking. Currently,  the life expectancy of a female living in my country of residence is 80.8 years.  Now we must compare that age to the one which we find on K's birth certificate, and in doing so we see that Kellie is roughly half-way through her current physical body's life expectancy. That's too bad; I think perhaps, if this Mental Illness had been correctly diagnosed and properly treated sooner in Kellie's life, then she might've been able to recover enough to live a productive and dare we say "normal" life, maybe even excelled in a career, most likely in the arts.  But I'm jumping way, way ahead in our story, so let's stop and rewind, now hit "Play" again.  Listen to this.  Kellie is quite creative and artistic and always has been, for as long as she's been alive practically.  She started drawing around the age of 3 and has done so throughout her life.  Kellie likes to keep a diary, at least some of us do, and a lot of times these diaries don't have words, but rather they have drawings, because it's so much easier for Kellie to express herself through drawings and sketches and doodles than in words.  She is quite good with words, or at least she used to be, before her memory problems became so pronounced.  Granted, the substance abuse which came about in her 20's and early 30's certainly did nothing to help her memory problems.  Kellie was always worried about what the drugs,  I guess we can go ahead and say it out loud now, the marijuana Kellie likes to smoke, would do to her memory. 

She didn't want to impair her memory in any way, and she used to give that as her main reason for NOT smoking pot, but of course she loosened up, so to speak, in college,  and began experimenting with drugs and then the obsessive-compulsive nature of Kellie took over and it went downhill from there.  As the problem with drugs grew larger, her memory recall grew smaller.  Certainly, if she had known for sure that her memory would be so adversely affected, she would never have allowed herself to smoke so much of it, and in the end become the thing that I, the smart one, feared so much back in those days, and that is a pothead.  Kellie used to laugh at them when she'd see them on TV or whatever; she's always been fascinated by and drawn to the hippie culture, for as long as she has been physically alive.  I say that with no disrespect directed towards hippies whatsoever, I must make that perfectly clear.  Kellie loves 1960's and 1970's culture, and I suppose it's interesting to note that many of the Kellie's have a particular decade which they are most drawn to and influenced by, and what we are experiencing right now people, right at this very moment, is I believe something important, something of a clue, so to speak-could that fact, the fact that different Kellie's have their favorite decades...maybe this is a clue as to their ages?  Hmm.  I suppose, if I pause to think about it, each Kellie has her own favorite everything, from music to clothing  to books-I could go on but surely you see the point.  Each Kellie has her own distinct sense of being, her own style, her own sense of "self". I don't personally know all of the Kellie's, and I don't know whether any of us have ever met or who knows whom....well, I take that back, I DO know some of the Kellie's, or at least I'm aware of their existence.  There is the Good Daughter, who takes care of Mom and sees that she gets what she needs and feels loved and needed.  Kellie is NOT the Good Daughter, and I don't believe that Mom knows Kellie, but it's likely that she's met her considering she's "known" Kellie for so many years.  This is really and truly exhausting, I have to interject that.  It's currently 5:42 A.M. on Sunday, January 8, 2012.  We, or I, I being the Smart Kellie, the one who gets things done, the one who takes care of things, I have been having a fascinating conversation with Kellie's husband.  He's really above and beyond anything that Kellie ever could have hoped for or expected to find in her life.  The Kellie had lots of lovers and was very popular, and she had a number of marriage proposals at different points in time throughout her life, but The Kellie is most definitely NOT the marrying kind.  I'm not sure whether I should take this opportunity to talk about The Kellie or whether I should just continue on with my work, with my research, with my "mission".  That's how I described it to K's husband, that I'm on a mission, that I'm here to take over the reins for awhile and see that things get done and business is taken care of.  I am in current need of supplies, namely notebooks and pens, with which we can take notes and keep track of our research, which is currently, and I believe correctly directed at Dissociative Identity Disorder.  I think this is what Kellie has, but I can't say for certain as I am not a licensed medical doctor and haven't studied psychology and psychiatry in the classic senses of the words i.e. I never went to school to be a shrink.  However, I DID take some psychology courses while I was in college, and I've always been intrigued by and fascinated with the subject, and have always enjoyed reading about the subject,  perhaps because we are so ill.  Kellie has always believed that if she learns enough about her illness, she might be able to get well, and for her sake, and I guess for the sake of all of us, us being the Kellie's, I hope that is true.  I, myself, that being the Smart Kellie, or as our husband called us earlier, Switch Kellie.  That's a label which he says I gave myself, but which I have only a vague memory of, and it's more like he gave me the name and I remember hearing it than it is like me giving myself the name.

