It’s been months since I posted a blogpost. No I wasn’t relapsing in that sense. Just tired of public life and glare, wanted some peace and sanity Solitude and Silence always provide. I am still in hibernation. And happily. No, I don’t want to come out as yet. Moreover, here in India winter has just set in, so I still continue cave time. But there is one thing that always makes me come out for a bit. That is – when I re-touch any of my glaring mental health issues and while feeling the intense pain of these attacks, I somehow always end up thinking of you all with so much more love, my fellow survivors and/or silent sufferers yet readers, and my heart begins wondering again, if my sharing my story could help you in your battle just a bit. So just briefly peeping in this evening, and this time with a more informal tone, a personal téte a téte.
Derealization – One of the worst mental health dis-orders (Yes, there are no disorders or diseases but only dis-orders and dis-eases, be it of the body or the mind. So dear fellow survivors, please stop calling yourself disordered. Just dis-ordered. Dis-eased, just out of ease, and waiting to find your ease back. 🙂 ) that one could go through. Nasty, terrifying and impossible to explain in words. To know more abt it, go here..
This morning post waking I was again facing the monster called Derealization. Evening I am here to share less info abt it and more of my own battle with it and battle plan. Of course, the latter gradually found under the guidance of an able professional mental health expert and life coach I long back had committed to be in long term therapy with. So instead of the why of it, let me go straight to –
How to Strategically Disarm Derealization
Well, I am no professional psychology expert and have no set theory on that. I can only share how I did it, and still do, and what I have been discovering as valuable, helpful keys to do so.
Now ‘Enter, Kung Fu Panda’ just to spice up this otherwise morbid topic. (Incidentally that’s my coach’s favorite series and I, who never watched animation, was introduced to it by the same and now gorge on it.)
A) “Stop fighting. Just let it flow!” – Soothsayer, the Goat
Newly into therapy, when I was told to ‘Stay With It’ for every type of attacks I experience, including derealization, I had cringed in horror, going “Stay with a derealization bout?? Are you crazy??” Terrified and unwilling to back then, I soon found out there’s no other way than to stay with any such emotion/bout/inner turmoil and let it touch within, let it flow. Only then the first hurdle is crossed – the terror of it. (Yes, ask any mental health survivor. we are terrified less of the actual experience perhaps and often more of the terror of having to have the experience.) That needs to go foremost. Initially unimaginable, as I stayed with each bout for more and more time, I realized I had begun slowly releasing my terror of it.
You don’t need to stay with it for till a bout passes at one go. Stay with a blur first for 5 minutes. Next time for 15. Next time for 30. You can and must get your main aid against it – your prescribed medicine and/or professional therapist’s help – anytime you feel you can hold on no more. But first trying saying with it and with each next attack for a slightly longer duration. Flow with it. Feel the fear, the blur. Slowly it will feel less fearful. Painful still yes, but less terrifying.
B. “But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!”
Cries Master Shifu. Wise Oogway, his Master replies, “Maybe it can, if you are willing to guide, to nurture it, to believe in it.” And when my therapist first uttered a similar, “The answer to your problem lies in your problem itself.” it surely sounded meaningless Zen rubbish! How on earth the solution to my glaring derealization lie inside my derealization itself?? Until very recently, left out in the cold all by myself for a phase (Yes, these sly and ablest professional caregivers do that often. Don’t get messed in your mind. They haven’t abandoned you. They are superbusy invisibly working on you. Trust me!) I began frantically looking for someone I could turn to for help. And with outside support withdrawn for then, it so happened that I turned to my Self – and suddenly found a new part of Me I hadn’t so far discovered. The more Authentic Real Age Me that went unnoticed so far. (Yes, all mental health battlers as us know we have more than one ‘me’ inside. Several parts of ‘me’in each of us.) And while I was busy attending to the abandoned inner child or the abused and bleeding teen me-s, I never really had accessed That Stronger, Unscarred, Me, each of us have within, brimming with strength and inner resilience, which in psychology lingo is often termed as the ‘Adult’ in us. And as I sought her help, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Voice which spoke with sheer strength and collectedness, addressing the other more terrified parts of me. I even suddenly had a strange idea to video record my That part addressing my derealization so that I could go back to it and re-watch anytime. Then.. Only this morning, I remembered something and sprang up stunned – I have a specific mental image of my Blurred Unreal derealized World I often paint on paper and I’m that painting I always painted myself standing inside that most terrifying scene. I NEVER before asked myself why and how I stood in there. But as I recalled the painting today, I realised – The answer to my derealization problem lay right before my eyes inside the problem itself! The answer was the Adult No Nonsense Real Age Me! Always standing right inside these paintings! Access that Adult You. You’ll be surprised. He/she has seen it all your journeys, yet is not afraid, means business and is always waiting to help you.
