Today is one of those days when putting two thoughts together and having them make sense and become something concrete seem entirely impossible. And before you jump to any conclusions, I have never formally been diagnosed with any mental disorder or disruptive condition – although I did break my right ankle when I tripped over my dog a few years ago.
So, what, you might ask, is going on with me. – at least I know that is the question running through my brain since it is not something that typically happens to me. If I had to come up with a single word that describes what I’m feeling it is “spacey.” And no, I’m not even sure if that is a real word at all, but I think it conjures up the way I’m feeling.
When I think of “spacey,” I picture outer space and a lot of uninterrupted areas. Maybe off to the distant side, there may be a cluster of light haze-like fog formed from a handful of stars, but for the most part, there is a lot of open space with nothing concrete around. That is exactly how it feels inside my own head.
I want to go in some direction and I get an idea, fleeting as it may be, but no sooner do I reach out to anchor it to a second idea and just like in a Star Trek movie, the next thought whooshes out of sight, traveling at the speed of sound, light years away; forever out of reach. Spacey!
My background is in mental health so I go into research mode and I quickly find the National Alliance on Mental Illness website. According to NAMI what I am experiencing is indeed a symptom of a disorder known as “Depersonalization.” It is most commonly marked by feelings of distance and detachment from one’s own self or body – which is most likely why I didn’t consider it part of the disorder at first, but the more I researched it, the more I found that it can also involve the same feelings of distance and detachment from one’s own experience. Bingo!
It then goes on to describe the sensation as feeling as if in a dream or being “spaced out.” What makes it a disorder is the frequency and severity of the interruption; because people also describe many of these same feelings when intoxicated. Bingo again.
I have been feeling a lot of disappointment and sadness in my personal relationship with my partner and although I have been stating it openly and maturely time after time, his own mental health issues leave me feeling totally alone and alienated. Deep in the late night hours of night, when stillness and silence are my only friends, I reach for a glass of wine, to unwind. Before I know it, I am reaching for another; even a third. And although my partner has long since begun snoring, I am sitting quietly and being lulled to sleep on the living room recliner.
REALITY CHECK: Although this has not been going on for so long and it is only wine, I am drinking too much. I believe the way I feel today, is my brain’s way of telling me that I am doing something harmful, even though at the moment when I do it, I can convince myself that it is helpful.
Am I on the brink of clarity here – totally on the edge of being able to see clearly, despite feelings of being spacey and distant, that I need to step back in order to avoid self-harm and possibly even addiction?
I may be going through a rough spot with my personal relationship – I am definitely afraid that I have to face the reality that my partner and I may very well need to come to terms with where things are with us, I’m not sure…maybe it is just me who has to come to those terms. But, what I do know is that I’m not going to find comfort or clarity by drowning my unhappiness in another glass of wine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!