I’ve been truly struggling with the transition, and having one of the longest dissociative periods I’ve experienced coupled with anxiety. This is an attempt to describe how that feels. I regret that I haven’t been active and supportive in the community lately- I’m a very empathetic person and it takes a lot out of me to engage in external struggles besides my own during my bipolar depression. I hope you’ll understand.
I want you to remember this mood, the sensations, and the thoughts in your mind right now. You are at rock bottom of the depression cycle. There were many version of this “rock bottom,” as you have experienced before, varying from suicidal to apathetic, and each time, it seems like you have less of a grip on your life than you thought. This time, I can characterize this dip in the cycle mostly as foggy and dissociative, which brings along apathy. It feels like you’ve taken your life and put it in the dryer for too long- the result is a desiccated soul that has been solidified into a ball of unusable cloth. You’re drained of the motivation you had for the things that bring you joy. To cope you escape through hours and hours of meaningless entertainment or sleep. Because the fewer hours you are awake for, you get to dissociate less. Meditating doesn’t help. Self, when I try to get in touch with you, I can’t feel your presence. I can’t tell what you’re feeling. I’ve been working on paying attention to you more, but this brain fog is a barrier from me to you and I don’t have the energy to climb up the chain linked fence. Every time I leave to go exercise in the park, the dissociation gets so strong that I can’t feel and my body is just going through the motions. It’s a terrible feeling, like having cotton balls block your five senses. Yet my family pushes me to go for walks, because it’s good for me. I’m sure it is, but it sure doesn’t feel good. I’m like those dogs in inhumane experiments trapped in zapping cages who can’t get out even with the cage door wide open. I’m often conflicted with these two competing goals- long term betterment (gained through opposite action), and listening to my feelings (being self compassionate). A therapist would say that it’s a balance. That’s like saying “it depends.” Totally useful.
I long to dream and I long to yearn again. Dreaming and aspiring might be a very natural thing to do, and I thought so too, until my health failed. So what I mean is other than longing to get better, to feel myself again. I guess I’m not courageous enough for this yet, but I want to have goals in life again, in my career, relationships etc… I want to be confident that the things I want to achieve will come with time and effort (and luck, but I can’t control that), I want to be stable, as much as you, my self.