Not Recognizing Myself in Dreams

I’ve written about the familiarity in dreams, the missing of what was once there with someone else but amplified so there was a sense of longing and desire in recovering what was lost. This has been an ongoing dream state in my mind over the last several years, even stronger after the quakes, during which we lost so much: not only physically but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Since my depersonalization diagnosis, a more disturbing dream state has emerged: not recognizing myself. On very rare occasions, this is quite literal. I’ll look into a mirror and not recognize the person gazing back. It’s not me — something isn’t quite right about my face.
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Avoidance of Feelings

Yesterday in my counselling session, we spoke about how I tend to speed up when talking a lot of the time. Of course, most of the time I don’t actually know when I am doing this, but it is something I have done for most of my life. This isn’t the first time we have spoken about it, and lately, I have been trying to be very conscious of slowing down my speaking and pausing between when someone else talks to gather my response and then reply. (It sounds like it’s a long process, but it is still pretty quick.)

My mind can work in this fashion too. It throws out a million things at once to distract me from the here-and-now and what I am really feeling. Both the speeding up of talking and the multipronged thought processes are away I have learned to avoid what I am feeling. It is rather automatic now.

Something like this takes time to unlearn. I may never fully unlearn it, but it will take a lot of practice and time to discover the best way forward for me. By doing this, it will help me live more in-the-moment and be more “present” to things.
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Me Here, at Last, on the Ground; You in Mid-Air

I’ve spent the last week or so on school holidays doing pretty much sweet nothing work-wise, and it feels great. Sorry, not sorry, right?

One of the things I’ve been doing is catching up on sleep, and with catching up on sleep comes lots of dreams.

In one of my last blogs (see Familiarity in Dreams), I wrote about having those dreams that haunt you. Coincidentally, I had one again on Thursday night.
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Familiarity in Dreams

Bottle of Dreams by David Urbanke
Bottle of Dreams by David Urbanke

Dreams play an important part in my life. I don’t mean I follow what my dreams show me or I let them rule my life, but I find they are an important part of inspiring me and exposing the hidden places in my psyche.

I have many different types of dreams, as I think we all do, and I could go on and on about them, but in this post, I think I’d like to focus on familiarity in dreams.
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Being Passionate About Something

There was a period in my professional career where I heard almost every other applicant bounce into my office and tell me she was “passionate” about beauty therapy. It drove me absolutely stark-raving bonkers because how could so many people be so “passionate” about the same thing?

(As an aside, as I type this blog, I figured out that, yes, working in a beauty therapy school will tend to bring a higher ratio of people “passionate” about beauty therapy through the front door to study, well, beauty therapy, so “duh” to me being oblivious to that humdinger of a fact. As another aside, the cynic in me wants to share that some of these applicants became students to only find that they were not, in fact, “passionate” about beauty therapy, and maybe this is why that word has become tarnished in my book.)

Yesterday, my new colleague Paula and I were discussing several different things in an informal and impromptu meeting in my office. (Paula is off on vacation in Rarotonga for a week, lucky woman. So, with yesterday being her last day in the office before vacation, I thought I would try and give her a pretty cruisy day, especially since she has been working very hard since she started with us a few months ago.) Paula is really into songwriting, and I, obviously, am into writing, so we started discussing this.
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Depersonalization and Creativity: An Afterthought

Okay, so I wrote and published my whole blog yesterday about Depersonalization and Creativity, and how my creativity has been hampered by the illness, but, mulling it over in my mind last night, I realized there were exceptions to that.

What I have taken solace in, from time to time, is photography, using my iPhone mostly.

Taking a few steps backwards from that statement: what some of you may not know is that I used to draw. A lot.

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Depersonalization and Creativity

I know my blog has covered a lot about the dissociative disorder known as depersonalization, but since there are so few people who are diagnosed with it, and some people who have been diagnosed with it have reached out to talk about it, I thought it was best that I cover my experiences so others might learn from them.

Anxiety is not really fun, as probably many people can attest to, and it affects various aspects of our lives. When anxiety and depression combine to create depersonalization, this can have a profound effect on a person’s livelihood and outlook.

One of the most frustrating parts of my journey with depersonalization has been the impact it has had on my creativity.

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