Thursday, May 01, 2008

In My Bubble

This past week I went to see my sister and my nieces, all of whom I love so much, but I could feel nothing. I spent a great deal of my time there struggling against my self disappearing into a frustratingly detached state. I call it being "in my bubble". I think it is what is referred to as dissociation or maybe depersonalization. As I slip back into depression I find myself spending more and more time either sleeping or, even worse, in my bubble.

Usually this type of feeling is brought on by extreme stress, typically intense social anxiety, or fears that I will embarrass myself or look stupid, or fears I will be rejected. I talked with Dr. X about how I have been feeling in my bubble this past week. I don't really understand what we were talking about in our appointment this morning.

I think he was explaining to me that when I get in that state it would be better for me to just "be" in that state, rather than both be in the state and berate myself for being there.

When I got home I thought of a funny story my sister told me this weekend. It seems when she was in her early 20's she smoked some extreme pot with a friend and some people she didn't know that well. She said she was so high that inside her head she kept repeating "Just say something!,Just say something!, Just say something!", over and over, but nothing would come out of her mouth until suddenly, in a really loud voice she said, "SAY SOMETHING"!

....I laughed so hard when she told me that story, but her description of her inner turmoil while stoned sounds so much like my inner dialogue when I begin to go into my bubble, and when I come out of it. I begin to feel aware of myself slipping away. I suddenly am detached from everything. I can't see, hear, touch, smell anything. I'm gone.

Then just as suddenly I come out of it. I feel so scared and afraid I must look completely bizarre, or that people will have noticed me "gone", but no one has ever said anything. Given other's reactions to my behaviour I can only surmise too much time does has not passed while I was stuck in my bubble.

I have other experiences like this that are so distressing. Not sure why, but it seems to happen in large stores, especially grocery stores. I feel like I've left my body and am hovering above myself. I feel myself getting all clammy, like I'm going to faint, I begin to panic and then I'm gone. This sometimes happens when I am in a stressful group situation, for example with people I do not know that well, or even with people I know well when I am feeling severely depressed and anxious. It is as though I am "outside the circle": a detached third party viewing myself and others from outside myself.

In both types of situations I feel "stuck in the sensation" of not being there. I want to be in the moment, but feel completely disconnected from it. I begin slipping away and there is nothing I can do to stop it from happening. It is an awful feeling; almost as though I am a ghost of a person and existence is surreal, or experienced through a veil or from a distance.

I don't really understand what Dr. X was trying to get me to do, or understand. Was he saying to just let go and give in to slipping away. Let go, don't struggle and accept these sensations as part of who I am? How do I do that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's what is sounds like to me, like his suggestion was to try and change the 'self-talk' while this bubble phenomenon is somehow give yourself permission for this to be happening and just go with it. Easier said than done I'm sure.