I have no idea whether we've stated this fact before, and since Kellie's memory is so horrendous it's really impossible for me to say without re-reading it, but I am quite concerned with Kellie being taken seriously, and Kellie being embarrassed.  Now, mind you, I'm not the one who gets embarrassed easily, that is very Kellie, but NOT The Kellie of course.  I, being the Smart Kellie, am worried that I, we, Kellie won't be taken seriously.  I have very strong fears regarding these matters, and it would seem to stem from the fact that as a child I was often accused of lying and I was NOT lying and it was so incredibly frustrating for us, and still is apparently.  Now we must stop for a moment here and clarify the facts as I know them, and the facts are these: My sister's husband does NOT believe we're ill.  He thinks that Kellie has been making it up her whole life just to get attention and get out of her responsibilities.  I guess he feels that way because he's never seen any indication that we were ill.  I've certainly never spoken to him about these matters, but once a long time ago, Kellie did something wrong, I can't remember now what it was, but it was bad and Mom and Dad called my sister and things were said and tears were shed, and in the end my brother-in-law wrote an email to my father, telling him that Kellie was a fake and a liar.  He pointed out that if she were truly so ill, that she'd have no way of going out into the world and buying pot and rolling a joint and getting high and whatnot.  So he seems to think that Kellie is just a junkie or something.  (That's ridiculous, although The Kellie certainly is an addict; I'll tell you about her later) There's so much to be said and so little time in which to say it!  I don't know how to make that any clearer.  I, being in my current state of awareness, have a job to do, a mission to accomplish, a goal to reach, and that goal is Kellie's recovery.  We want nothing more than for Kellie to be well.  (Although Kellie herself doesn't really want to be classified as "normal", for she feels that to be normal is boring)

While we were talking to Kellie's husband earlier (he's asleep now, as it's currently 6:17 A.M.), it occurred to us that it were as though we, he and I, were meeting for the first time or like we had just begun dating and were still getting to know each other.  I rather enjoyed that aspect of the evening, I have to admit that.  I found him to be intellectually stimulating as well as creative and interesting and unique in a way that Kellie really relates to and is genuinely attracted to.  He is something special and I think that Kellie truly could not have a more suitable life partner.  He's a writer, and therefore Kellie appreciates his artistic and sensitive nature, and loves him for his creativity and talent.  He's a very good writer actually; dark but good.  But I digress.  I was telling you about our conversation... this seemed to last a very long time, or as long as say, an LSD trip lasts, which I guess is subjective as well as literal.  It was so much fun talking to him, and getting to know him and hearing him tell us about what he likes and what he collects and what his interests are.  I was trying to tell him things about myself as well, things like the fact that I do NOT smoke cigarettes, although Kellie did for years before finally quitting in May 2010 (because of the ARDS incident) although we must admit that she's been cheating lately due to stress factors, and the fact which The Kellie chain-smokes.  I intended to tell him how I drink hot tea rather than coffee, although I very much like coffee; Kellie LOVES coffee and is an absolute caffeine fiend.  Since I kept coming out with information which seemed important, I remarked that perhaps Kellie's husband should start keeping notes, which is ironic because of my whole obsessive need to make lists and such things; you'd think that I would want to take the notes myself, and let me assure you, I am, but it is just that there is more to be studied here than Kellie could actually remember or I could write down.  So at some point, Kellie's husband brought out his cell phone, and it has a recording device built into it, and so he placed it in front of us and turned it on and told us to speak.  At first I was too self-conscious to talk, too embarrassed as it were.  But after a while, I don't know how long of course, I forgot about the recording and began to just relax and be myself (LOL) and talk to him without thinking of the device.  It seemed as though I were really making strides towards progress, or at least as much progress as can be made without the help of a trained psychiatrist or psychologist.  I can't say how long we recorded our conversation, and I have no idea what we talked about-I can't remember now-but I can recall the specific moment we stopped recording, for Kellie's husband laid down on the bed and I approached him and told the cell phone in my hand that he was going to sleep and that I guess it was time to stop talking to him and let him rest or something.  And so we were able to get back to our project, which is currently this.  What is this?  Oh yes, the blog.  I believe that the creation of the blog was in fact a trigger, that something inside Kellie switched on whenever she created the blog, and that I came out to take over and tell the story because I'm better with words than she is. We both seem to enjoy words though, to a magnified amount, and much of Kellie's art contains words embedded within the pictures. I recently looked at photographs of some artwork that Kellie had done, and I was immediately struck by the fact that she has completely different styles at different points in time; this seemed important to the story of Kellie and therefore I'm writing it down. 

