Often, reading about other people’s depression and mental health helps me on my road to getting better and writing about it helps a lot too. A lot of the time I struggle to express what I feel, how I feel and what I don’t, so reading about other people’s stories allows me to shout, “THAT’S IT, THAT’S ME!” and, for the first time, put into words what’s going on in my head.
So, hopefully, this won’t just help me but will somehow help someone else figure out how they are feeling too.
Most of the time I feel very disconnected, not just from people but myself and the world. Nothing around me feels real and I question whether anyone/anything actually exists. My sense of what’s real is wonky.
Often, my body doesn’t feel real and it’s like I’m not really here, the best way I can describe it is like being drunk but almost constantly. Even as I’m typing this it’s like my arms aren’t mine and I’m detached from my emotions.
I have somewhat different identities, the person who is in my dreams and who I see in my mind looks nothing like me and is practically a different person. They have a similar personality to me but in most ways, is the person I want to be.
The way I feel often affects my work and personal life as well as my ability to form connections and relationships with people. I feel a detachment from everyone and everything and when I’m talking to people, I don’t feel attached to what I’m saying.
Quite often everyone feels like a stranger, even my own family, and I don’t recognise them. I look at their faces but can’t recognise that they are familiar. For example, I can be having a meal with family or people I know and I look up and look around at everyone but I don’t recognise them. I don’t feel a part of the family or connected to them in any way, it feels like they just aren’t real. Sometimes I snap out of it within a few minutes but sometimes it lasts longer.
I remember once I went on holiday with my Mum and as she got out of the car, I didn’t see my Mum in her. Her face wasn’t familiar and the person standing in front of me just wasn’t my Mum.
I also often don’t even recognise myself and when I see that person in the mirror or pictures, is that really me?! That person just doesn’t look familiar or real. I touch my face in the mirror but can’t believe that, that’s me. There’s a clear distance between myself, everyone else and the world around me.
I don’t even recognise my own son sometimes, I look at him and examine his face and watch him just be him, but he feels like a stranger. Sometimes I don’t feel like I created him or that he’s a part of me.
I have been living with memory loss for about three years now and I struggle coping with simple daily tasks. Things like brushing my sons’ teeth, remembering appointments or what shop I need to go in and what for, I just don’t remember. I need to-do lists, calendars, phone alarms, texts and post-it notes dotted around to remind me to do everything.
Almost daily I forget conversations, it can be snippets of what was said, the entire conversation or that the conversation took place at all. Sometimes when me and my partner go out he will say he needs to go into a shop for something and within seconds, I’ve forgotten and automatically start walking home thinking that we’ve finished.
Part of my shit memory is also forgetting to take my medication, which I need to take to help my memory and depression, so I’m constantly in a vicious circle failing to fight my way out.
I feel not just physically tired but emotionally exhausted the entire time, no amount of sleep makes me feel any better and no break away from looking after my son allows me to feel relaxed. I have hardly any motivation to do things, including work, and often have to fight myself to have a wash and get dressed in the morning.
My GP has told me that I need to have CBT if I don’t improve over the next month and I’m hopeful that it will work. Hopefully I’ll start getting better soon.
As I said when I started writing this, I love reading other people’s stories, so if you feel like sharing I would love to read them!