Bipolar Blog 10: The Grief Trigger

Bipolar Blog 10: The Grief Trigger

Let me paint a picture for you Halloween Fans. A good friend and family member suddenly dies. I purchase Declan a suit and dress in extremely conservative clothes, I offer support to the family and write for our late loved ones funeral. At no time do I show grief publicly, nor behave outside of the right parameters for the occasion. Unlike many I do not drink alcohol at that time, nor cry. I show the correct courtesies and follow what I believe to be the correct etiquette. Appearances would suggest that I am not affected by the loss. This is far from the truth. My behaviour is the result of experience and belief in respect for those lost and for those left behind. Inside I can be absolutely burning up with grief, but I cannot show it, dare not show it because the minute the flood gates open I know that I will lose control.

Death is inevitable, people live and they die. Loss is a sadness that everyone experiences and cannot be avoided. My mum knows how I feel about death and funerals as does my husband. The rest of the world only see what I let them see, so as you may imagine this particular entry is extremely hard. Bipolar survivors are terribly sensitive, especially when it comes to death. Ironically survivors also have a tendency to be hyper-religious. Nothing is done by halves, not where bipolar disorder is concerned. Consequently survivors tend to have vast and complicated spiritual beliefs that are constantly in flux. I remember being at school and I was late to my religious studies class, largely because I had got off the train and wandered around the town sauntering in to school via the longest possible route. I would have been about 15 and already had a head full of ideas. The class were talking about reincarnation and one thing I loved about religious studies was the seminar-like nature of the class. I proposed that time is irrelevant to the spirit, Einstein suggested time is curved in which case there is a possibility of two points in time meeting. I proposed that time was much more complex and posited also that there were different dimensions and alternative realities and as such if reincarnation were a fact then it is likely that another life could be either in the future or in the past and not necessarily in this dimension. No one grasped my idea so I drew a diagram on the board to explain what I meant; a tesseract. I didn’t know it was a tesseract back then, it just seemed to exhibit my ideas. I think everyone was quite bemused.

I have had, and continue to have a vast array of spiritual ideas. My first non-fiction book was called ‘Promises of an Afterlife’ and examined some case studies in Near Death Experience. I have just completed another piece comparing Buddhism and Christianity. Now, I have wandered off topic a little bit here, but the point that I am making is that survivors tend to believe in something beyond this life. This does not, however, prevent or thwart the feeling of grief. Indeed quite the opposite, you see even though there is something beyond this life, this does not detract from that fact that within this life the lost friend will not be seen again, will not share their company againand are gone for the foreseeable future. It is also a firm and constant reminder of our own insignificance and mortality.

My first experience of loss happened at a very early age, it was very upsetting and still sits deeply with me. I think I became introverted for a year or so. I don’t really want to go into detail at this time on that matter as it is still very difficult. I will say that one close loss resulted in me spiralling into a full blown manic episode many years later. I think, looking back, that that was my way of coping. It also helped diagnosis and led to some introspection and consideration of how to handle grief. I wont lie to you, on a bad day I still get upset over one loss or another. Perhaps that spiritual quest is a way of confirming that the loss is not forever.

I have written poems for those that I have lost, people have responded very emotionally to my words. However, I have no magical cure for grief, no ideas as to how to stop the hurt. I can only propose that you celebrate the memory of someone’s life rather than mourn their death. It is a pain that s universally felt, so in this we are all together and not alone.


Valkyriekerry Kelly



Bipolar Blog 9: Mums on the Meds Again!

Bipolar Blog 9: Mums on the Meds Again!

I would love to say good morning Halloween Fans, but I have not been to sleep yet! After a semi-successful experiment in withdrawal went spectacularly bad, I decided to go back on my medication. Bipolar is an unusual illness in that survivors do tend to take themselves off of their meds. Now, everyone understands that bipolar is allegedly a mental or psychological illness, but some of the symptoms are physical. These symptoms range from joint pain, fatigue and headaches to muzzy perception and confused vision. Everything seems messy and blurry. So, coming off of the medication will create the onset of both these symptoms and the psychological symptoms and, wait for it, medication withdrawal symptoms.

