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Topic: Disassociated Life

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Goldenrod
    Goldenrod avatar
    8 posts
    12 June 2020

    Hi. I'm a single male in my early 40s, and I feel like I've been using escaspism my whole life to create a false reality for myself, at the detriment of gaining any real world social skills. This week, I had a breakdown once I realised how impossible it all was.

    I've used daydreams as a means of escape ever since I was a kid, imagining I was having conversations and adventures starting with fictional characters, then celebrities. Lately, though, I'd started becoming obsessed with online content creators that I liked, and imagined that I was close friends with many of them. Of course, since they can now have actual conversations with us, it feels like a more "real" connection than ever.

    I understand why I've done this - my real life has been mostly unfulfilling work, little real social interaction, and a lack of any professional skills. I kept telling myself that I would eventually pick up the slack and apply muself, but there always seemed to be some kind of reason not to.

    I realised this week that there is absolutely no way of having any real connection with these people, at least not in the way I had built up in my mind, and it has DEVASTATED me. I now can't even THINK of watching any of their stuff any more!

    What's worse, is that while I was still struggling to come up with a way of reaching out to them, I tried to do something creative online, but as soon as I tried, my mind said "What are you doing? You can't join in now! It's too late! Give up!" And as soon as that thought popped into my mind, I instantly lost all joy in EVERYTHING creative that I used to love, like movies, games, books, music... and of course, online videos are WAY OUT.

    I feel like I've wasted the majority of my life on an imaginary one. I feel foolish, selfish, creepy and more isolated than ever. My sleep cycle has gone out the window. I'm suffering anxiety attacks, and can't focus on anything longer than 5 minutes. I have no real plans for the future now, apart from seeing a doctor next week; I'm hoping to get a referral to a professional. I'm so scared that I'm going to spend the rest of my life in some sort of mental care facility, as this feels like my ENTIRE LIFE has been built on lies I told myself. And my mind keeps tricking me, circling back to these obsessions with fake people without me even realising it, because I've become so used to this trick that I don't think I can make it stop...

    What do I do now?!?

  2. Goldenrod
    Goldenrod avatar
    8 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to Goldenrod

    Hello, it's me again. I've just reread what i wrote last night and I feel a lot better about the situation now. Still not 100%, but I've been able to re-sort out my feelings and am not as tense as I was when I wrote this. I think a lot of the issues have been related to my social isolation, and I want to address those in a meaningful way. I'm tempted to actually try a bunch of different things, but I'm not committing to anything serious until I have at least spoken to some proper specialists.

    I really appreciate this service. I've donated money to this charity, and, even if no one else reads or responds to this, I still feel it has made a difference. Having to at least admit to these problems has been a good first step 😃

  3. brave_heart7
    brave_heart7 avatar
    8 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to Goldenrod

    Hi Goldenrod,

    Firstly, I'm glad to hear you're feeling better about your current situation now, and that you're wanting to address the difficulties you're facing in a meaningful way :)

    I think sometimes when we're finding life tough or going through difficult life circumstances we can use our imagination as a way to escape and have a break from the realities of our life. It's nothing to feel ashamed or foolish about, we all use these kinds of coping mechanisms. What's important is you're admitting that it is affecting you and you're accessing support - which is amazing!

    Something that might help whilst you're waiting for your appointment is trying to keep a regular sleep routine. I know this can be hard, but something that helps me is making sure I go to bed and wake at the same time every day, and I avoid screens about an hour or two before I go to bed.

    I wish you all the best and am sending kind thoughts!

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Goldenrod
    Goldenrod avatar
    8 posts
    14 June 2020 in reply to brave_heart7

    Thank you. ❤

    Like I said, I'm not committing to anything 100% yet but I'm optimistic. I've actually started creating things again, which is hard and slow work because I'm so out of practice, but it still feels like a HUGE development! At the moment it's difficult to manage my sleeping with my work schedule, but it's a good suggestion nonetheless.

  5. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    4287 posts
    14 June 2020 in reply to Goldenrod
    Hi - I replied to your other thread and have come here now.

    You sound quite positive about your situation. You could look into sleep hygiene - it is something my psychiatrist put me onto.

    I don't know much about what you have done but I will listen if you want to tell more of your story.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Goldenrod
    Goldenrod avatar
    8 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    WELL. This has been a very interesting week.

    I've spoken to my doctor today, I've given blood samples and will discuss the results witm the doctor next week. I explained my situation with him, and we've decided to check for any physical issues before any further psychological ones are studied. I'm also taking the week off work to relax and regroup, and am doing activities that are more in line with what I was missing out on before.

    The thing is... this morning I felt I'd finally figured out all of my problems, and was coming up with all these grand ideas about how I was gonna change the world with my art projects that I was planning. I was running on pure mania, but I was self-aware enough that I knew not to rely on anything (small steps, as I said before). I'd started plans, though, just in case I still wanted to do them later.

    And now I'm sitting in bed... and I feel like I'm back to normal again. All the anxiety, all the obsessive thoughts, all the mania, all the creative drive... Eh. Who cares now? Even reading the first entry of this thread seems like I overreacted. I'm not100% but I'm okay.

    This is the FIRST TIME I have ever ecperienced this, and it was so weird! Was it a stress induced manic episode? Will I have it again? Only time will tell. But I'll definitely be trying to keep the behaviours I've gained during this week (being more outgoing, more creative time), and I'm being very careful not to make anything for granted.

    TL;DR I may have had my first manic episode but since I was smart enough not to do anything TOO weird or drastic I'll probably be fine for now.

    ...Oh, and thanks very much for the supportive comments. You were very helpful and and understanding, and I think I owe some of my recovery to you! 😊

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