I’m so numb today that I can barely function. Unfortunately, lying down on the couch and staring out the window all day is not an option. There is no cause, no catalyst – just numbness. I’m in a fog and nothing seems real. I forget what I’m doing when I’m in the middle of it and move on to something else only to remember that I hadn’t finished the other task.
Some would say “You’re a mom of little ones! Of course you’re going to have bad days.”
Or: “It’ll pass. We all have off days.”
The trouble is when your “off days” feel like an “off life”. I’m so thrown out of balance that I feel like I’m in someone else’s life or like I’m not real or everything around me isn’t real. It’s disorienting. I would get angry if I wasn’t so numb but I’m also getting accustomed to it: this numbness, this derealization.
The first time I heard the term “derealization” I cringed. I hated the term: it sounded so clinical and serious. But it is annoyingly accurate: the “realness” is removed from my consciousness and all I am left with is an empty feeling. I’m often aware of the derealization when it is happening which is a blessing and a curse. I try very hard to extend grace and empathy to myself, try to be present for myself even though it seems impossible, try to not fight it so much. But the curse is that I know my surroundings are real and the fact that it doesn’t feel like it is makes me miserable and hopeless.
The hopeless, lost feeling makes it difficult to breathe. Nothing really helps except perhaps stillness and a prayer. I have learned to be more patient over time because the more I fight it the more it overtakes me. So if I try to be still – not fight my way back to reality – then I have found that I get to a more grounded place a little sooner than if I had struggled. I focus my energy on just getting from one moment to the next. I’m sad and worn out but there’s nothing else I can do but reassure myself that I’ll be okay and that it’s perfectly acceptable to not be okay right now. In fact, it’s absolutely fine to be absolutely shitty right now.
Give yourself some grace. You are doing the best you can and you are not alone.