When you first start taking medication the prescribing physician will neglect to discuss the withdrawal symptoms, and they are bad; nausea, sleep disturbances, tremors and shaking are just a few. The absolute worst symptoms are brain zaps, lightening bolts of electricity that shoot through the body and out of the extremities. It is a nasty business. Readers may wonder why a survivor would even attempt to withdraw from desperately needed medication, after all diabetics cannot just decide to stop taking their insulin! To understand the reasons consider why medication is necessary in the first place and what that medication does. Bipolar survivors experience deep, complex and continuous emotions, the medication stabilises and seems to numb these emotions, but bipolar moods can be euphoric and creative, so survivors try to withdraw to feel those sensations, to alleviate the pharmacological numbness.

Throughout my blog I have offered ideas in managing mood disorders, but I cannot stress enough the importance of medication. Ask me in two years time however and I may say quite the contrary. This is the nature of a mood disorder. The fact is I will most likely be on (and on occasion off) medication for the entirety of my life. That is part of managing the illness. I came off the medication in January, my rationale was that it would give my writing a nice creative boost, and it did. Unfortunately, over time I started to look and feel washed out. I passed the nasty brain zaps and I got a ton of work done. I am pleased with that. However, I found an old nervous twitch was returning, my sleep pattern fell into disarray and I was becoming easily stressed. So, after talking to my inner circle at length I decided to go back on the medication. I am taking a smaller dosage than before and monitoring my progress. As said, I have had many years of trying to objectively deal with this condition. I would not recommend that anyone stopped their meds.

My biggest concern is that my work will suffer without the creative wallop of the illness. That is why I am trying a smaller dose, finding a balance or as Buddha would say ‘a middle way.’ I must stress that I have a strong inner circle and plenty of social support, so any concerns will be raised with me without worry. If you glance back to yesterday’s blog you will notice that I was in an irritable mood, triggered by sounds and people entering my personal space. It is certainly easier to feel crowded off the meds or, as my mum pointed out, I can deal better with nonsense on the meds. In case anyone is wondering I take Lexapro and Lamictal. Another day I was in a hurry and I got stuck behind a lady in the queue who decided to pay for a trolley load of shopping with coupons and shrapnel. I could feel a certain agitation in that situation, especially when towards the end she decided to buy some more bits and pieces and pay with a separate section of money. She should have done a full house and ordered twenty lotto tickets and insisted on scratching them there and then.

Anyway, once again I digress to make my point. Whilst thinking about writing this blog I realised that I had missed an important factor in yesterday’s blog. That is that some sounds can trigger the illness through association. For example, a certain song playing may remind the survivor of memories with someone who sadly died. This would bring those memories to life and with those memories a sense of deep loss. This would of course trigger the sadness the underlies depression. I have a number of trigger songs, some create positive sensations and some negative sensations. I am not in a position right now to share those particular songs, having just kick-started the meds. I hope to talk about them at some stage, but as you may imagine this particular topic is very, very hard for any survivor.

In addition to meds some survivors have one to one counselling, psychotherapy or behavioural therapy. I have had counselling, but did not find it as effective as the medication. I have studied psychology since I was sixteen so have an understanding of the processes. I think because of that, for me, it is like experiencing Christmas when you know the secret about Santa. Counselling proved effective for Declan and has proved effective for many people. I think my poems were a form of journaling therapy, and I found an outlet in that process.

Anyway, survivors, carers and family make sure that medication does not lapse and I look forward to chatting again soon.

Love as always,

Valkyriekerry Kelly

Bipolar Blog 8: Symptoms- Those Annoying Sounds

Bipolar Blog 8: Symptoms- Those Annoying Sounds

The  clacking of heels, muttering whispers, banging cutlery on plates and snorting. These are just some of the sounds that drive the bipolar ear up the wall. From discussions in online forums I understand the same affects not only other mood disorders, but also people on the autistic spectrum. Is it any wonder, Halloween Fans, that irritability is a symptom in such a noisy world. Most people do not realise how noisy our world is because they have been born into it or desensitized by the constant influx of sound. I would envisage that if a medieval man travelled forward in time and found himself in any modern city the noise alone would send him into fits.

So, there I was in Tescos today rummaging through the sausages when a family decided to stand right in my personal space, as large as the store was and as empty as the store was they had to stand on top of me. Personal space is a great healer, where as over crowding, especially when it is unnecessary and intrusive is quite the opposite. I remained where I was until the snorting, muttering, shuffling and clacking started. We had cheese rolls instead of sausage rolls this evening. Why though? Why do certain sounds agitate a sensitive mind? I think it is sounds that represent conformist behaviours, behaviours that are alien to the emotional brain. Repetitive ritual rather than genuine interaction.

