Feeling unwell

It’s been a tricky few weeks so much has happened and yet what has impacted the most has been a sore back. I have damaged a couple of the discs in my lower back and this has resulted in a trapped sciatic nerve, which is more than a little painful. In fact when it first started it felt far worse than any labour pains I had endured. My bad back has meant I’ve had to rest and that’s not been so easy for me or my alters, the other parts of me. 
  
Suddenly our planned trips to the beach, days out to recharge my batteries and catch the last summer sun disappeared. I couldn’t get off the sofa without great distress and so I seemed to just exist, I managed by sheer luck and determination to make therapy but sitting is so painful that it’s not been easy. However as time passes by  I am starting to deal better with the pain, I’ve managed to get myself into a safe routine that means parts of me still get time just its different to what we are used to. I had to spend a lot of time trying to work out how to do things for the different parts of me whilst feeling unwell and laid flat on my back. 

So reading has become  a lifeline, along with the TV and even some knitting, it’s been more about internal dialogue explaining why we can’t  do things we would normally have done. Some parts of me are having to except that right now I can’t do the things I would like. I can’t make the gym, or swimming and I haven’t been able to visit the zoo something I’d promised we would do in September. 

Yet life is sometimes about dealing with the unexpected, trying to keep moving forwards whilst challenged in new ways. I guess right now I’m challenged by pain and the fact I can’t move as well as I used to, but time is a healer and I will heal. My family have been really supportive and people have been very understanding when I cancel appointments or planned events. 

I guess feeling unwell has been a learning curve too and it’s also given time to think, time to rejuggle priorities and balance my diary better. Suddenly faced with being unable to move meant I had to wipe my diary clear and start again, that’s not been all bad if I’m honest. 

Now I’m managing my pain better and I can potter about the house carefully as long as I rest quite often. Whilst my diary is still quiet I have managed a few things. I made it to church this morning and whilst I felt unwell throughout and in pain it felt good to be out and to be there. I’m visiting my youngest son tomorrow evening for tea I haven’t been able to see him for a few weeks so I’m glad I’m getting the chance.  But I know I will need to rest the day afterwards to ensure the recovery process can keep going. 

I’m learning so much through this bad back, I’m learning to prioritise my family, to manage my diary better and to value the little things in life. Things I haven’t had a chance to do for ages I’m suddenly able to, knitting is one example of that I’m often too busy to do it, but now I have time and suprisngly you can knit laid flat on your back. Parts of me are understanding too and seem to appreciate the efforts made to give them time.  What I’ve realised too is that feeling unwell is not unmanageable,  yes it felt it at first but once I’d accepted the situation and got used to the fact I will be in continuous pain, things were more bearable. 

Having DID makes feeling unwell harder to manage, but it is manageable once you get your head round it. Maybe once this is over and my back fully healed I will be able to look back on this time and see the positives and not just the pain.  I hope so. For now I’m taking it one day at a time and managing my pain as best I can and I’m going to keep smiling and remember that there are people who are far worse off than me.  I will heal in time and my pain will eventually disappear, till then I plod on, me and my parts together. 
Copyright. DID DISPATCHES 2015 

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It’s been a rough week – illness and DID

 

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The past week has been a bit of a nightmare I have had a really bad virus of some kind, so with a whole host of symptoms I have felt really quite unwell. The problem is that means I have just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide, I have had days were I just slept for hours, others were I’ve shivered and felt rough and others were I have had no energy at all.

The impact isn’t just physical however, as being unwell has meant many plans have had to change and that’s upset many of the different parts of me, my alters. My intended trip to the beach with my teen alter didn’t happen and time with the little parts was forgotten as I slept through the cartoon time. It’s not so easy being unwell but it seems even more difficult as someone who is fragmented, someone who has many different parts of me.

Now as I sit and recover I’m trying to rebuild bridges with those alters who have at times felt that I have once again neglected them. It isn’t uncommon for me to be building bridges it’s a skill I’m learning to be quite good at, after all I am forever making comments that I later regret and which upset some part of me. I’m also very good at trying to block the other parts of me at times and then have to re build a rapport with the part who I have just physically and emotionally ignored.

Some of my bridge building I’m told is because like many with Dissociative Identity Disorder I still have moments of denial, denial of the past and denial of the alters. I’m fortunate at times that the other parts of me are very tolerant and very understanding of my mistakes, we would be in a much worse state if they weren’t.

During the past week one of my little parts as been very vocal at reminding me she is around, when I couldn’t talk because I had no voice, she filled my head with her words. She made it clear she didn’t like feeling poorly and she was sick and tired of me coughing and coughing. She’s told me that she wasn’t impressed our daily routine of having time first thing each morning had stopped. It seems being ill was clearly no excuse for ignoring the other parts of me and I soon gathered that she was unhappy.

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Now as I have started to recover despite still having limited energy my little part has at least been happy to watch cartoons again and to be able to have that agreed time each day. Though she’s not too impressed my energy levels are lower than low and so I’m currently running at tortoise pace or slower. Other parts too are around some more prominent than others, I am developing a real bond with those parts of me who I now sense more regularly, my teen who only 7 or 8 months ago I would block and fear for being overwhelmed by her emotions is one such part.

It’s hard to imagine how she use to overwhelm me, take control and leave me a virtual wreck as her emotions, her pain, her anguish would flood me and I’d collapse in floods of tears. Today we communicate and that’s been the result of a lot of hard work,we still rarely communicate with words however, but ideomotor signals are amazing and so helpful. They have been a real breakthrough for me and my teen part and even today I know whilst I still know so little of her anguish, she at least is learning to trust me and I’m learning to not block her.

She has been truly great this last week reassuring me when I have felt down and dejected at feeling so unwell, she seems to know when I need that reassurance far more than other parts.
Despite missing the beach an activity we both enjoy and share, she has forgiven me and is far more able to understand the reasons why, than perhaps the little parts can.

 

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Of course all my parts, my alters are just different fragmented parts of me, fragmented as a result of my past. However I can’t change the past but I can learn to shape the future and even being unwell has been an opportunity to take time to reflect and to work at understanding the alters better. I realise being ill has impacted all of me, parts included and together we are trying slowly to recover on a steady slow path of progress. Each day if we manage one more thing then that’s helpful, I’m having to learn to pace myself far better and accept what I can and can’t do right now.

Most of all I’m learning that I can’t ignore my alters, even when I feel unwell they still need the time and space to be. I guess despite being a nightmare of a week I have still made progress, well progress that matters. For me that’s me and my alters getting to know each other a bit better and learning to work together no matter how ill we might feel.

(The pictures for this blog have been chosen by the little parts of me.)

Copyright DID Dispatches 2015