I honestly have no idea where to start with this blog post. This morning I was full of loads of ideas and phrases that summed up exactly how I was feeling. But now my brain just feels a little frazzled. I’m stressed, knackered, tired, exhausted, excited, overwhelmed, hating myself, hating everything, loving everything, scared of everything, full of energy and drained at the same time.
Initially I was diagnosed with PTSD – which I do still struggle with avoidance, flashbacks, nightmares and all that not-so-friendly stuff – but I also really struggle with depression, teamed up with anxiety, panic attacks and dissociation. My mind is both my best friend and my enemy. My mind is very good at trying to protect me, the thing is sometimes I don’t want it to protect me. I’m really not a fan of dissociation – I mean I’m really not a fan of depression, PTSD and anxiety, but dissociation is one that I really get embarrassed by, because I simply do not understand dissociation.
Speaking up and talking about things – even in therapy – can be really hard. I find it so much harder when my mind decides to go into ‘protection mode’ – when things are too difficult for me to talk about I simply ‘switch off’ (I have no idea how else to explain it). Sometimes I can dissociate completely and sometimes I know that I’m fully aware of my mind trying to ‘switch off’ but if I try and ground myself it becomes so much harder to deal with. I must say – I haven’t been officially diagnosed with dissociative disorder, or anything similar – so you may not be able to relate to what I’m saying, but I certainly become so incredibly detached from my mind, or from the situation that I am in. I can see out of my eyes, but nothing else seems to happen – I forget how to think? I think. Like, I’m thinking but I can’t think about what I want to think about. I cannot figure out how to say words – or at least I can’t get myself to say things because I’m trying so desperately to reconnect to myself.
The term ‘dissociation’ has popped up several times, and I can relate, but I find dissociation a complex thing for me to understand. I don’t know why – there’s plenty of info. online, but I just feel that when I ‘dissociate’ it is fuelled by panic, the feeling of being overwhelmed or in too deep, and a desperate need to be anywhere but where I am, but at the same time I’m fighting every inch of my body and my being to get back to reality. It’s weird man – I don’t know how to explain it.
I always go to Mind when I need information, advice or I’m struggling to understand something. They have a lot of info. about dissociation on their website but I still find dissociation difficult to understand, because my experience feels so surreal. Mind are incredible – but I’d love for more people to speak up about dissociation or similar experiences of feeling ‘disconnected’. Because when someone explains dissociation to me it makes sense – but I feel disconnected from my mind and not my body, it’s weird. My whole body feels strange though – not tense – definitely panicky, and maybe anxious, but how can your whole body feel anxious? It’s like when you’re on a roller-coaster and you’re going really fast so you’re trying your hardest to stay in the chair, or to not feel like you’re falling… that’s what it feels like. But, at the same time a complete sense of being overwhelmed, takes over me, my body feels like it doesn’t ever want to move, but in my head I’m trying to run. At the same time I’m trying to make my mind come back into itself, I definitely stare at something and try to focus myself. I find myself begging my mind to start working again… but I don’t know if this is dissociation?!
I definitely have moments where I do things and haven’t realised I’ve done them, or I can’t recall things – but this isn’t too frequent, and it feels different to what I’ve tried to explain above.
Pinterest is of course the only think I can turn to right now to try and articulate what I’m feeling! Here’s how I feel: