The other day I felt extremely dissociative, and soon after, I fell into a pit in my mind I had never before had the pleasure to observe fully. I would like to do my best to depict that state I was in, the state I have since then started calling “The Void”.
What is The Void?
First things first, I need to at least try and give you the rundown of what we are talking about. Bear in mind that this was a new way to experience it for me, and thus my reasoning may seem a bit out there. Or maybe not. Just hear my theory out.
So, I had been very glitchy, in a sort of high functioning depression state for about two weeks. The kind of constant state of melancholy and sadness, emptiness too, and I was having a hard time getting out of it. The demotivation grew, the world turned grey… and so on.
On the day when I fell into my Void, I had been alarmingly dissociative from the moment I woke up. The world was surreal and nothing seemed to matter to me. The previous days, I had been drifting in and out of mild dissociation.
This tells me that The Void is like the final method of protection for me. For whatever reason, I had been in that depressive state and had been in it for too long, and the cycle had to end somehow. Because I didn’t know what, when, or how I had gone into that state, let alone try to figure it out while being extremely demotivated, my mind called it quits on its own. And that’s when I fell into The Void.
Has it happened before?
Here is the kicker, I told you that this was the first time that I could actually observe The Void. By that, I mean that I identified this state as the state I go into when I am extremely emotional, and can not handle it at all. The state that allows me to have psychotic behavior and not remember an ounce of it.
I have a lot of holes in my past, some moments, days, weeks, even months, that I just can not recall no matter how hard I try. I know there have been episodes when I’ve done hurtful things to either myself or others, yet to me, it is like a dream slipping through my fingers, not being able to catch it. It was hard to realize it was me, even if I wasn’t truly present.
For ages, I was terrified of falling into that psychotic state, and I learned to recognize the beginning ripples of it. I did not want to become a screaming, toxic, dangerous banshee again. You can guess how well that went – while I do now know when I’m entering the muck, I can’t say with confidence that I won’t walk right into it anyway. Once the train leaves the station, all I can do is hold on to the one core principle: I no longer want to die.
So what’s it like?
I’ll try to paint this situation the best I can, the surrealistic realm I enter is well… not the reality we usually live in, to say the least.
I felt it coming, both in my body and mind. My eyes glazed over, I stopped feeling the bed I was sitting on. My senses were being locked away, in one slow sweep of The Void. My mind became slower and slower until there was nothing… I got rattled as my mind snapped back to itself, and I realized I hadn’t existed for a moment. And in that same instant, the thought was sucked back into The Void, and I was no more.
I think I heard a voice or felt a touch. My mind kept snapping in and out of existence, and I kept trying to cling to the remnants of the thoughts I had had. My husband, was he there? I tried to tell him that I can’t see him, that I can’t feel him, that his words don’t reach me. Did he hear me? Was I even speaking? This continued for a while as I struggled to try and grasp at anything within my mind’s reach.
Suddenly, I felt a shift. I smelled the spicy chicken in the oven. Senses. Five senses. Open your eyes and focus, what do you see? I saw the oven, the source of the spice. I saw the staff Aestouro in the corner. I whittled that staff from a rowan trees branch. It took me ages. I saw the plastic wraps of kitchen towels and toilet paper.
Little by little, I started using all my senses, focusing on things as best I could. I smelled the laundry powders scent from my husband’s shirt, I felt the bed and the ring on my finger. I heard him talk to me, in his calm, loving voice! Finally, I was coming back!
I slowly returned to reality, well, to a degree anyway. I stayed very dissociated for a long while, being in that surreal limbo of a world that this thing brings with it. I managed to continue cooking after a while of being held by the amazing Mr. V, and so the cogs of life continued to move forward after having been quite literally stopped for a while.
As I was chopping the salad ingredients, I got this overwhelming feeling of sorrow that hit me in the gut – I couldn’t remember anything of what just happened. I remembered The Void, and what happened there with my thoughts being swallowed into the abyss, but nothing of the real world. I knew my husband had been there the whole time, I could remember getting on the bed and telling him I need help, and him coming to me. After that, it was just a blank until the scent of the chicken.
I cried as I realized I’ve survived The Void. The forbidden place of blackouts and destruction. The ultimate weapon against the pain that I carry with me. The place of nothingness. I was thrown in, and I managed to come back out. There was no blood, not a worried or fearful gaze anywhere to be seen. But I couldn’t remember my husband’s love.
After I had a good cry about it, mourned for all the times I had gone into The Void and got out hurt, I kept cooking. I have trouble recalling much of that day, especially the hours before and following The Void. In the evening of that day, I got growingly more manic, like I had been freed of some prison and was smelling the air for the first time in a thousand years. Everything was new, bright, and beautiful!
The Void is a scary place, and I would not want anyone to have to experience it. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like, going in there, and coming out, if I had still the strong tendency to hallucinate. That would be terrifying, coming out of a literal place of nothing, into a world I couldn’t trust to be the actual reality.
What helped me is my husband, undoubtedly. I am sure his presence grounded me to something that was constant in all the worlds I traveled through, no matter if I remember or not. That then allowed me to come back and be able to accept that him being there is the real reality since he was there before too.
I urge you, who might be dealing with The Void, to reach out when the world starts vanishing. To be brave and to ask for help, even if you don’t know how someone could possibly help. Just let them know you are in deep waters. Their presence alone will help ground you to reality, and you would’ve just increased the chances of you walking out of the nothingness unharmed.