Stuck in a wrong reality

These times come and go. I’ve been through it before and I know it will pass, but it’s still scary.

I’m losing my touch with reality again. I don’t mean hallucinations or mixing up reality and dreams or anything like that - I’m perfectly aware of what’s going on around me and I know it’s real. But it doesn’t feel real. I cant grasp it. Time and world around me feels like trying to hold water in a sieve, it’s running right past me. There’s a conflict between what I know to be reality, and how I feel about it. And I’ve always been very feeling/intuition based person, which makes it so much more difficult.

I know this will pass with time. It always does, in several weeks or so. But while it’s happening, I don’t know how to deal with it. So I just drown myself in other worlds - video games, movies, books. Worlds that I know to be false and made up, so I don’t have to deal with the crossfire between my brain and my intuition. But when the world I’m functioning in feels just as fake, I keep forgetting the most basic things - I forget to eat, or drink water, or sleep. I keep getting surprised when I see a clock or a calendar, because I’m so lost in what time of day or what day of the week it is. It all feels so twisted.

I should clean my apartment. I should go visit my family like I promised 3 days ago. I should answer my friends when they message me. I should take care of myself and my home. But when the world feels like a dream, and I feel like any second now I’m just gonna wake up and none of this matters anymore (even writing this post seems silly - if it’s all a dream, what’s the point?), it’s really difficult to find the motivation to do anything. If all of this around me, my family, my friends, my whole life right now is just a counterfeit, a fake double reality, why would I waste time and energy in caring for it?

I know, rationally, that I’m awake, and this is the same reality, the same universe I’ve lived in all my life. But my soul is doubting it all and just wants to go home. I feel alone, cause I feel stuck in a wrong dimension and my family and friends and everyone I love is somewhere out there. I feel lost and homesick and I just want to find my way out. But how can I get back home when I’m already right here?

I miss my family, my friends, my boyfriend. I miss you guys. I’m stuck in a glass house no one can break. All I can do is wait it out.

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Hey, Sarita!

Thank you for sharing! I can relate to this so much, and I know how rough it is.

Whenever I get like this, I find it helps to spend time with my family and friends. I know you feel like doing the opposite, but doing those things will help bring your mind back to reality. Also, exercise, yoga, and meditation are other things that tend to help me. Hope this helps!

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Hey @Sarita,

I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I remember talking about a similar topic with someone on the HeartSupport forums (I thought it was you and I checked your profile but I saw that this is your first topic), so please forgive me if you’ve already heard me talking about this!

I’m NOT a doctor so take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt. Believe it or not, you’re not alone with what you’re experiencing. In fact, there’s a word for it; it’s called depersonalization-derealization. This occurs when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you’re observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren’t real, or both. Feelings of depersonalization and derealization can be very disturbing and may feel like you’re living in a dream. The main treatment for depersonalization-derealization disorder is talk therapy (psychotherapy), although sometimes medications also are used. Persistent and recurrent episodes of depersonalization or derealization or both cause distress and problems functioning at work or school or in other important areas of your life. During these episodes, you are aware that your sense of detachment is only a feeling and not reality. The experience and feelings of the disorder can be difficult to describe. Worry about “going crazy” can cause you to become preoccupied with checking that you exist and determining what’s actually real. Additional symptoms can also include the following:

  • Feelings that you’re an outside observer of your thoughts, feelings, your body or parts of your body (for example, as if you were floating in air above yourself).
  • Feeling like a robot or that you’re not in control of your speech or movements.
  • The sense that your body, legs or arms appear distorted, enlarged or shrunken, or that your head is wrapped in cotton.
  • Emotional or physical numbness of your senses or responses to the world around you.
  • A sense that your memories lack emotion, and that they may or may not be your own memories.
  • Feelings of being alienated from or unfamiliar with your surroundings — for example, like you’re living in a movie or a dream.
  • Feeling emotionally disconnected from people you care about, as if you were separated by a glass wall.
  • Surroundings that appear distorted, blurry, colorless, two-dimensional or artificial, or a heightened awareness and clarity of your surroundings.
  • Distortions in perception of time, such as recent events feeling like distant past.
  • Distortions of distance and the size and shape of objects.

