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Addicted to Dissociation?

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Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:10 pm

Today I realised that maybe I'm addicted to Dissociation.

I was driving to a relatively unknown area. I got some petrol and picked up a coffee and a snack. I pulled over in a side road to eat and drink. I became aware I was very dissociated.

This may be in bad taste or at least I know many here find dissociation distressing so apologies if its offensive in some way.

I liked it. I felt peaceful. I wasn't really with it. I had no clue where I was but I have GPS so who cares. I felt disconnected. I tasted the coffer. I enjoyed the snack. I sat a little looking at houses I'd not seen before, the trees. I realised I like that state of mind. Not in the body. Not thinking I need to get where I'm going or worrying if the people living in that house I parked by will wonder why someone is snacking outside. Not thinking about work or particularly anything that I remember. Just sitting being alive eating some food and having a coffee.

Then I continued my journey and did things I needed to do but because I was in a slightly dissociated state early I ft relaxed. I took myself to a toy shop and again not fully with it and bought myself I cuddly toy, I told the woman it was for my daughter - who cares (and usually I avoid lies because not remembering stuff is difficult enough without lies) I'll never see that woman again and she doesn't know it's not for my daughter. I just felt free. Free of "don't lie" - it just came out- and then I walked to some other shop and bought some toys for my actual son again without worrying about it or thinking am I getting the wrong stuff. Just completely relaxed go with the flow.

It's a blur distant memory now. Like I was walking behind myself more than looking from above or at myself. I got to thinking maybe I like that state of mind. Maybe I'm addicted to it. It does feel like, looking back on it, like being on some kind of relaxing drug. That I don't seek to "fix it" or want to because I like it and I'm basically addicted to it.

I don't know if anyone else feels like this about it? If it's "normal" or common for people to feel like they're enjoying a dissociative state or if I'm odd?
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby birdsong87 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:16 pm

most people we know feel an uncomfortable tension with dissociation/ numbing that can lead to self-harm. But we do know people who slip into dissociation whenever they feel annoyed with the world and they look like they are on some kind of drug and seem to be ok.
I guess the more important question is what this is doing to your life.
Everyone has a right to live the way they want to, but there are always consequences.
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:25 pm

birdsong87 wrote:most people we know feel an uncomfortable tension with dissociation/ numbing that can lead to self-harm. But we do know people who slip into dissociation whenever they feel annoyed with the world and they look like they are on some kind of drug and seem to be ok.
I guess the more important question is what this is doing to your life.
Everyone has a right to live the way they want to, but there are always consequences.



Yes. I'm trying to see consequences. So far I see none. I got more done today. Yesterday I was "with it" and I just wallowed. Today in that state I did more.

So I'm thinking there must be consequences but I so far see none. When looking at pictures of me when I out, relaxed at a party or something I look like I'm drunk or on drugs but I'm sober. It kind of annoys me because I'm sober but look like I'm not. But after today it makes sense.

If a trigger happens and I dissociate it's a different matter. That's awful. It can lead to a panic attack.

I thought of one consequence of "happy" dissociation. I have bad romantic relationships. If your basically high then you don't notice a person taking advantage or manipulating you. I'm gonna have to start looking at it like I have a drug problem I think because it's definitely making me vulnerable.

Thanks for replying, having even just this little convo about it has helped tons. Thank you.
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby VioletFlux » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:26 pm

There's aspects to it we dislike. There's aspects to it we enjoy, or abuse.

We dislike feeling depersonalized or derealized. That is unpleasant for me, and for V2, and I assume others in our system. We don't enjoy it.

V2 and I both use dissociation when we can, to speed up the morning workout. It is immensely more enjoyable when we can let the body pump and sweat on 'autopilot' while we are elsewhere, experiencing some much more enjoyable situations.

V2 'abuses' dissociation sometimes in the way that Stephanie used to abuse alcohol. When things become overwhelming and she doesn't want to deal with it, it is easier to 'take our brain off the hook' and the problem 'goes away' for a while. Whether that was Stephanie drinking away the afternoon, or Violet putting cartoons on tv and letting littles take over while she disappears, the effect is the same. (Though the options differ in terms of liverdamage. :roll: )

Maybe I'm missing your point though or misunderstanding it. Anyways, every one can dissociate to some degree. People with DID just do it more / better, and it becomes a disorder when it negatively impacts other aspects of life.

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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby Floralie » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:35 pm

On long term, you'll live your life without living it, and it's a huge consequence. I've spent most of my time living in the inner world, imagining to be one of my parts. I love them, I want them to be true, I want them in my life, I'm very happy it was not all just imagination, but something real and they are real.

