It's been so relieving to read through this site and no longer feel like I'm making this whole thing up/that things can get better, thank you to everyone sharing their stories - here's mine:
I'm a 20 year old art student who's been struggling with vulvodynia and chronic urine/kidney infection for about two years, as well as a few bad experiences with birth control side effects. The chronic pain and struggle to find doctors who would listen to me (all while trying to make it at a pretty demanding school) has caused me more than a few bouts of anxiety, but until recently treatment was going well, and I thought I had mentally gotten things under control. Then, about three months ago I (very stupidly) decided to smoke weed with my friends on what had been a particularly rough day pain-wise. I had done it a few times prior with no problem - I'm generally careful about checking in my mood and not doing too much - but something just snapped and I suddenly found myself frozen on the couch, feeling very physically cold and as though I had been transported to an alternate universe where everything (including myself) was only a computer-generated model of its real form, with a vaguely metallic texture. Over the course of a few days the feeling slowly wore off, and I brushed it off as a bad experience with drugs and decided not to smoke again. Similar but less intense effects started to happen if I drank or stayed up too late, but they went away after sleep. Then, about a month ago, I started to have terrible dreams about my body being destroyed by unseen forces, which slowly escalated until the images from the dreams were all I could think about whenever I was alone. I made a counseling appointment, but not soon enough, because a week and a half ago I woke up feeling like I was in the fake alternate universe again. I'm not having the nightmare thoughts anymore, but visually everything is overwhelmingly hyper detailed and looks like I could stick my (also fake looking) hand right through it. Background noise is way too loud, when I hug my boyfriend I can't feel his body heat, and when things are especially bad time begins to speed up or slow down. According to my boyfriend I shake when I am asleep. All of these things have been really terrifying and the doctors at student health services told me they had never heard of anything like it and to go get my eyes checked (I did, and they are in tip-top shape). Breathing exercises/physical exercise haven't been enough to snap me out of it so far.
It feels as if nothing matters, and like nothing will ever matter until I'm back in the "real world", which is making school and my job really really hard. I'm hoping joining this site will help me find some ways to cope/maybe even get through the rest of the school year until I can get back, somehow. Much love to everyone here.