I’ve personally experienced depersonalization-derealization, and I hated it. I can say that it will go away, it just might take some time (I won’t disclose how long I experienced for because everyone is different, however I will say that I’m on the other side now and I’m feeling much better - a living testimony that it will get better).

Recently I learned about this technique called “grounding” and I want to share it with you because I believe it’ll help you push through your difficult season:

Depression <----------O----------> Anxiety

Picture this as a timeline, with you being the circle in the middle. Depression occurs when you saturate yourself in regrets of the past, and anxiety occurs when you saturate yourself in worries of the future. When you catch yourself leaning too far to the left or right, execute the “5-4-3-2-1” method.

5 - See
4 - Hear
3 - Feel
2 - Smell
1 - Taste

Look around and spot 5 things you see. Listen to 4 noises happening within your environment and touch 3 things around you. What 2 smells can your nose pick up? What can you currently taste in your mouth? By the time you’ve finished #1, you’ll be more “grounded” than you were before. The whole point is to focus on the present, and to appreciate what is currently going on in front of you. This will take your mind off of focusing too much on the past or future, and to focus on the “now”.

Also, I’ve posted the following list before, but I want to post it again because I also think it can help you in your situation. I’ve developed the list below for myself to utilize when I’m going through periods of severe anxiety, and I recommend for you to give it a shot:

  • Take deep breaths every time you think about breathing (via the “4-7-8 method”)
  • Consider taking mood-boosting tablets (Omega 3, 5-MTHF)
  • Get enough sleep (Go to bed early!)
  • Watch/listen to your favorite comedian
  • Exercise (Swim, if possible)
  • Download Headspace and/or Breath (iOS meditation apps)
  • Activate the essential oil diffuser (lavender) and/or mood lights
  • Temporarily change music to something relaxing (i.e. Hammock)

I might’ve completely missed the mark with my post, but I tried. :slight_smile: I hope it helped a little!

-Eric

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Hey @Sarita,

There are no words to say how much I relate to what you just wrote. All my life I would hide in different worlds when reality felt too much. Whether it was reading my fantasy books, writing my stories,watching the movies or playing the games, anything felt so much better than real world. And in a way this is a good thing. There are occasions when we have no concrete escape from reality than to step into another worlds ,as means of protecting or minds. I could never look bad upon this as long as you don’t choose to escape through means of destruction. Some people take drugs, some drink themselves into unconsciousness and as much as I love a good wine myself, Iwould never encourage addiction. Addiction is a dangerous thing and escaping too much leads you down a very fine line. So be careful with that.

I think you are very fortunate to have a family and friends that call you and actively reach out to you. How many can say that? You should remember to come back for these people as they do matter in your life. I do not know much about your circumstances, but I do think that reality has the potential to become more worthy of living than these fictional stories. It doesn’t’t happen a lot,I know, but when it does it so worth being present for.

I urge you to not forget about the people that care for you and grab the courage to try to see that your life is worth living and it can be just as great as the stories you love so much.

All love,

Soda

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DBT is a really intense but useful type of therapy that could help you out with these feeling. Grounding and Mindfulness techniques help me a lot when I feel this way.
Keep your eyes open, look around the room, notice your surroundings, notice details. Hold a pillow, stuffed animal or a ball. Place a cool cloth on your face, or hold something cool such as a can of soda. Listen to soothing or a speech, I highly suggest Alan Watt’s speeches or ASMR on YouTube or Bob Ross. Put your feet firmly on the ground and focus on his voice.
Another very useful grounding technique is asking yourself these 7 questions. Where am I? What is today? What is the date? What is the month? What is the year? How old am I?
What season is it?

-On The Brightside, Support Wall Team.

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Thanks for all the responses, it means a lot. <3

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About six or seven years ago I decided to do something, I didn’t think anything of, I seriously thought it was a joke, I did the elevator ritual, I pushed every button in order and then stepped out of the elevator and I noticed the next day that things were not what they seemed, everything was out of place, and everything was backwards, even celebrities I thought were dead were still alive Idk what happened but this isn’t the same world I once knew.