Last week Declan and I went to a restaurant, initially we were the only patrons which suited both of us fine. Then, a woman and three children come in and they were possibly one of the most miserable families that I have ever seen. The two lads were arguing, with the younger dictating to the older lad. The children asked for orange and got water for ‘Lent.’ They looked washed out and totally unhappy. The mother asked the ritual question ‘What did you do at school today?’ and the little girl answered only to be interrupted with ‘Mmm hmm that’s nice isn’t it?’ By this time I was irritable, if she didn’t want to know, then why ask? Conformist behaviour. She could have just let her children speak, but she didn’t, they barely looked at each other whilst walloping cutlery on their plates and then were told that they couldn’t have dessert because again it was ‘Lent.’ Poor children. I understood that one thing was given up for Lent as a personal, spiritual decision. These children were forced into giving up pretty much everything to conform. Ridiculous.

Now, I don’t usually moan about other people as I believe in live and let live, but the sounds of conformity were irritating. They weren’t just irritating me, but the children in this family. You could plainly see it. Anyway, that is one take on why certain sounds are annoying. The other reason may be to do with too much stimulus, an overwhelming activation of the senses, which can be likened to overcrowding, being crushed by multitudes of people. The noise becomes unbearable and overwhelming resulting in irritability.

One of my children has Aspergers syndrome, I am not saying which one as this is not my place. The child with Aspergers cannot stand loud noises, singing or repetition. S/he grabs his/her ears and repeatedly says it hurts. Again, I think that this is caused by over-stimulation of the senses. S/he simply cannot cope with the influx of stimulus. It is unbearable, and I can relate to that feeling as that is how I feel. However, some sounds are intensely pleasing; powerful and emotional music can be extremely soothing, especially when the rest of the world is shut out. One of the ways that I deal with the irritability caused by over-stimulation is to remove all sensation. I run a hot bath and lay in the dark with my head under the water. This gives me time to relax, meditate and let go of thoughts and stressors. It is extremely rejuvenating and refreshing. I may follow up with a quiet read and add some aromatherapy oils to the water.

There isn’t a lot more that I can say on this subject. It is a tricky one, especially for me as I was born deaf. I did not have a good hearing ability until I was 8, so perhaps I am extra sensitive to sound. I certainly know that it is a trait or symptom shared across many disorders. I do believe the two grounds for agitation are; over stimulation and fake conformist behaviours. Now, I suggest that the reader runs a hot bath and lets go of the world and all of it’s noise and nonsense.


Valkyriekerry Kelly

Bipolar Blog 7: And I Digress With Post-Traumatic brain Syndrome

Bipolar Blog 7: And I Digress With Post-Traumatic Brain Syndrome

If you thought, Halloween Fans, that a bipolar blog would be straight forward and read like a textbook, then I am happy to disappoint you. I may start the blog with the best of intentions and propose a structure, but bipolar creativity does not work in such a linear fashion and I am very pleased about this. I would be bored silly writing a text book. I do compose non-fiction pieces, but find the structure stifling. Anyway, today I am going to talk about another syndrome that results in mood disorders; Post-Traumatic Brain Syndrome, also known as Post-Traumatic Brain Injury. I know a lot about this subject as my husband Declan has the condition (and he has given me permission to speak freely).

Declan was a road accident victim in his teens, I don’t want to go into the details suffice it to say that he was in a coma and had surgery on both sides of his brain. Subsequently the injuries were checked up on, but not the effects on his psychological state. Following heart surgery the functionality of the heart would be carefully monitored, the same is true with kidneys, liver and eyes. But, this does not happen with brain functionality, any form of thought process interference is deemed as mental illness and this is still largely stigmatised and poorly understood. But, mental illness stems from physiological conditions and is no different from any other condition. The brain’s primary function, alongside controlling movements and homeostasis, is to think and respond to stimulus. By analogy, any trauma to the brain would result in trauma to the cognitive processes.

