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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A film

Sometimes this all feels like a dream. Or a nightmare. This can't be how my life has turned out. This wasn't what was supposed to happen. It can't be real. Sometimes it is like watching a film. This isn't my life. I am watching someone else. I can see myself sitting on the bed typing on my laptop as though I am not in my body. I can observe myself doing things, but without any sense of it being me. It is someone else's life, and I am watching, but I can't intervene - I can't get involved or speak or help. I can only watch. Like a film. That tends to be at the worst times. I watched myself take loads of tablets one time I attempted suicide. I have watched myself sitting in appointments, barely able to speak. In bed, staring at the walls. In A&E, sitting in a little cubicle waiting for someone to come and assess me. I have watched all of those things, and many others, as though they were a film. I see my mouth moving and hear words coming out, but I don't know what will be said, because I am just observing. I am not there. It is quite a surreal experience, and not one that I have often, but I generally find that it happens when I am at my very worst, and will happen quite a few times over a relatively short period, then stop. Recently it has started happening, just for short bursts at a time. Sometimes in the past it has lasted longer. When I was emailing L the other day. I could see myself typing. Also when I was trying to get dressed to go to the quiz the other day. I think it generally happens when I am particularly distressed, or am doing something that I find difficult, so I assume it must be some type of coping mechanism - if you are observing something you don't feel in the same way as when you are experiencing something. It is different to when I dissociate, or to what I think of as dissociating anyway, when I just don't remember anything. When it is like this I can see it all, and even see how I must be feeling, in the same way as you can see how a character must be feeling when you watch a film, but the feelings it elicits in you are different, for example if you see someone in great distress, you tend to feel pity rather than feeling that distress yourself, and that is what is like when I am seeing the film version of me. I suppose in some ways it is a relief, not to be experiencing the intense feelings that I know I am feeling, but it can also feel quite scary, as I feel completely out of control - I don't feel able to influence what I am doing, any more than you could a character in a film. But this isn't a film. It is my life.

I have to go to a rehearsal tonight. We are running Act 1 for the first time. The Director said last week that principals had to be books down. I know about 6 lines, and I only know them because they are on the CD as they lead into one of the songs. I don't have the concentration to even attempt learning them, not to mention not having the motivation. Leaning lines for a show I have no intention of being alive for seems entirely pointless, and with my concentration as poor as it is, trying to learn them would just result in me getting very upset and stressed. I have no idea what I will say - when asked why you are using your script you can't really reply that you have been too busy contemplating your suicide to learn your lines. I am finding this show torture. It should be great - it has a wonderful score and I have a very good part. But every rehearsal feels like hell. I dread going, feel terrible the whole time I am there, feel myself get increasingly tense and irritable, and then sometimes feel like I am going to burst into tears. The relief when it is over and I can go home is tremendous. I assume that I would feel differently if my mood wasn't like this, but it is. And so I turn up to rehearsal, and count down the minutes until I can leave. The run through will be hideous. When did something that I am supposed to be doing fun, that is the only thing I have ever cared about, turn into something I dread and loathe?

I can't cope. Carrying on like this is not an option.

3 comments:

  1. I think you have mastered the fine art of dissociation, friend. Not always good, but sometimes helpful.

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  2. Sorry you're struggling so much right now. It means such a lot that you gave me such a thoughtful reply when you're going through so much yourself. You need to be a kind to yourself as you are other people. Do the people in your show (or the director) know how difficult things are at the moment? Maybe you'd feel less distress/pressure if you knew they'd give you a bit of leeway. *hugs*

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