Alicia tells her story of overcoming immeasurable difficulty through most of her life. It's not an easy journey, and there are setbacks, but she is coming through stronger and is an inspiration to her family, friends, and those who get to know her.
My name is Alicia Kay Speer, and I have a story to tell.
I was born with a seizure disorder but it didn’t truly show itself until I got a rare disease from a mosquito while living in Minnesota. Lacrosse encephalitis. It rendered me into a coma for a week and caused some brain damage. I was only five years old. I went under EEGs and doctors to see what was happening. When I turned eight, my family moved to Virginia, and it wasn’t long before we realized something was off about me. We had me tested and it turned out that I had ADHD and Bipolar as well as minor anger issues. I was put into therapy and began my long, and continuing, road to recovery.
As the years went on I tried different medicines, different coping methods, made friends that may not have been best for me, and lost pieces of myself. But I also discovered more than I ever thought about what I can endure and what I can do to make sure I survive. I endured other hardships such as sexual abuse and some mental abuse from people who I thought were my friends.
In 2010 I was found to have MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder. Though now it’s known as DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. I had many other ‘people’ in my mind and heard and saw things that just didn’t make sense. I also had anxiety and panic attacks. I learned that my seizures were both epileptic and nonepileptic which mean that only half of them could be controlled by medicine. I went on a journey through the soul and found out who I was and what parts were extras that I would just have to live with. It wasn’t until 2016 that I really grew into myself and solidified my methods of coping.
I enjoy going to the park and walking the trails. Being surrounded by nature grounds me and brings me back to a peaceful center.
Earlier on I found that drawing was another wonderful way to express how I felt, and I was good at it. Writing was another thing I had a passion for and excelled at.
I was also gifted with a camera from my parents and found that photography of nature allowed me to show other people what I see when I go on my walks. I have found that creating music videos, both live action and using clips from actual animes and shows, also help. Really, any way that I can express myself and show people how I see things helps me to deal with everything.
Another thing that helps is letting other people know how to get through struggles like I’ve been through. And not all my struggles were that of the mind. I became addicted to harmful relationships and it made me not fully trust those I loved. It made me afraid that everyone would leave me, and to tell the truth I still have that fear. I won’t put myself fully into a relationship because I am scared of being abused. I also, unfortunately, have a self-harming addiction. Mainly either cutting or burning myself with matches. I fight the urges but they are there when I feel useless or ugly. I even carved the word ALONE into my upper right thigh once. I had also stabbed myself in the leg in a fit of insanity when a violent personality came out. My mother had found me in a puddle of blood laughing. But being around people who I have known for so long, and people with just healing natures has helped me to come out of my fears and know that there are people who will always be there. I know who to call when I have problems and who will help me best in that situation.
One of those ‘people’ is my therapy and seizure cat Ganymede. I’ve always had pets, though mainly hamsters and the occasional ferret. Before Ganymede I had a therapy rat named Sebastian and he was my best friend for the years that I had him. When he went into surgery to remove his first tumor, I knew I would have to get another animal soon. So along came my kitten. He is eight months old and is a Maine Coon tabby. He knows when I’m upset and immediately comes to me. He will alert people if I’m having a seizure and will keep me grounded during them. The best part is, he hasn’t had any training. He is a pure natural and even loves being outside in public settings with me. He is my soul animal.
One other thing I focus on is my religion, which is a little out there. I am a henotheist which means I respect all religions and agree that there must be a god looking out for us. I believe that it doesn’t matter what you call the god as long as you show devotion. I worship the Egyptian Goddess Bastet and ever since I’ve been praying to her my life has become much more peaceful.
I surround myself with things that I love and things that make me feel good. I have structure in my life but make sure to always have fun as well. Exercise and eating right are another way to keep your mind healthy. Find what makes you happy, how you can express YOU and your way of thinking. If you figure out what you can latch onto then it makes it so much easier to stay afloat in the sea of pain and confusion. I hope this has helped people and I know that you can do it.
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