My Life in a Dissociative Daze


Where do I got in those moments of my disassociation?

Until recently I did not know disassociation disorders existed, let alone could be so extreme. There are points in these episodes where I have lost hours out of my day, not really knowing what I have done with them. They creep up on me unexpectedly, regardless if I am working or playing. They feel like the ultimate “auto-pilot mode” and yet sometimes are completely blacked out of my mind. They can feel as though someone has severed the ties between my body and my mind. My body feels nothing, and my mind is completely unaware. I still haven’t figured out what triggers them or even how to control them.

That moment when you say my name so many times just to snap me out of my daze, when I’m staring out at nothing in particular yet everything at once, I sit and contemplate where I am, why I feel like I am viewing the world from behind glass. Everything is so transparent. I could reach out and touch it, and yet my hand would pass right through these images like a hand through smoke.

Tracing the outlines of letters on signs, counting the cracks in the tiles as we walk to watching an iridescent line join all of the cracks in the footpath. Tracing the shapes on the bus seat trying to put names to them, touching and staring as if I am trying to decipher what is real and what is just an image my brain has conjured up.

All of my failed attempts to stay grounded as my mind floats away back into itself. I fiddle with the coffee mug in my hand, staring intently as if to try and understand its purpose and sometimes just to try and figure out if it is actually a coffee cup. Perhaps it could be something completely different, like that time I picked up a cup and dropped an apple.

They can leave you feeling untied, like a helium balloon floating around aimlessly, bumping against the ceiling – unable to ascend further than this block in its path and unable to come back down until it withers and becomes tired of fighting… worn out and flat as it settles on the floor.

The best advice I can give to people who know someone who goes through this is just let them ride it out. In all honestly there is nothing really you can do. Talking is hard in these states, and we will often say things that won’t make sense to you. If you feel a loved one is unintentionally hurting themselves, prevent them from doing so and just sit with them. Familiar comfort is the best help, for me anyway. You can always ask others what they need in their episodes.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Dziggyfoto


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

family holding hands walking down a path

When Mental Illness Affects the Whole Family

When someone is living with a mental illness, it not only affects that person. It touches his or her whole family. Family members may be sad, confused and scared. They feel helpless watching their spouse, child or parent struggle with debilitating symptoms. There may be mood swings, depression, mania or thoughts of suicide. Severe anxiety, [...]
a black and white illustration of a woman flipping her hair

My New Year’s Resolution Is to Keep Fighting the War Between Me, My Body and My Mind

My New Year’s resolution is to take steps to forgive myself regardless of my mistakes. Thus, I always keep moving forward, one step at a time. My New Year’s resolution is to stop replaying negative events. This way I can put an end to the stress that leaves me stagnant. My New Year’s resolution is [...]
woman jeans and sneaker shoes walking down road

Why I'm Not Setting a New Year's Resolution to Get 'Better' This Year

Until recently, I believed New Year’s resolutions were a productive, positive, good-for-my-soul kind of thing. And then I thought of all the one’s I haven’t kept (which way outnumber the ones I have), and I realized I am often setting myself up for failure. I put pressure on myself every day — I don’t need a [...]
girl opening curtains in a bedroom

For the Person With Mental Illness Peering Over the Horizon Into 2017

New Year’s Eve: A night of socially sanctioned binge-drinking, midnight selfies, countdowns and confetti. A time where people take stock of where they have been and where they’d like to go This can be tough for lots of people. If you are struggling with mental illness, then it may be particularly painful. Mental illness can [...]