OK, now we really must get back to our research, there's so much work to be done, so many hours of reading  which needs catching up on and notes which need to be made.  Also, Kellie's husband told her things that we need to remember, things like the fact that I, whom he is now calling Switch Kellie, but whom I have been referring to as Smart Kellie, told him that I appear whenever things get very bad.  He said that I said that Kellie was stressed out and that this was the reason for my arrival.  I have tried repeatedly to recall when I was last present in this existence, this lifetime, this "reality" but I cannot remember.  I have a journal which was last used in October of 2010, so it would seem that I've not been here for at least that long, as I like very much to write and am always trying to write things, lists, prose, lines of poetry, things of that nature.  It was me who wanted the new journal for Christmas that first year we were married, and it's that very journal to which I am referring now.  I've begun to use that journal again, in case I need to tell you.  It's being used as a tool, as a guide, as a point of reference I guess one could say.  Kellie can use the journal to find out what's been happening.  Now granted, this particular journal is not nearly as interesting as the purple velvet one, the one we found the other night or day or whenever that was, the journal in which we first (I think) mention Dissociative Identity Disorder as our diagnosis.  That journal was written beginning in January of 2004.  I don't know when we quit writing in it; from what I can remember, it became too much for us to handle, I or we or any of the Kellie's.  The stress of watching her father die was just more than she could bear, and in the end Kellie went to a very dark place and we didn't write there, or at least I've not found any writings from that time period.  I do know about paintings from back then, but we no longer have those.

I've just opened the window blinds and I see that it is raining.  We love the rain, Kellie simply adores the rain and always has.  Which I guess might explain one of the reasons Kellie was so happy when she lived in Seattle, Washington, since it rains there for the majority of the year.  Funny we should remember that time period as being so happy, yet in the end, Kellie was in a very dark place and could've easily died. But that's another story for another day-I don't want to be a buzzkill.  I've got so much to tell you, so much to share with you!  I cannot stress enough how important it seems to me to write all of this stuff down, to put it in writing so that we have some sort of proof, some sort of evidence that we existed.  Kellie has a fear of being forgotten, of not being remembered, which is hilarious when you look at it in the sense that I'm looking at it now, and that is, that Kellie is afraid of going unnoticed, while at the same time we are so incredibly self-conscious that we cannot stand for people to look at us.  Interesting, wouldn't you agree?  I've made several interesting discoveries in this, this most recent episode, as the husband called it.  Like an episode of a television show.  Kellie is the star of the show, and there are different co-stars and various extras, along with wardrobe and costuming and sets and even a soundtrack.  I've always compared it to a movie; Kellie is living a movie that others can see but no one can recognize that it's not real, that it's only a movie.  One time, a long time ago, Kellie had an "episode", and during that episode she became so frightened that she called her best girlfriend to come over and stay with her, for she was afraid to be alone.  I can't imagine how hard that phone call must've been, for that friend had never seen us "switch" before and she didn't know us.  I wonder who made it, the phone call.  I wonder which one of us knew to do that? Perhaps it was me, as I'm the responsible one, the one who takes care of Kellie.  I don't know if there are others who are responsible or mature or whatever.  I have no way of remembering that, except for my precious notes, which I've unfortunately not been keeping for the past 2 years so I'm lost in all of this, I have nothing to help me with recall.

