My head is brimming with blog posts; I think it’s a testament to improved internal communication that our writer in residence is being inundated with ideas and requests. It’s also wonderful to know that now I know I’m not bipolar (I never thought I was and I told them it wasn’t like Stephen fucking Fry) this is not due to mania; it’s also nice to know that all of these potential blog posts are safe, won’t be forgotten. I may not know what they are but I can rest easy as someone else does. I’m still wary of blogging “too often”; I’ve never managed to define what “too often” would be so the aforementioned posts may all appear today, over the next year or so- or not at all. I don’t know.
Anyone who knows me will know I have a love [twitter]/hate [fucking iTunes] relationship with technology and that overall I am technology dependent. I’m not unique in this I know; after all it’s 2012 who doesn’t have internet access at home and on the move? Who doesn’t depend on social networking to stay in touch with friends? Who still buys CDs? I suspect though that as with everything I do- I’m doin’ it the DID way.
This post is in danger of being exceptionally long, this is another one of those “I could write a book on DID and …….” topics (the others so far being, shoes, books, hair, music, parenting and clothes) so I’m going to restrict my ramblings, I can never be sure if parts 2, 3, 4……….100,000 will ever get written but I still have no desire to bore my audience to death. Unless some of the mental health professionals I’ve met are still reading of course…..
I’ve blogged about blogging before, it’s clear I get something out of it- several things but it’s only now I have a good understanding of the true role it plays. First and foremost I write the blog for myselves, I advise anyone considering becoming a blogger to do the same (multiple selves optional). The blog is my story. I’m 37, I don’t have a story, well I do but it’s in several chapters and many of those chapters are completely inaccessible to me, for over three years now, I’ve had a story; a continuous narrative. Obviously there are gaps (out of all the things the unnecessary medication killed off- the blog was one of them), there’s always going to be gaps but the bare bones of a story are there. Back in the days of extreme chaos, before I was correctly diagnosed, when I sometimes knew I had DID and sometimes didn’t I would read the blog and learn things from it. I often was surprised to find that posts had been written and published as I had no memory of doing so. Posts are littered with clues to my multiplicity; I didn’t pick up on them all on the first reading or the second or even the fifteenth but eventually little bits of information began to sink in. Again back in those days of doubt, certain posts would come to the attention of fellow DIDers who were able to recognise my symptoms for what they were. Those pingbacks, emails and comments were essential validation at a time when those around me were insisting I was wrong. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of DID who read the blog and followed me on twitter was able to see that I was in fact the most obvious multiple on the internet. I am still enormously grateful to all of you who reached out to me, I appreciate it’s a tricky and courageous thing to do. My own DIDar (it’s like gaydar) has been functioning well for a while and I know how conflicted you can feel when you spot someone, want to help but don’t want to scare the shit out of them by letting on.
The blog is also an aid to internal communication, in times of conflict or confusion I am able to consolidate some of the [number I will never reveal] thoughts, feelings, ideas and perspectives in one place- after several readings of the post some decisions can be made, plans formulated and precarious, short-lived harmony restored. I get a lot of ‘help’ when writing posts- the writer’s head noise is often the loudest. Blog posts may read to the untrained eye as a simple, humorous, sometimes harrowing account of my daily struggles with mentalism but they tell me so much more. I can tell you that some 585 words into this post that two separate parts have had a hand in writing it. I can also tell you that with my knowledge that I, the writer of the blog, am one ‘part’ of a system of dissociated identities am really struggling to make this post read as a first person account! It’s important to me that the blog, though it comes from a fragmented mind and identity represents something whole, it’s a skill I’ve had to work hard to develop. This hopefully also explains why those of you who praise my writing on twitter or wherever get the standard response of “thanks, but I don’t write the blog”. I don’t use twitter.
The blog gives me a voice, allows me a place to make a contribution of sorts. I suspect I have ruined my future career in politics but here I can be political and people listen and respond; it’s enough to satisfy that need.
I like to think that each post educates in some way, demystifies DID, I may be talking about extreme and sometimes ‘scary’ mentalism but I like to think the way it’s presented here makes me your friendly neighbourhood multiple. For those of you who have known me for a long time, the blog comes from “Zoë Smith” (not so much a name as a concept), the same Zoë Smith you have known and loved/hated/tolerated for a while. I may be officially mental now but in many ways I’m just the same as I was, I’m not scary, DID isn’t scary.
The blog is a community for me, I’m having some other thoughts on my place in the larger madosphere community (those thoughts being one of the potential blog posts) but here, on one of the best blogs on the internet I have a family. The regular commenters, some of who know me elsewhere, some who only communicate with me here play an important role in my life. All bloggers love feedback – I love to write, I write for myselves and if I’m happy with it then that’s enough- though I do wish someone, anyone would pick up on the sheer genius that is the title of the posts. I’m beginning to wonder if they’re just a bit too technical or DID-specific as to me, each one, though brief is an essay in itself. When I look back through the blog, as I often do, frankly I astound myself with insight I didn’t know I had- “Where I Play And Do?” being a classic example. That post was a collaborative effort with another part- as many are (if we can get a few more political posts up I reckon the blog could be a contender in next years Total Politics blog awards in the group blog section); it appears to be a fairly banal post about an inappropriate attachment to a laptop. It is far more. I may not have understood a lot of the content myself, my role is to create writings that are easy on the eye using information fed to me from more learned parts but, yeah, I’m dead proud of that title and nobody picked-up on it! All posts are a learning experience for me, in fact I notice for the first time I’m talking about myself- as that one part of many. I’m not comfortable with it so I’ll get back to what I was supposed to be discussing.
I don’t respond to the comments left here, I leave that to someone else but the conversations and connections made in the comments are essential and bring much needed friendship, love, humour, support, sympathy and acceptance. Many friends have been made through the blog and as a collector of people (they’re cheaper than stickers and stationery) this brings a lot of joy to an otherwise challenging life.
So there you have it, my own unique relationship with blogging. I was going to write about twitter too but I think the relationship I’ve described with blogging is revealing, weird, convoluted and mental enough for one post.