One of my goals for this year was to engage more with this blog. I’ll let you know how that goes when I get round to it.
The creative side of me would like to pretend that the long periods in between posts are intentional. That I am using a meta device to symbolise the chaotic and complicated nature of mental illness. But it isn’t quite true. My mental health has been really bad, but there was nothing intentional about it. Mental illnesses are messy, and boy do they suck.
My depersonalization disorder has been flexing its muscles over the past two months or so. It has been really tough. It is all a bit overwhelming and confusing, but I want to write about it both for my benefit and those who might want to learn about it.
The two words I would pick to describe it are confused and disconnected. I feel really confused about things. Confused about small things like remembering my friends’ names. Confused about medium things like how to do taxes. Confused about big things like my tactics in my Football Manager game.
Part of this is because I feel disconnected. I often can’t quite feel connected enough to things to process them.
Part of this is because my intelligence goes from top 1% to “severely cognitively impaired.” I just lose most of my IQ points. I don’t know where they go, but I think that they will come back. Luckily, my comforting friends have assured me that I was never that intelligent to begin with.
I feel overwhelmed cognitively by all sorts of things. When I read things, they confuse me, when I watch things, they go over my head. It sucks and doesn’t make much sense.
And all along I feel a sense of unease. I feel bothered and annoyed. Not outright stressed most of the time. What I have come to realise is that I am always doing far worse than I think I am. Whenever I think that I am doing alright, I am actually doing really poorly, but don’t realise till later. This is probably part of not being able to process things properly and part of the nature of dissociative disorders. They are a response to past trauma, so you are always bubbling beneath the surface in a way.
Throughout all this I feel so disconnected. I can’t really comprehend anything outside my line of sight. It is a bit weird. I used to want to know what is going on all over the world, particularly in East Africa. Now I can’t manage what is going on in our neighbours flat let alone the other side of the globe. It just doesn’t seem to register in my head.
It is hard to connect with other people too. I still want to, and still do, but there is the same disconnect because they aren’t in front of me (thanks Covid-19!).
Throughout this I have mostly given up keeping track of certain somatic symptoms. Like, every day I won’t have feeling in most of my body. It is my expectation at the minute.
In the same way I feel disconnected from God. The disconnection is not a feeling of being far away from God or anything else (also, Christians can never be any closer to God, he literally lives in us). It is a feeling of being on a different wavelength. It is like I am sitting next to things, but they are on a different frequency, so we don’t connect.
When I look at my hands, they are right in front of me, and I know that. But they are on a different frequency, so I can’t feel them.
I still feel loved and know what God delights in me. Thankfully this feeling of disconnect does not actually affect the connection we have. It changes it. But God is all powerful and connects to everyone differently.
Hopefully this sounds horrible. If so, it means I have described it well.
Just to finish. I want to encourage people to reflect on how much we all depend on God. It is a great way to practice thanksgiving. God has provided me a loving and selfless wife, a steady salary, a flat, food, friends and family who love me, and the ability to fit a mango stone in my mouth.