A gradual build-up of symptoms of schizophrenia may or may not lead to an acute or crisis episode called a schizoid break - a short and intense period that involves delusions, hallucinations, distorted thinking, and an altered sense of self.  

Is this what keeps happening to us?  Is this what those periods of clarity are?  Those moments in which I seem to "wake up" and become aware of my existence?s  Or is it in fact the absence of those moments wherein lies the schizoid break? Damn.  I really can't tell you how much we'd like to talk to our psychiatrist.  I really should have called her whenever this all started.  Husband told us before he went to sleep that I've been here for 4 days now.  He said he's tired, that he needs a break.  I get that.  I understand that I'm a lot to take, Kellie in general is a lot to take, for anyone but especially for those who have close relationships with her.  She's very melodramatic.  What else can I tell you about her?  I'm not sure.  I'll have to think for awhile, and see if I can remember anything about her, or us, or any of the Kellie's.  This is all so strange.  I don't know how to describe it, I really don't and even if I did it still wouldn't come close to what actually living it is like.  So the world will never know, but I am trying, in my own way, to tell the tale, to share the story, to help people understand what it's like to live with this particular mental illness, which technically I still have no proper name for.

This is the part where I tell you that I do NOT have a current diagnosis handy.  Which each new doctor has come a new diagnosis, at least that's what's been happening for most of her physical being.  Kellie has worn so many different labels throughout the course of her life that it's difficult to say exactly what is wrong with her at this point.  She seems to exhibit symptoms from a multitude of disorders, which I've learned is called comorbidity.  Commorbidities are diseases or conditions that coexist with a primary disease but they also stand on their own as specific diseases.  Kellie is definitely OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Kellie has a multitude of obsessions which seem to change over time; perhaps they change with my "self", with each entity having obsessions and compulsions all her own.  Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief.  Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety-if I don't do whatever it is I'm compelled to do, then I get antsy, nervous, on edge. It is completely impossible to think of anything else outside of that one thought, that one idea, whatever it may be.  Sometimes this can be a good thing, like when I, Switch Kellie, am focused on the task in front of me, which currently happens to be the all-important project of researching Kellie's mental illness and taking notes about it, which we intend to show and discuss with our doctor when we go and see her on Wednesday, January 11. Another example of a good obsession would be Kellie's aversion to dirt, which causes her to clean, but that's not really Kellie, that's one of her alters, for Kellie has never been one to clean her room.  That's most certainly a different Kellie, the one who cleans and who has a phobia about dirt and who gets freaked out if she focuses on something and finds it to be dusty or dirty.  She is literally afraid of dirt, afraid it will hurt her in some way, contaminate her, ruin her forever.  I'd rather like it if she came around more often, for we could really use the help with housekeeping.

I've never thought about it before.  That's a funny phrase to me.  "I've never thought about it before."  As if I would be able to remember it if I had!  And each of us has her own memories, some shared of course, but many unique to only that persona, or "alter" I guess I'm supposed to say, based on the research I've been doing.  I can't say for certain how long I've been researching this subject matter, but it feels like a very long time indeed, perhaps weeks.  I'm cross-referencing my information, using multiple search engines and websites and a myriad of windows to try and organize all this data.  I MUST get organized if I ever intend to get better.  I MUST.  Kellie loves to organize things because of her OCD, but she has a hard time keeping things organized because of her other selves, several of whom are sloppy unfortunately.  These messy Kellie's  have in the past caused great shame and embarrassment for us by revealing to the outside world that we are not perfect.  If someone comes to visit, and the house is messy, then they will see that I am not doing a good job,  and that I, Kellie, am disappointing them, which we absolutely cannot stand to do or perceive to do to any extent.  Kellie does NOT want to disappoint anyone, and she has a hard time saying "no" and in that she can't always be ME or any of the other higher-functioning Kellie's and therefore she's bound to drop the ball at some point and lose control and not be able to satisfy someone's need.  And Kellie will feel just terrible about that.  She really and truly wants to make everyone happy, she really does, but no matter how hard she tries, it is never good enough. Never.