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My Life in a Dissociative Daze

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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.

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Thinkstock photo by Dziggyfoto

Originally published: January 2, 2017
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