This week I would like to welcome Mel Ryder to the blog, they’re here to share their story of creativity and Dissociative Identity Disorder.
I am made up of seven people.
My therapist once described life as having different hats. Each hat is a different subject or strength, and they would trade places depending on the situation. It took quite a while to finally admit that I didn’t feel like I had hats, plural. Instead I had one hat, but sometimes I wasn’t the one wearing it. And when I wasn’t wearing it, I would “wake up” somewhere new, and all I could remember was a black space.
My life has been a series of black spaces and funny stories my friends say I was a part of, but having no memory of it. It’s been short-term memory loss, finding things in my room that I never bought, and opening my eyes to a new room with no memory of walking there.
Up until a therapy session that my therapist began with, “So, last time you were here, I met someone new,” that I discovered – and finally admitted to – something I should have known a long time ago.
I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, otherwise known as Multiple Personality.
When my therapist said those words, it was like a sudden wave of relief hit me because someone had finally noticed. I felt validated and like I finally had the beginning of an answer to my fear.
Meditation helped me meet the Others in my mind. Therapy helped me accept them, and helped them accept me. But what helped the most is the day I found out most of us had a similar passion. Writing.
I have been writing my entire life and in the past had been complimented on my ability to write in so many voices and extremely different perspectives. Finding out about the Others made me realize that, that ability was because of Them. We had all been writing together for years.
Damian loved theatre and drama, while Marigold enjoyed romance. Syren preferred researching and nonfiction, and April was passionate about having perfect grammar and spelling. Little Lily, who is six years old, is too young to write a lot, but has a vivid imagination for anything fantasy. And me? Paranormal and Contemporary was my niche. Together, we had one hell of a team.
But there was one more inside me that seemed left out. Darion, Damian’s twin, couldn’t write a thing. He simply didn’t enjoy it, and it felt strange, having so many people inside me that could work together, except one that just seemed… lonely.
It wasn’t until I discovered art and began drawing and painting, with a passion I didn’t know I had, that Darion finally stepped forward. And now, sometimes I have black spots that end with new sketches in a style I can’t mimic.
It was incredible, discovering how creativity brought us together. When I first “met” the Others, I was scared it would mean I would turn into the stereotype “crazy” you see in old movies. But as time has passed I can now talk to them like they’re right beside me, which is admittedly kind of weird to see. But to me, it’s like having six friends and family that live with me. If that means that sometimes I’ll lose an hour when writing and wake up to five pages of a new story, I don’t mind. It gives me a chance to see their voice, and a lot of times it’s actually them adding a fantastic idea for what I was doing.
I am made up of seven people. It’s weird sometimes, it’s annoying sometimes, and sometimes I get weird looks for suddenly snapping out loud at someone no one else can see. But those moments when I find a new art piece, or a plot idea to help me with writer’s block, it makes everything worth it.
I am made up of seven people.
And that’s okay. ~Mel
Mel Ryder is a creative writer, artist, and blogger that is passionate about sharing their experiences with chronic illness. They hope to raise awareness and meet other people.
Do you have any interesting stories about how creativity has impacted your life, health or mental health?