Panicking, heart racing, dry mouth and a complete loss of where I was had hit me, like a huge surge of completely overwhelming sensations taking over my entire body and self. At 21 years old, precisely, my birthday. I had what may be the strangest and most frightening experience of my life.
To this day with all the research and understanding I have gained, I am still at a loss for words when trying to describe how I felt on that day. Ironically my 21st birthday, a day for celebration, had left me with lasting effects, which I think may have changed me forever.
Looking back there were many warning signs flashing before my eyes, which I could not see, resulting in me mounting my inner turmoil to a point of crashing into complete dissociation.
I myself feel I lacked many life skills like many people, how do we handle stress? The loss of loved ones? Heartbreak? How do we deal with traumatic events? Many life skills aren’t taught to us and this is just something we have to learn to cope with. What if you can’t cope? Does the result of complete dissociation from your mind, body and surroundings cross your mind? I know it never crossed my mind, in fact I didn’t even know feelings like these existed.
Without going into detail about my childhood and youth. My life was somewhat normal, with a few life-changing events along the way. As a child I have moments I can recall on, when I would look into the mirror and momentarily not recognize who was looking back at me. The face didn’t feel like it was my own. There were times I would lay in bed, pondering my existence and for a few seconds the thought of being human, alive and on the planet earth would overwhelm me.
What was this? If it only lasted a few seconds, I doubt it was important. This however is called fleeting depersonalization, which many people will experience throughout their lives.
This could also be seen as a predisposition to later having chronic depersonalization, but little people know this. I being one of them had little idea as to what I was experiencing.
A few months before my 21st birthday I had encountered many life-changing events. These all occurred around the same time, sub sequentially adding to the amount of stress put upon me. I however was unaware that what I was feeling at the time was severe stress and anxiety.