If you’ve been following my journey through the dissociative disorder known as depersonalization, thank you. Writing about it, and knowing it is being read about, has helped me cope a great deal, and that means a lot to me. Maybe my words are helping you understand what I’m going through, or maybe you’re going through depersonalization too and my words are helping you feel less alone. I hope they are helping someone. Read The Long Road
There’s a Sheryl Crow duet with Sting where she sings the lyric, “Every now and then, you come to mind.” It’s a sad song, a song about lovers who once knew one another and now no longer talk or see one another.
The song speaks to the core of me. A common theme throughout my life is that I don’t let go of things easily for whatever reason. My counselor told me last session that I am a compassionate person. My mother tells me I care very deeply. Other people will tell you I am a humanist, or I am emotional, or I am giving. I guess these all are true.
It swings me back to The Man I Loved. Late last year, I did the whole “Lot’s Wife” thing and turned back. One night, a horrible dream came to me where he was very upset and crying like his world was caving in on him. The dream was one of those very vivid dreams, which, in my life, has always meant there is a message or I need to do something. In this case, I sat on it all day and arrived at the conclusion he was in pain. It was his soul reaching out for help.
Read Every Now and Then, You Come to Mind
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.
Read Not Recognizing Myself in Dreams
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.
Read Familiarity in Dreams
Around 25 years ago, in late August 1992, I started college (erm, university for you British English speakers out there). It’s a right-of-passage many Americans go through every year when they’re 18, and I’m sure there are many stories about how that first year went for a great many people. Maybe my experience was unique, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.
What I can tell you is I remember my Mom crying when I started college at Northern Illinois University. My excitement due to my freedom was tempered by how upset she was. Being the very anxious person I was and continue to be, I wondered if I’d made the right choice. As an aside: my counselor keeps telling me I do things to please other people instead of myself, and I’m not living my life authentically if I keep doing this. On the other side of this argument, I stayed at college because it was what I wanted, even though it did hurt my mother initially (and maybe it was more of a, “Oh my God, my oldest son is 18 and leaving home and I can’t protect him any more”, which I understand but I’ve never been through so I can’t compare that experience to my own experiences).
Sorry. I digress. You should be used to that by now if you read any of my blogs.
I originally wrote this blog in May 2016 but never published it. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but here it is, updated slightly.
Over the past few years I’ve written about emerging from a period of suffering from the dissociative disorder known as depersonalisation, the result of a lifetime full of anxiety and a short, rather deep bout of depression. (You can read the latest entries: “Recovering from Depersonalisation” and “Reducing Anxiety through ‘Staying Present’“, or any entry on depersonalisation through looking up the tag #depersonalisation on my blog.)
But I want to take you a step back to the 1990s as a kind of example of why living in the here and now is important.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Part of me feels I should say I’m sorry but I’m not sorry. A lot of shit has been going on in my life, and I’d like to hope most people would agree that real life takes precedence over a blog or keeping others entertained.
There’s a lot to write about, a lot I need to tell you, but I had a bit of an epiphany today, and I wanted to share it with you all.
Last night, I was feeling a bit nostalgic, very awake, and slightly under the influence of a few glasses of vino, so I rummaged through our cabinets below the bookcase with our DVDs and Blu-Rays in them to haul out my old photos from my pre-New Zealand days.
Some bring tears to my eyes. Some make me long for yesterday and for those who are no longer with us. Others make me smile. Others again make me laugh heartily.
I found a photo of someone I haven’t spoken to in a long time, someone who, to be totally honest, hasn’t crossed my mind a lot lately. He does once in a while, but with time marching on and a million other memories cramming their way into my head every month or three, and having seen each other last in 1995 when we were both totally different people, these thoughts grow fewer and farther the more distant that year becomes.