Looking back at 2017, it’s amazing (and scary) how fast time flies by. I mean, it’s already November.
Sometimes it feels like I never left, and sometimes I get trapped in this place where I wonder if things have really changed. Then I look around and realize while my body is completely removed, my mind still lingers in the past. Not quite endearingly, mostly painful memories. But slowly, I’m letting go. I have to. I’d like to think I’ve let go completely, but I realize it’s not that easy.
Often throughout the day, I find myself dissociating.
noun: the disconnection or separation of something from something else or the state of being disconnected.
“In psychology, dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.
Dissociation is commonly displayed on a continuum. In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanisms in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress – including boredom or conflict. At the non-pathological end of the continuum, dissociation describes common events such as daydreaming while driving a vehicle. Further along the continuum are non-pathological altered states of consciousness.” –Various sources
You see, I have ADHD coupled with BPD which co-exists with my anxiety and depression. So basically, I’m just a clusterfuck of confusion and emotions.
When I dissociate, everything is just moving around me but it doesn’t feel real. I’m not there. I’m not even in my head. I don’t know where I am. I’m on autopilot. Like I said this happens throughout the day. It even happens when I drive. I’m not in danger when it happens, like I said, autopilot. It’s such a strange phenomenon, it’s difficult to describe. Someone could be talking to me in my face and I see their lips moving, I see their eyes on me, but I don’t hear what they’re saying. I usually just nod politely and eventually some sort of sense comes back into me and I try to attach myself to the here and now. I reach to listen to their voice and what they’re saying. Sometimes it’s really hard and when I finally do, it’s like I’ve been woken up from a nap and I’m out of it.
When I’m alone, I could be fixated and staring at something. When I come back to the present, I don’t really know how long I’ve been sitting there in that moment. Sometimes it feels like 3 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes or longer. It’s hard for me to focus. My ADHD makes it difficult to complete tasks, to focus on one thing, one topic, one moment. Dissociating only prolongs and stalls any progress I’ve made.
I guess it’s my coping mechanism, perhaps boredom too, just a default. The autopilot in my head goes on at random times and sometimes I don’t know why. I feel heavy, yet empty, sleepy even. I’ve had people ask me if I’m okay, which will snap me out of it but then I’m in a slight state of confusion and I usually just say. “Yep! I’m alright, just spaced out for a moment…” Little do they know, it’s so much deeper and endless than that.
When I’m stressed, anxious, fearful, doubtful, the dissociative state engages. I don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever completely conquer because it’s been with me since I was a kid. I know it’s there, I’m aware. It’s like a companion that follows me around. It’s there when it’s time to go away for a moment or longer. It’s the fog that rolls in. It’s the blanket that wraps me up when reality becomes too much, no matter how little or big. It’s always there.
I wish I could make those who don’t understand see the world through my point of view. It’s so much more difficult than you could possible think. Because usually whoever I’m speaking to either politely nods and looks at me like I’m some sort of alien, or they don’t say anything and there’s an awkward silence… Which then welcomes my dissociative state right back in.
It’s an endless cycle. It’s my reality. It’s what I live with and it’s the cards I’ve been dealt. I’m doing the best I can. I’m treading water and I sink to the bottom of the ocean until a current pushes me back up. Sometimes I find land. Then other times, the tide drags me back in and I’m alone again.
Life is the moon and the ocean… push and pull. Push and pull.
Maybe someday I will find a buoy to float on. I’ll find the land again in time.