On Feeling Detached

There are days where I feel like I’m floating slightly behind my body, watching myself walking; not far enough to see myself entirely, but off enough that I feel like everything is staggered.

There are days when I try to read and the words, said in my mind, will not stick. They flutter through and land somewhere, but I cannot find them.

There are days where people talk to me and I cannot hear them; their mouths moves and words come out but they mean nothing.

There are days where all I want is some company, but everyone I spend time with makes me feel more alone.

I interact with the world just fine most days. There is a nagging reminder, at the back of my mind, of the loneliness but it is easy to ignore. Most days, I am just not that lonely. I don’t feel very connected to many people, but connected enough. When the nagging gets louder however, I am soon reminded that connected enough is not enough. To feel heard, understood, and present is an important part of human interaction and is something that I can often go weeks without feeling.

I like to joke that I have a “list” of people I actually feel connected to-- that there are a small group of people who I actually feel present when I’m around. This joke is annoying, mostly because it’s true. There are perhaps 5 people on that list, excluding my family. That’s not to say that I dislike other people. I just don’t feel quite as person-like around them. I am an actor, playing the part of me. I play it well, but it’s not the same as simply just being myself without thinking about whether a sentence I say will fit the character.

If I haven’t seen or spoken to people from the “list” for too long, the detachment becomes obvious. I stare off into space, and I forget how to react to life. The fact that I am decidedly not there becomes easy for those who care about me to see. And it’s difficult to do much about it. Occasionally, even if I have gotten to speak to someone on the list, I will still remain in the space outside of myself.  When this happens, there is a fear that fills me- that I will never be back within me. I will just have to float a foot behind myself forever. I’m terrified of this. I’d rather feel pain, get hurt than to feel nothing. My own absence terrifies me.

But it has been years since I have gotten stuck outside of me. Even then, though it took months, I got back in. I have found a way back in every time. I will find a way back in every time. If I occasionally have to play the role of myself, then so be it. I know I will get to no longer wear my costume soon. I have set up my home inside of myself, and I will not get locked out.


Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2