Until very recently, about two years ago, I thought all was fine. I didn't want to do anything else than the exact thing I was doing. I didn't want to have friends or interact with other people, I didn't want to anything, because all I need is inside already. There are complex, but fulfilling lives inside me, lives of other parts, the only thing missing was me.

I started to learn about dissociation and that and peer support helped me to the point I created my own identity, for the first time in my life. It has opened my eyes. I'm 40 now, and those are all years that I wasted. I have no friends, I'm not able to work normal hours, my life is really limited. Almost all interests I've ever have, has had something to do with the others, not me. There of course is a reason why I lived my life like that, and to some point still do. It's not just because it's fun to dissociate, it's also because it's scary to start to have normal feelings. Like start feeling loneliness, because you have just ended all relationships because you rather sat on your couch staring into emptiness than went out to see someone.

I thought how my life would look like, if someone would video record me for one day. Or two, or three, but they wouldn't need to record more than just that one day, because they'd get the point that nothing changes, except our body getting older and older. And that is the real reality. It's not what I experience in my head, but it's the real reality, the one I don't wanna face, because it's hurtful. That's when I wanted to have therapy.

My goal is to live a life. Te others aren't going anywhere, they're inside me. I can't lose them. I can't enter the inner world like I used to when I was no one, but instead of it, parts are now getting out, and we meet in the body.

I do like many things in having DID as well. It's because I have many things the easy way, things others struggle with, and maybe I'll struggle too later on, when I've found all the missing pieces. I sometimes feel it for a moment, the regret and anger for all those wasted years. And I do remember thinking back then, I'm not gonna regret my choices. If I'd hear I have one day left, I'd have no regrets for things I didn't do, because I didn't WANT to do them. Now I'm healthier, and I do regret in a way. In a way I understand this is how it needed to go, before I was not ready. And I know that when it truly hits, the understanding and grieving over all I never had, it will be overwhelming.

Not caring about anything is not a good place to be. Rather than thinking are you addicted on it, I would ask what are you avoiding with it. There is something, because being dissociative should not be feeling good compared to living. And just floating away will keep you from making all those changes you should, that your life would feel better. Probably many of those choices are like mine as well, things you need a T to hep with. I still don't wanna spend time with people, but now I at least intellectually know it's because huge fear of being rejected. That among other inner believes is what makes being around people exhausting to me.

I didn't love dissociating, I just didn't wanna face the reality.
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby Johnny-Jack » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:41 am

Some types of dissociation can be positive, not just for multiples. I loved being able to "go away," when my body was uncomfortable or in pain, or if I was super bored at work or somewhere else I didn't want to be at that moment. I honestly miss being able to zone out since we just can't dissociate that deeply anymore.

We now have good, learnable substitutes like meditative states, self-calming, and mindfulness. And being a little more present usually creates a better overall experience than the numbing. But I still miss that positive aspect of dissociating. I understand totally why you find it so valuable. As a therapist once told me, the stuff my mind did to cope had value (like blocking memories) so you don't just toss it until you have alternatives.

I think some of my more automatic dissociating evolved into a chosen-in-the-moment self-calming. Could that be happening for you?
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby walden » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:55 am

Sarandipity wrote:Today I realised that maybe I'm addicted to Dissociation.

I was driving to a relatively unknown area. I got some petrol and picked up a coffee and a snack. I pulled over in a side road to eat and drink. I became aware I was very dissociated.

This may be in bad taste or at least I know many here find dissociation distressing so apologies if its offensive in some way.

I liked it. I felt peaceful. I wasn't really with it. I had no clue where I was but I have GPS so who cares. I felt disconnected. I tasted the coffer. I enjoyed the snack. I sat a little looking at houses I'd not seen before, the trees. I realised I like that state of mind. Not in the body. Not thinking I need to get where I'm going or worrying if the people living in that house I parked by will wonder why someone is snacking outside. Not thinking about work or particularly anything that I remember. Just sitting being alive eating some food and having a coffee.


I know exactly what you mean. However dissociation can very distressing for me at times
(it's really the thoughts of the unsurety of what may happen while very dissociated or amnesic that is the true distressor)
It feels super peaceful to be in that space; tunnel vision, barely any ambient sounds penetrating, only what is right in your fingertips (by choice!) is in your mind, and the environment just seems to float by without feeling solid..proportions seem diffuse and skewed, almost like a Salvadore Dali painting...and they seem so dreamy and vapid, so easily lost and forgotten.