There seems to be a huge chasm of medical ignorance in this area, which is a bit worrying as common sense should indicate the psychological outcomes of neuro-physiological procedures. However, Declan’s cognitive functions were not analysed until four years later after he got into a bit of trouble with the law. Had the correct investigations been implemented this may have never happened. Following his interaction with the law a psychiatrist was called upon to provide a report. The report identified issues with Declan’s memory, perceptions and other processes. He received legal leniency but once again there was no follow up whatsoever. This is an example of total legal and medical failure and I am sure Declan is not the only victim of such negligence.

Over the years Declan has had problems, although they have lessened. He did see a counsellor for a year after I pushed for it and at the latter end I accompanied him as he asked me to do so. He also saw a psychiatrist, but this was not followed up! Declan’s problem has triggered a mood disorder known as Post-Traumatic Brain Injury (or Syndrome) and there is now a charity which provies support for this condition in Ireland. He has what he calls, ‘my moods.’ He requires more sleep than most people and reacts instinctively and impulsively to stressful situations. Over time we have developed a few strategies to overcome these moods, which are usually successful. The primary strategy is de-escalation, that is removing the stressor and offering security. Declan’s memory will always be bad although it has led to some funny situations.

If we separate when shopping we have an arranged meeting point, usually a shop that sells tools as this is easy to remember. On one occasion Declan could not remember the meeting point, but he knew which financial institution I bank with. Now, another characteristic of brain disorder is nerve palsy. This means that Declan unintentionally shakes all of the time. Imagine, if you will, the reaction of a security guard when a man of Declan’s great height walks into the bank, shaking and vibrating, and just stands there for a long period of time doing nothing. Try it yourself, walk into a bank and do nothing! Needless to say Declan was removed from the institution. We do look back on this incident and laugh, the same is true of many other similar instances.

Another blogger asked the question, ‘should two people with mood disorders be together?’ In our case I would say yes as we have a good understanding of each other. There is no judgement for the symptoms of the illnesses and a deeper than usual attraction. Of the two of us Declan has a more reactive and protective temper, where as I tend towards irritable energy, which I have learned to manage. Due to the continuing stigma attached to mental illness in Ireland Declan has not been privy to the support network that I have had. I have actually seen people deliberately aggravating Declan with the intention of triggering his illness and I have removed him from the situation. This is totally unacceptable, it is like kicking someone repeatedly when their leg is broken. I don’t understand it, but it is very worrying.

I would say it took the better part of three years to overcome the primary symptoms. I guess my problem is with a failing medical service. Ireland has one of the highest suicide rates in the EU averaging 480 confirmed suicides per year. Perhaps, just perhaps, if the stigma lifted and people were not ashamed of their conditions and perhaps if more support structures both in public health and within society were in place this statistic could be substantially lowered. I am not saying that this arises just in Ireland, I believe that mental health stigma occurs internationally on a huge scale. This is why survivors have taken it upon themselves to form the wealth of social networks to offer each other support and advice. Within these groups I have found the most common problems to be; lack of family support and poor media portrayal.

Think of the films about mental health; Split, Psycho and Identity. I actually love these three films, even though there has been an outcry over at least one of them, but each portrays survivors as serial killers. Not the best reflection and certainly not an honest one. Violent crimes tend to be carried out by people without a diagnosed disorder, not people with a diagnosed mental illness. I would suspect the reason for this would be the great empathy people with mental illness feel for others. It is almost karmic, any pain given out is endured by the survivor. I would also like to add that most people do not fit the medical definition of what is normal.

I remember a House MD episode in which House identifies a character who is far too happy and states immediately that this is a symptom of an unknown illness (after clarifying that he is not Canadian). The medical definition of normality stems from a complete lack of stress and ability to adapt to change with an underlying positivity. Such a person would be constantly grinning like a Cheshire cat. This would make anyone feel uncomfortable. So, anyone sitting in judgement of another’s condition should get themselves tested first, the results might not be as expected.

As for Declan, he is doing very well. I remember one day he took me to Kilcummin head (a cliff) and explained that he used to go there to contemplate suicide, he no longer does this. Not because I offered attention for every down moment, but because I responded with humour and support. Humour is a fantastic tool for overcoming depression, if two people are depressed then the situation is exacerbated. Early on in our relationship Declan said he was going to jump, I said ‘you will have to jump tomorrow, I don’t have enough petrol in the car to rescue you today.’ That was the last time he felt that way. As I said before, I am not a doctor, I am someone with years of experience with a mood disorder who has tried to look objectively at a very subjective condition.

