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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Pathetic Little Life

My sense of "self", even when not depersonalised, is of a very diminished sort. Most of the time I don,t feel depersonalised, but more of a sense of not quite adding up to being an autonymous sort of person with a distinct sense of identity with which to confront the varied challenges and pleasures life sets before me.

For me it is not so much that either I am DPed or not DPed, it is more like I am DPed to a greater or lesser degree.

I had my "nervous breakdown" many years ago and had myself voluntarily committed to the state mental hospital when my DP was the very worst. I was DPed almost to the point of Catatonia and would lay in bed terrified that i had actually become non existent. To move my body was excruciatingly painful and i felt as though my heart was being ripped out of my chest. And there was the almost constant feeling as though I was falling though space, or loosing my balance. Being still increased this frightening feeling of falling, but moving my body caused me to try and grab hold of a self an identity under whose "will" my body moved, and as i was so DPed I found no center from which to orient myself in a spatial sense and I would feel what is referred to as "ego dislocation" that is I would sort of "trance out" and forget that I even existed and become completely focussed upon another person or a thing or even a group of external textures like the various shadows that played along the edge of the wall where it met the floor, then I would feel this incredible tension in my chest like a rubber band stretched almost to the breaking point and I would feel as though and my sense of ego location would snap back inside my chest and I would feel an electrical pain a sort of burning or tearing as for a brief moment I realised I was an embodied being. Then i would find myself outside of my body again and again this electrical pain as I relocated back inside my chest. This went on continuously for several weeks. Finally i discovered that if i moved my body I had a greater sense of presence within my body so i began pacing the hallway day in and day out. Like many of you probably experience I struggled with feeling as though I or the environment were becoming microscopic or enlarging to incredible immense proportions. i had semi delusions of only existing as words on the page of a book someone was reading and feeling a sense of horror about what would happen to me when the reader turned the page. this wasn't just a bizarre thought but it was accompanied by a feeling of profound fear. Reality testing was compromised in a sort of hit and miss manner during this period as i would dip in and out of what i assume was psychosis.

This was the outer extreme of my personal DP spectrum one from which I feel I have never fully recovered as i still have re occurences with this intensity minus the horror I once felt. The difference between now and then being that familarity with that state of mind (almost forty years)has lost much of the fear associated with it as i have learned to emotionally ride with the ebb and flow of the DP sensations and it no longer carries the terror it once did for me. DP is a constant in my life still, but it is not so all consuming. To a certain extent I have been able to construct whispy sense of a continuous self, fragile as it may be, from the various pieces of experience I have passed through during my life.

I have kept my sights low, I am an isolated solitary person today. I suppose some might say I am chronically depressed but i don't feel particularly sad. Only the meaninglessness of my life seems to get to me at times. My parents are nearing the end of their lifes, and i don't really have any friends, I doubt I even have much capacity for friendship, but I fear growing older all on my own. Today there is no longer even a mental hospital wherein which to seek sanctuary. I have never really even held a job. I have been recieving disability for thirty years. I live in the country in the middle of nowhere in a one room shack i can barely keep clean.

O sometimes wonder if the only reason I have been able to hold onto a sense of self al all is due to the impoverishment of my life in general. There have been periods during these years where it seemed I was actually in touch with a sense of "reality" in my being, but even then it felt like play acting. maybe thats all life is i.e. a type of pretending.

I have been feeling a little down recently. It has much to do with growing old. So many youthful dreams have quietly slipped away, out of grasp now forever.

As the saying goes; it is not so much the things I have done that i have come to regret but those things which i never did.


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One of the most poignant pieces of writing I've seen here.

I have nothing to offer in return, other than my thanks for sharing your story. You are a hero in the most basic sense of the word.
The strength you must have is nothing short of amazing.


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835 Posts
hi john

if it means anything, in your writing you come across as a calm and together person who is able to look back on your past with compassion.

i think before dp, from alot of my earliest memories, i was only responding to stimulii and 'play acting'. maybe thats just what we do. humans have just evolved too far; reasoning when there is no purpose is cruel

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342 Posts
pdr said:
hi john - if it means anything, in your writing you come across as a calm and together person who is able to look back on your past with compassion.
Hi John - what I could say; I couldn't agree more. I also feel the peacefulness and clarity in your posts somehow - thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your posts feel like fresh air in this message board.

I don't know am I able to say anything helpful to you, but I think you shouldn't feel regret of your past, about the things you have never done. I feel your posts show that you have nothing to be ashamed in your life, it is the clarity and calmness of our posts which I feel (and which my posts lack completely). Though this perhaps cannot be compared to your life experience, as I'm only 29 years at the moment, but also I sometimes feel that I have lost the most precious years in my life - it is because I was severely depressed during the ages 14-25... But then I think it isn't like that - maybe by being depressed and fighting against misery I have learned mental strength and compassion/understanding toward mentally distressed people that I wouldn't be able to possess if my life had been easy to me.

These are the reasons why I think you needn't be sad bc you have had to (and still have to) struggle in your life. I think in the end all those things that are important in life are compassion and el?m?nviisaus, in English philosophy/experience of life (translation by one online dictionary, I don't know is that term any good expressing that Finnish concept). So workplace, studies etc. mundane things aren't that important in the end. That's why I think you have nothing to regret... And you still have many years ahead of you, I guess - there are many things you may learn and experience still...



Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That truly is a piece of very poignant writing, John. And I understand that horrible isolation - it doesn't even matter if someone is WITH other people when those feelings take over...the isolation is so powerful.

I do want to add one thought: your writing is touching. You can literally touch people, reach out to them and form some connection. Whether or not you can FEEL the connection right now, I can't say. But you have the ability to touch others. That alone will stand you in great stead - if you can find a way out of the cave you find yourself in right now, your skills (or talent) to connect to other people are totally intact. That is hope, my friend. We're all here - and will reach back - when you can find a way out.


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1,479 Posts
"...I doubt I even have much capacity for friendship..."

John, is this because you do not seek or want friendship? If that is not the reason, then I think a lot of people are missing out on having a really good friend. There is still time...please do not to sell yourself short as far as friendships go.

Thanks for being such a kind and gentle soul on this board. Your quiet writing is comforting.

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