I consider it to be a Grace at how distant these times feel once the dissociation fades away


Sarandipity wrote:It's a blur distant memory now. Like I was walking behind myself more than looking from above or at myself. I got to thinking maybe I like that state of mind. Maybe I'm addicted to it. It does feel like, looking back on it, like being on some kind of relaxing drug. That I don't seek to "fix it" or want to because I like it and I'm basically addicted to it.

I don't know if anyone else feels like this about it? If it's "normal" or common for people to feel like they're enjoying a dissociative state or if I'm odd?


It's completely understandable how you realized that you may be addicted to Dissociation. I mean, it's been a bulletproof solution to the worst of times, and it worked. So no wonder why it feels like it is a welcome state of mind.

If you are odd for feeling this way, then so am I. It's a state of mind that allows us to cope with terrible things. It's a safe default. But if it is causing problems with your daily life, perhaps it is time to reevaluate things. Is it causing problems in daily life? Are you losing time in ways that are detrimental to your career or family life? Do you feel safe?
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby birdsong87 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:59 am

you might think about it this way:
when you get triggered you feel unsafe although you are probably safe.
when you dissociate you feel safe, even though maybe you are in great danger.
hiding in an illusion of safety, because pain is not tangible there, opens you up for all kinds of terrible things to happen, being re-victimized because someone is taken advantage of 'drunk" or 'drugged' you just being one option of many.
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby Sarandipity » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:49 pm

Thank you for all your responses.

The day I was typing about was a "safe" day. I was alone. Doing what I liked basically. So it was nice.

Birdsong is right, if I'm triggered it's usually "stupid" ie am am safe but something set it off and it spirals intl flight or flight panic attack type thing like when I saw giant donuts - that set me off, still no idea why. In actual danger ie physical my instincts somehow heighten and I can reasonably aptly defend myself. I think it becomes dangerous for me in emotionally abusive situations because I dissociate the slow dripping tap of emotional abuse and slowly corrode away - like as a child.

About missing out on life, I've kind of had the reverse experience of that. At home I'd be dissociated but elsewhere I lived different lives by the time I was a teenager. I was an A student who also cut class and was naughty somehow, had loads of friends (who didn't mix) and I lived life to the absolute maximum with what I had at my disposal. Even through my 20's I learnt loads did loads of different stuff. I started living a double life again when I was with my husband so that wasn't really "good" because it's more irresponsible as an adult. Late 20's and early 30's as I split up with my husband I really started sorting myself out and focused on aligning my different parts on issues and how to have a career everyone is happy in or at least a job role and I did that with back up plans.

The only thing(s) left are I still can't have a healthy romantic relationship because I'm drawn into emotional abuse and it takes a while to notice I found out that's still an issue. Which leads to the why which I believe is this addiction to Dissociation. In an ideal world, which I know we are not, I'd keep the nice dissociative stuff and turn off my dissociative tendencies I have towards emotionally abusive people so I can avoid being drawn in. In an ideal world. I don't know if its possible. Or at least attempt to force a relationship with someone who is emotionally healthy but that leads to part issues and it's not particularly fair to force myself to be with someone (on them I mean).

I'm gonna accept I'm an addict for starters and watch when it happens. I guess mindfulness. I done alot of meditation classes, use being in the moment with my 5 senses to stop panic attacks and can watch my emotions so fingers crossed I can mindfully watch dissociation again too.

Thank you all for replying. I feel less strange to know that others also feel an enjoyment from it in certain situations.

I think the other day, judging by my actions, it was the twins and Mandy that were "there but not there" They barely ever out much and the twins like to indulge Mandy hence all the toys and chocolate. They promised her a teddy months ago. Also they tend to somehow do this when stuff they want is really cheap. They got 2 teddies for what they usually pay for 1, all the lego they wanted to buy for a birthday present was on sale and it happened to be a get a gift voucher with your purchase day plus a free lego. They just seem to have this uncanny luck.

My dissociation doesn't seem to effect my work life, my home life negatively or other interpersonal relationships, it only seems to be a problem because of going into emotionally abusive relationships. That I can see. But I'm going to observe it more.

Thank you again. It's really helped to chat.
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Re: Addicted to Dissociation?

Postby Exploring » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:57 pm

Floralie, what you wrote really hit me hard.

Johnny-Jack wrote:I think some of my more automatic dissociating evolved into a chosen-in-the-moment self-calming. Could that be happening for you?


How did you get to this point?
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