I would love to say that I got Declan into writing, but that’s not the case. Declan does help with the production processes, but he is not interested in writing itself. We found something that does occupy him and that is local history. So, we visit local sites and purchase books on local history which Declan reads for hours, and he has joined online local history groups. Managing mood disorders is all about converting that irritable energy into something positive and productive. It is about finding a useful distraction and engaging with it. The bad days will still come, but they will also pass. I promise they will pass. The charity that offers support to those with and those caring for Post-Traumatic Brain Injury can be contacted at abiireland (click on link).

I hope something in this article is helpful to readers.


Valkyriekerry Kelly


Bipolar Blog 6: Manic Symptoms- Non-Stop Pervasive Flow of Ideas and Unfinished Projects.

Bipolar Blog 6: Manic Symptoms- Non-Stop Pervasive Flow of Ideas and Unfinished Projects.

Yes, Halloween Fans, the title was meant to be lengthy and read as one garbled mess. I could, of course, have continued with the words; charismatic, dynamo, obscene creativity and unrealistic ideas. The question is are the ideas of the ‘North’ manic state unrealistic? The answer is unclear. The manic stage is triggered by anxiety based excessive energy. This is not the same anxiety that leads to depression, no this anxiety is quite different. Remember how I explained that anxiety and stress create motivation which in turn drives ambition. Stress, at some level, protects from danger and encourages vocation. The manic stage is largely triggered by the growth of this form of anxiety and rolls into an abundance of energy, motivation develops and projects are started. Unlike other people, bipolar survivors recognise neither boundaries nor limitations when in the manic stage. There are no bounds, the world is firmly at the feet of the survivor. Does this mean that the survivor is over-estimating their own abilities? Not necessarily! During the hypomanic stage clear ideas form for moving life forward. At the same time those ideas are catapulted into the emotional world of the survivor and the two mix to create insightful and unreal projects. It may not have escaped the reader’s notice that numerous superstars have bipolar diagnoses. This is no coincidence, creative intelligence and bipolar are intricately connected due to the energy and rollercoaster of emotions. The superstars will often seem unstoppable, album after album, book after book, painting after painting, you get the point. Then, quite suddenly the tabloids will be screaming headlines like ‘Star has Meltdown.’

The meltdown is burn out, mind and body can only be pushed so far before rest is required, further when mixed with the cascade of emotions the mind reaches boiling point and cannot cope. But, let us back track for a while. Let’s focus on the perceived and actual abilities of the survivor and the build-up. Hypomania may begin after a depressive stage or during a period of equilibrium. The survivor may see these periods as time wasted and feel a deep-seated need to make up for lost time. The basis of the anxiety has formed and the energy begins to build. The bipolar mind, heaped with emotion and conflict, knows exactly how to produce a work of art so profound that audiences will be baffled. This combined with the sudden urge to make life meaningful and make up for loss time leads to not one idea, but a flurry of ideas and ways forward. Bipolar survivors tend to be quite clever, perhaps due to empathy or perhaps because intelligence is a form of madness, take it as you will. The plans begin, the survivor develops the ideas and starts to turn the ideas into something real. From my own perspective, my early ideas were all geared towards learning and I started registering for degrees. not one degree, no way! Anyone can do that, so that is not a challenge; a manic survivor loves to prove themselves by meeting a challenge. I now have, I believe, over 100 professional qualifications and 20 higher education qualifications. I say, ‘I believe’ as the certificates are all in two large portfolios.

It seems then that anything is possible to a survivor and this largely refutes the existence of the symptom, ‘delusions of grandiose.’ About five years ago, a few years post-diagnosis, I was allocated a mental health worker. It was for a short period, probably to meet some medical guideline or another. The mental health worker was quite bemused by my claims and called a consultant psychologist from Dublin to meet with me. All he knew was my diagnosis, he had never met me before. So, I spent three hours being interviewed by this stranger. During that interview he asked about my professional qualifications and life. I explained that I had completed the aforesaid portfolio of qualifications and listed a number of other positive aspects my life from travel to extreme sports. It never occurred to me that he would base his entire summary diagnosis on his total disbelief of everything that I had said. The mental health worker made an appointment and explained that I had been judged (and I say ‘judged’ because this is a very poor example of evidence based practice and the overall analysis was sloppy as I will explain) as having ‘delusions of grandiose’ and a propensity to compulsively lie.

