One of the more curious aspects of my depression when it gets very deep and is sustained for awhile, is that I begin to feel very disconnected.
I suppose you’ve heard that before, but allow me to explain further, maybe it isn’t quite what you think.
You know those dreams that are so lifelike, so accurate, so painfully exact, that it is disorienting to wake up? You aren’t really sure where you are or if you were just dreaming or creating real memories?
That is a very similar sensation when I say I feel disconnected. It is like I am never really sure if I am awake. I feel less like a participant in life and more like a spectator. And an uninterested one at that.
It is easy to get confused when this sensation persists for days at a time. It is very disorienting. I often find myself asking myself, sometimes out loud, if what I am seeing is actually happening. It can be hard to engage someone in a real conversation, or believe what you are feeling is genuine.
It is the ultimate form of being outside it all.
I have recently come out of this state, but the four or five weeks surrounding the events I talked about in my last entry were like this every day. The only conversation I could have that felt impactful was with myself and only redressing this phenomenon.
There were a particularly puzzling handful of days that started the day before my last post and lasted through the next weekend. What I think managed to snap me out of it was lying in a bed in the middle of a beautiful weekend afternoon and reciting repeatedly to myself ‘this is my life, this is happening now’ as if it were my mantra.
I wasn’t actively engaging in a mindfulness exercise, I was simply trying to stop the onslaught of anxiety, but I think it did manage to work in a similar, if extremely crude, fashion.
There is an interesting perspective that goes along with watching everything play out around you as if you are in the world’s most immersive IMAX theater. I had a really overwhelming sense of calm during the entire thing. Nothing really bothered me, and I was able to just say whatever I wanted. I didn’t experience the constant racing through scenarios of everything I could possibly say that often stops me from saying anything at all.
I did, almost, feel like I was sleeping. Or at least I felt like no matter what happened, I would eventually wake up.
I guess in a way I did awaken, at least from that state of mind. I don’t mean to suggest there was some transcendent moment, there wasn’t. It was much more like snoring so hard you wake your drool covered self.
Either way, I’m up now. I’m sure the dream will recur soon enough.