Help me, I don’t feel real – My Mental Illness Story!
Hey, guys, it’s been a while.
It’s been even longer than it was last time – life’s busy, get’s in the way I suppose.
This post won’t be long, I just felt compelled to explain where I’ve been, and to ask for your patience.
I used to love blogging, I was full of ideas, loved reading other peoples’ blogs but lately, I just haven’t had the energy. Just trying to write this is difficult. My words don’t look like my words, not the kind of words I’d usually write. They’re scrambling up like a word search.
I’ve been going through something pretty tough, struggling with getting a diagnosis for the past 9 months, really.
I suffer from derealisation/depersonalisation, I experience several periods of dissociation daily, I have a bit of an identity crisis, and extreme bouts of amnesia where sometimes, I have no idea who I am or that my body, my thoughts, aren’t my own, like there someone else sleeping inside me that just wakes up and takes over.
I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say, but I wanted this to be raw, to represent what I’m going through.
It isn’t pretty and it is scary, incredibly scary, it makes leaving the house terrifying sometimes.
Has anyone ever read that book, ‘Every Day’ by David Levithan? it’s about the story of a person who goes by A. Every day, A wakes up in a different body, living in whatever body they wake up in for the day.
Can you imagine waking up every day in the body of someone else? Pretending to be them for a day? Being them for a day? Your soul travelling from body to body, restless. That’s what my life feels like, has felt like, for the past 7 months; like I’m living in someone else’s body.
For the past 7 months, I have been dealing with an aggressive type of depersonalisation/derealisation. I experience several bouts of dissociation and amnesia throughout the day/night.
Meaning: Depersonalization can consist of a reality or detachment within the self, regarding one’s mind or body, or being a detached observer of oneself. Subjects feel they have changed and that the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, or lacking in significance. It can be an incredibly disturbing experience.
‘Individuals who experience depersonalisation feel divorced from their own personal self by sensing their body sensations, feelings, emotions, behaviours etc. as not belonging to the same person or identity. Often a person who has experienced depersonalization claims that things seem unreal or hazy. Also, a recognition of a self breaks down (hence the name). Depersonalization can result in very high anxiety levels, which further increase these perceptions. Depersonalization is a subjective experience of unreality in one’s self, while derealization is unreality of the outside world. ‘
I remember going to sleep in the afternoon one day, and when I woke up, I felt groggy and irritated, I reached for my phone to check the time and remember having a text from someone, but I couldn’t read it, the words were blurry, and then my vision was cloudy and the words were falling off the screen, and I became panicked but it just got worse.
I rang my sister, and I explained what was happening and she just said “I’m calling you an ambulance, you’re having a psychotic break, don’t panic” and I panicked even more but she told me to breathe. I didn’t understand, I didn’t have any kind of mental disorder, I’d suffered from depression in the past but I wasn’t suffering from anything now, was I? I mean, of course, I’d been stressed but psychotic? That sounded serious.
I went to the hospital and they gave me meds, they made me worse.
I stopped taking them and stayed in a constant “I don’t feel real” state like I could do anything I wanted without consequence because hey, I wasn’t even real.
Fortunately, I accepted something was wrong, that I am real, that this is just a feeling, a hormonal imbalance that would soon improve.
But I can no longer do a lot of the things that I once loved, I can’t blog right now, I haven’t been able to read since August, I can’t swim for fear of forgetting how, I can’t travel long distance in case I have an “episode” but recently I decided to push myself through listening to audiobooks and now I’m reading whole 500 page books again.
So I decided to push myself into writing a blog post, and here we are.
Working a full-time job in Marketing with all of this going on has been tricky, but I think somehow, it has kept me grounded, it’s kept me in a routine, and a routine, I believe, I so desperately need right now.
I will hopefully begin writing again, even if it is just raw honesty about what it is I’m dealing with, if it helps me, if it helps anyone else, it’s worth it.
Think you’re suffering from derealisation or depersonalisation? Please don’t suffer alone, reach out to someone.
April 15, 2016
February 13, 2016
February 05, 2016