I'd totally understand if anyone reading this is baffled by the words "dissociative disorder" I know I would be a few years ago..
Just so you can understand I will give you a bit of a back story and some hope! one thing throughout my journey over the past few years I have not lost
is hope. I was born without Anphantasia. I know what it is like to feel the amazing feeling of picturing your loved ones, remembering memories and playing them in your mind like a cinema-screen..
It all started when I was 16, I had previously been involved in some wrong crowds and had started smoking marijuana quite regularly (If you know me know at the age of 22 this is very unlike me) but my teen self seemed to think it was great. Anyway, some time passed and I had a panic attack after smoking weed that was when everything changed. My vision, my hearing, my sensory input.. everything. It was like my whole life just changed in one day.
I woke up the following morning and I looked into the bedroom of my grandparents house which I had always been familar with and nothing seemed familiar to me any more, my whole family, my friends.. I couldn't remember who they were and nothing seemed right. It was as if I was living in some other person's life and nothing had ever happened before that day, I had no past, I wasn't in my own life.
This was dissociation. I had developed a severe form of dissociation from a mixture of trauma and the weed from a young age.
For months I underwent therapy and investigations into why I was experiencing this. I had numbness of emotion. I had anxiety that was through the roof
and I was very detached. I was 16 when all this happened. I'm 22. I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder in 2012
This was kind of a start of losing the ability to picture mental images.
I totally freaked out, I thought "Oh god why is it so dark in here" I can't see anything! is there something wrong with me? and as time went on I presumed that was part of the dissociation but I now realize it is something very seperate. I have progressed in my dissociation a lot since 16, since my diagnosis.
It's strange living with it now and knowing what it felt like to not live with it, I look on the bright side though. I have a loving family, I'm finally getting the help from the mental health people that I've needed that wasn't there a few years back and I'm hopeful that one day science will progress to a point where we will be cured or for a better word we can cure ourselves of anything mentally impairing. I'm sure a lot of people who have had this for life will not think it's anything big really but to me it was everything that I could imagine. Since I am a musician, I was always into my piano, guiar and singing and when I got Anphantsia my imagination seemed to dim with it. Now it's like I have to purposely turn the light on, it doesn't come on on it's own.
Things that most definitely have improved in the last 7 years
In the past I couldn't hear voices when I read anything, I couldn't hear my own voice when I read text! I can do that now... that's come back
I could not cry for a long time, I would try anything to cry and sometimes even like fake cry to get myself to cry and I couldn't because my emotions were that numb and far away from me but now I can cry, I cry a lot! haha and in a good way!!!
I had no concept of social structure, I forgot how the system worked, how social interaction worked, how to talk to people - now I am much better at talking to people, I have a better idea of the system and my interactions are so much more natural!!
I developed spirituality and a stronger sense of hope than I had before this all happened, I believe in fate and that things happen for a reason
I was very very anxious before and my anxiety is much less than it was, I am more in control of my reactions to situations and I know how to handle my anxiety when it does strike
I wake up and go to sleep with a feeling of purpose. This one is still in processing, I really wasn't a person who ever lacked purpose when I didn't have dissociation and when it hit me. BAM. My life changed and I wasn't the same person. I had read up on all sorts of things from "The Dark Night of the Soul" to entities and all sorts.. concluding sometimes that maybe not everything I was suffering from had an organic cause. Despite my poor sleep pattern and the not having the ability to sleep very deeply somehow I manage to function well!
I'm able to understand peoples emotions and actually feel their responses. At times this can be overwhelming as pain can feel very very painful as everyone may know and for anyone that has experienced emotional numbness for a period of time that you don't actually take in what people are saying so as far as pain went I could easily block out things! literally I could actually feel nothing for as long as I held the belief that it was going to hurt me
I am processing things. I'm not afraid of processing things that were traumatizing to me. For me there needs to be a blanket of safety there BEFORE I do this but I manage to pick up a book in a book store that says "Ways to process your emotional baggage.." or something like that.. and to me that's progress!!
I am more positive (well, when things are going well) haha!
I am more empathetic than I used to be, with Anphastasia I think you lose a lot of insight and sometimes it can be very one way narrow minded and sometimes I have to switch to using my intuition and emotional reading rather than actually responding on how people speak to me and stuff. It's hard sometimes as it can be frustrating as the blankness and narrow mindedness can cause conflict but it's gotten so much better
All in all I feel like a veil is slowly, slowly but surely lifting
That and science, science is progressing and we are hearing FAR more about these things
It's all about finding out what is going to help you uncover all of the things that hold you back with this condition.. or even my disorder
I am just going to keep working on increasing the things that are helping because to me that is all I can do until the veil does lift off
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