After some thought I asked the mental health worker what I had lied about, and she said I was disillusioned in my academic abilities and experiences. So, I allowed her to view my photograph collections and portfolios. After examining said documents the mental health worker stated that we were ‘back to stage one.’ I think that was the closest I could ever get to an admission of general incompetence. She closed my case shortly after, which was quite apt as my qualifications trumped hers. I guess I sound arrogant, well I’m not, maybe I am a bit, but this has been earned. My hypomanic and manic episodes allowed my mind to compartmentalise my projects and domestic life so much so that I was able to work extraordinarily quickly through projects that would take most people many years. The ideas and projects were, therefore, within my reach. I would like to explain how and why this works, why bipolar survivors have these capabilities, but it is somewhat difficult to pinpoint. I suspect survivors have a different viewpoint to other people. Let me explain, a student starts university and imagines three years of work and study. I cannot speak for all survivors, but that is not how I interpreted those years. instead I envisaged the number of essays to write, time taken and additional learning for exams for each module. Rather than simply seeing the whole picture, I saw the sum of the parts. Survivors also have more energy and require less sleep because of that energy. This in turn triggers the sub-symptoms of insomnia and at times irritability.

I talked about spring cleaning as a method for controlling the depressive symptoms, and again this is compartmentalising and can serve to the survivors advantage in managing and preventing the other symptoms. Another factor to take into consideration is the advanced empathy that underlies bipolar. I remember my English teacher at school saying that I had an amazing ability in the study of literature. I read ‘Of Mice and Men’ one night and wrote the related essay in one lesson the next day and got a straight ‘A.’ Why? because I knew exactly how the characters felt and what thoughts the author had implied. I didn’t require secondary sources to tell me what was happening, the same was true of film studies. I took A-level film as a private candidate and achieved an ‘A’ with no real effort or study. Interestingly, my son achieved the same grade in his GCSE at the age of 12. Is this arrogance or delusions? No, I am proud of what I have done, but I did it. If it’s true then it is not a delusion. This is what is possible during manic episodes and it is fine until hypomania flips into all out mania.

Imagine, if you will, the cartoon character ‘The Tasmanian Devil,’ picture him whirling through the trees and bouncing like ‘Tigger’ that is an image of mania. The flurry of thoughts becomes a constant race of ideas. Projects start popping up everywhere, the survivor develops a sort of amusing charm, becoming life and soul of the party, and yes the peak of the North loves to party. This is the point at which real delusions may set in, the survivor overreaches and assumes that plans have already been achieved. the joy of life is all consuming and rules go by the wayside, after all what are rules but man-made constructs? At this juncture the survivor is extremely vulnerable to exploitation simply because the thoughts are so encompassing that everything else dims and the dangers around them disappear, they are invincible. It is often during this stage that hospitalisation takes place. From an onlookers viewpoint the survivor has lost contact with reality. Anti-depressants can fuel such episodes, therefore it is imperative that any survivor on anti-depressants also takes a mood stabiliser. The most common stabilisers are; Sodium Valporate, Lamictal and Topamax. Again, they all have side-effects, but the side-effects must be weighed against the risks of full blown mania. During one full blown bout, many years ago, I decided that the local policeman might like to drag race me around the one-way system. I thought wrong; this venture did not end well and I was dignosed thereafter.

At present I have a number of projects going, but they are managed well. I also have the necessary support structures in place. These support structures are better than medication, they provide the voice of reason; two wholly trustworthy people close to me who can advise me when to stop and relax. I stress once again that loved ones provide the greatest therapy, especially when they have taken time to fully understand the condition. There is a huge risk of sinking into a regret-based depression following a full blown manic episode and this too has to be managed and monitored. Once in a state of depression projects go out of the window, and this is why unfinished projects are characteristic of bipolar.

So, before I sign off, I guess the point of this entry has been to demonstrate that hypomanic states can be productive when managed correctly. The trick is to project manage as opposed to flipping into full blown mania and then hitting rock bottom with a depressive episode. As soon as ‘Tigger’ meets with ‘The Tasmanian Devil’ it is time to stop, think and gain social and medical support.

Love to all
Valkyriekerry Kelly