C. “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” – Master Oogway, the Turtle
One of my favorite quotes which I heard first, not in the movie, but from my professional therapist and coach.
The Blur – OH yes! Ask any of us derealization survivors and we ALL sure know that one word which sums up our derealized states, yet it’s absolutely impossible to explain in words what a Blur is and how it feels. We just manage one word – The Blur. But interestingly as I found the Adult Me I found a possible answer to Why Derealization, why this Blur. I knew the abandoned and mistrusting Inner Child. I knew the sobbing slashing Teen. I knew the so called other adult parts of me I thought was adult but weren’t. Busy focusing on all these less strong, scarred and frightened parts of me I had for a lifetime Never got in touch with the Authentic Real Age Adult Me. How on earth could I ever get tangibly in touch with my outside world? I, while desperately trying to protect and pamper the hurting ‘me-s’, had blurred out That Authentic Adult ME. No wonder every other external and internal realities would get blurred in the process!
The Derealization Blur now I reckon is perhaps just a terrible fallout of we not touching our Authentic Self, we blurring our True and Most Strong Real Part in us. In trying to avoid meeting That Authentic Stronger Adult Us we are perhaps destined to experience derealization and meet That Authentic Us in our tryst with it. Don’t avoid meeting Your Authentic Self. We just need to unlock and access That and like I saw, you too might see a Veil lifting almost immediately during each such shadow of derealization. Of course derealization won’t vanish moment you access That You. Yet over a period of consistently giving that Adult You the main voice in your life derealization will perhaps fade. The Blur over consistent effort faced with this Adult You will have to blur itself out. So said my mental health expert too and I believe I can take that without a doubt. Try it. It helped me immensely and more than once since I found it.
D. “Take destiny by the horns and have fun.” – Po, The Kung Fu Panda
If you think a horrifying Derealization is your destiny, let me quote again, “You are thr Master of your Destiny.” Derealization can be extremely painful but what we do with our pain makes all the difference in the world. This afternoon, after getting my professional caregiver’s help, who led me merely with one more puzzle, (Yes! These brilliantly sly ones do that too often. Don’t get puzzled. Just know they know you inside out to trust you enough to solve certain missing pieces with your own inner strength!) standing in the shower with in a scaring numb steadily rising Blur and feeling it’s intense pain and hold on me, I suddenly once again felt, Oh! How many can even understand how I feel right now?? Only the ones who have derealization can ever get this bizarre trauma. But then next moment, I re-remembered, Oh but there are so many out there like I. Derealized. Often coping just as o do, with so intense a Blur. And then I recalled this blog was meant precisely for that – to share my tryst with mental health issues and my journey with other equally in pain survivors, thus to reach out with hope and help. Now I am here writing this. When I began I was still badly derealized. By the end of the article am much clear in my head now.
I will share a secret with you. Most of my blogposts were/are written during a real time relapse. I just choose to redirect all that intense tear and pull and pain of mental health issues I have to reach out through my blog. Take destiny by the horns and blow a victory trumpet I say! Use your pain to torch another’s path. You could redirect a Blur into whatever you do best. Paint it. Write a poem on it. Or a blogpost. Or a choreography. Anything that turns your pain into expressed fire that touches fellow survivors to light up their journey too. This secret has mostly never failed me. If might not fail you too.
To conclude, Derealization IS nasty but if you have survived even a short tryst with it, you’re Nastier! And am proud of you. Don’t ever let your Blur tell you, “You… can’t defeat me! You… you’re just a big… fat… (and Derealized) panda!” Just get professional help, search out the Real You, find a reach out passion to redirect every blur and then throwing a punch at Derealization’s face tell it straight, “I’m not a big fat panda. I’m THE big fat panda.” You could actually be the next famous Derealization slaying Dragon Warrior! 🙂
Author & blog owner, © 2016
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