Stewards of Humanity

I’ve been struggling with depression lately. Unfortunately, I carry a sadness with me always, but I have episodes of severe depression as well. The episodes last anywhere from months to years. 

Over time, the depression leads me to feeling like there is no end in sight. And though I know that I do get through, I also know the cyclical nature of my melancholy. 

I do come out of it with more knowledge and insight, but sometimes that isn’t enough for me. I still feel this sense of meaninglessness. 

I wrote it out and I think I get it now. 

When I suffer, it is a profound sadness which shakes me to my core. I see the terrible things that have happened to me and I see the ugliness in people. 

This episode of depression has me looking at things like Donald Trump and Brexit. 

Trump is a human being, but he is the culmination of what displaced values do to people. All the things that we as a society need to fix: valuing material wealth more than the earth and its inhabitants, treating other human beings as though they are somehow worth less than you are, ignorance, insecurity, bullying, ALL OF IT…exists in this one individual who has enough money and a well known enough name, to bring out the ugliness in people. All the insecure and ignorant people rally behind him, because he is a good salesman, his pitch has sold people who otherwise might mean well in the world. 

And Brexit, what on earth is going on? As soon as the vote came in, citizens thought it gave them the right to harass non-white Britains. People who didn’t have a thing to say a week ago, are now telling people to get out of their country. How ridiculous! 

With that said, I acknowledge that it is a minority of people who are behaving like angry, scared, ill-mannered children. HOWEVER, it is up to people like you and me, to help guide those with less awareness to be constructive rather than destructive. 

Suffering is the gateway to compassion and compassion is what this world needs. Don’t be afraid of your own suffering. Embrace it and let the compassion in. That’s the point of it all: to heal. In order for society to heal, we must acknowledge the ailment. 

Those of us who understand, those of us who know suffering and healing: we are the stewards of humanity and we are all in dire need of taking action right now. 

Be the best version of yourself that you can be. That is all you have to do. And be brave. 

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Derealization: Perceptual Changes

Since I don’t find many accounts of this online, I figured I’d describe some of my own experiences. 

Earlier today, I was doing mundane chores and going through the motions. I kept getting this waking up feeling and finding myself farther along with what I was doing, or even being in a different room. Every single time, I didn’t recognize where I was at first, asked myself if I was home, and looked around to answer yes.  

That one has more of a temporary dissociative amnesia flavor. 

A lot of the time, solid objects don’t look static to me. It’s almost as if I see them from different angles or seeing multiple versions of it, blended into one thing. 

Sometimes, the color of the curtain pulls me in and I’m seeing it in moving shapes like a kaleidoscope. 

Needless to say, I am never, ever bored. It makes my life seem almost intangible at times, like some sort of half-dream. 

This as a symptom is not bothersome to me, but it does impact my ability to interact with the outside world. I am so immersed, it’s hard to be around people because I’d rather be left to my mind. 

Letting Go and Trust

I found this post from a few weeks back that I didn’t publish. I’m a bit further along now, but it still pertains:

When growing up as the family scapegoat, it is difficult to discern what is true about the self. 

Am I worthless? Am I crazy? Am I just some single mom’s sob story to get a roof over our heads? I am so jaded. 

Lately, I’ve been putting myself more out there into the world. Every interaction is met with self-doubt. I always think I’ve done something wrong, but then I get called to come back. I get recommended to other people and some of these people open their hearts to me. 

It blows my mind every single time I feel a connection to another human being. It is wonderful and terrifying at the same time. 

I have been acknowledging my own doubts and finding evidence that I in fact do matter to some people. It’s really difficult to accept that truth as myself. 

I continue to put trust into just being myself around people, without letting the fear of judgment stop me. This is nerve wrecking and I know it doesn’t have to be. I just need to let go of my family’s idea of me: the idea that has fed into this negative self image for my entire life. 

Going Sane

So, I didn’t schedule a follow up with my therapist after last week’s session. We agreed that I would call next week and discuss the possibility of scheduling my next appointment. 

I don’t feel the freedom in that, just a bit of extra room on the proverbial leash. A little slack, but I still have the obligation to make contact after only one week. 

I told him I have hit a wall and need to take action on my own for a little while, and when I felt ready to talk again, I’d be back. I feel like there is nothing to talk about (nothing I want to talk about) at this moment in time. 

Normally, I would feel pretty freaked out over how much I’ve been dissociating…but everything is okay. Some slip ups and confusion here and there, but nothing I can’t minimize. That means I am feeling more comfortable and confident with myself. 

Sometimes I still question my sanity, but the fact I do that means I am still reasonable. I’m not questioning taking a break from therapy. I’m questioning what I’m doing with my life. 

Every time I see my life as a train wreck, I remember that a lot of people are dealing with things they think they can’t handle. We endure and we do the best we can to seem like everything is okay. If I strip away the worries, then everything is okay. 

One day at a time…

Resistance vs Readiness

The last few sessions of therapy have been largely unproductive as far as I can tell. Of course, I don’t really remember the details…I do recall apologizing a lot in the last session. 

I’ve been thinking that maybe it is time for me to move on if there’s nothing left to talk about. Or, at least, it’s time to take a break. 

Another version of myself thinks it’s resistance. All that’s left is to reconnect with my body and to allow my various selves a voice in therapy. I’m not sure I’m ready for that. So that’ll be what I bring up in therapy today. 

The disconnection and resistance to my body is pretty clear. I don’t know why I have trouble giving my voice to others in therapy. I guess…I just feel crazy because I don’t know what I’m going to say and then I don’t remember the conversation afterwards. To me, that feels like a loss of control and that scares me. It’s like my mind and body get hijacked. 

Dissociation and Fear Recognition

As you know, I struggle with a self concept to the point of just not identifying as anyone much of the time. 

Last night, I spooked myself. I was in the bathroom at the sink and put my hand on the back of my head. When I didn’t feel my ponytail (I have had short hair for about 4 years now) I panicked. I felt around my hair for about a second and then looked in the mirror. I didn’t recognize myself at all. I felt really scared and didn’t understand what was happening. Then I recognized the fear in my eyes as what I was experiencing at that moment and calmed down because that confirmed the person in the mirror was actually me. 

Things like that just suddenly occur sometimes. I’ll look down at my arm and panic because it doesn’t look like my arm. 

Sometimes I’m able to ground myself, but usually…it’s hard to explain. It’s not exactly a blackout. I seem aware at the time of what I am doing, but then there’s this waking up feeling. You know how you wake up from a dream? Sometimes you know you were dreaming and it was really vivid and involved, but you just can’t remember anything about it. That’s what it’s like for me, except I was awake the whole time. 

Dissociation is real and it has a huge impact on my every day life. 

Ego Panic

It’s become painfully clear that my ego is hanging on for dear life. It wants me to believe I am incapable and damaged beyond repair. It wants me to believe I’m an idiot and can’t do anything right. It wants me to question everything that I do so it can keep me right there in it’s clutches. 

It’s sinking in that I have no idea what is next. I am trying different things and figuring out what feels right to me. 

I’m letting go of the notion that I must continue working on a graduate degree. I am letting go of the idea that I can just keep coasting along and hoping for best. 

I have been feeling frozen a lot lately and I think that is a desperate attempt at keeping me from action. Resistance usually means I am heading in the right direction. So I will push on.