This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.
I’ve written about this before, but it’s been getting worse again and I feel like not enough people talk about this type of mental health. It seems too “strange” to put it into words, and also, everyone experiences it differently which makes it harder to find commonalities. The typical type of dissociation that everyone can relate to, is zoning out when driving and having no real memory of going from point A to point B, maybe even driving home when you meant to go to the store because you were so out of it and just automatically followed your normal route.
This is my experience of it.
It happens at least once a day right now, but sometimes twice, or even three times. Sometimes more, maybe, I didn’t always count. But, I’ve started keeping track on my DBT diary card.
How big are my hands? Definitely too big for my body.
How far away is my computer screen? Why is it across the room when I’m sitting right here?
Why are sounds echoing when the room hasn’t changed?
My face seems to flicker, it feels like trying to watch something on Pay Per View when you didn’t pay for it, back in the days when that was a thing.
A mouth feel like biting on Styrofoam, and a taste to go with it. I don’t actually know what Styrofoam tastes like, but this must be it.
Why is everything too small for my hands?
How far does my spoon have to travel from my bowl to my face? Feeding myself becomes a chore, no longer an automatic task.
Don’t forget to chew.
My thoughts are slowed, I feel as if my speech is too. Those around me say they can’t notice anything different.
Having names for it helps. It is a known thing, just a shift in my perception of reality, nothing has actually changed. Knowing I don’t seem to act differently to anyone else helps too.
I’ve learned to just keep moving through it, not let it stop me from whatever I was doing. It seems to pass quicker that way.
Some people are able to identify triggers that bring these episodes on. I haven’t found any regular ones yet. I know that talking about it makes it try to happen, but I can often fight that. I’ve been holding it back the entire time I’ve been writing this. Sometimes it happens when I’m bored and lost in thought, other times when I’ve read too long at the computer, sometimes when I’m stressed, sometimes when I’m happy, sometimes none of those seem to apply.
For some people grounding helps bring them out of an episode. For me, ignoring it and moving forward helps better. Grounding or mindfulness exercises just makes me focus on it and gives it more power.
Is dissociation something you cope with? If you feel comfortable sharing, let me know what yours feels like and your coping methods.
Lets shine some light into all of those dark spaces and help end the stigma.