Strategies for Dealing with the Disorientation of Feeling Disconnected from Yourself

© 2002 Michele Toomey, PhD


March 20, 2002

Who knows what precipitates feeling disconnected from yourself. It seems to have been more frequent since you started taking phenobarbital. What we do know is that it greatly upsets you. Whatever groundedness you have seems to vanish as your disconnection takes over. Your're already barely able to feel grounded in yourself, so add disconnectedness and you become afraid and unsure of everything.

I think it strikes you without warning, so I don't think we can prevent it or abort it. You can be fine and an hour later fear you're alone in space. The only idea I have is to try to strategize on how to get you back once you're disconnected. Fortunately, you do use the words, "I feel disconnected," so at least you have that clue.

Perhaps we should make it a standing rule that the moment you discover you feel disconnected you will stop everything and read this musing, followed by any other musings you may chooses, but start with this one.

"Dear Marlene,

I am sorry you are feeling disconnected from yourself and therefore from all of us. Please know that it is only a sensation that is being triggered by your brain, but in reality, you are connected to yourself or you would not have known to read this musing. So, as you begin reading this, think of us sitting in my office as I write it for you. Picture us struggling to deal with this very unsettling and frightening phenomenon. Re-connect with us and put yourself back in my office, doing everything we can to help you deal with this alienating state.

Think of the many hours we have sat together since December 1, 1998, then think of the many hours in this office since March 1999. Finally, think of the musings I have written for you in this office. Take the journey with me as I try to put into words what is transpiring for you and how we need to orient ourselves to be with you in it.

We relentlessly work to connect with where you are and with you there. I even had to come to terms with you living "On the Border". So now we must focus in on the state of disconnection and find a way for you to meet yourself there. I guess what I am coming to as I ponder this condition, is to bring you into my office in your imagination. You are never more grounded or connected than you are here, except when you read the musings, so imagine being in my office as you read this musing on disconnection. If need be, read it over and over. I promise you, you will get connected. Not very profound, but, I think very right.

Whenever you feel disconnected from yourself or any of us, and you are alone, go to this musing and in your imagination, read it in my office.

"Welcome back, Marlene"


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