Doug

I am writing a book about my thoughts and feelings, and I wanted to share them here. Feel free to email me back with any thoughts. I don’t know what I have, but I definitely have a lot of symptoms of depersonalization. The story by Melissa inspired me to share my story here. I would love her email address to discuss some of this stuff. I feel like I became depersonalized because of a lot of stressors in my life, and I decided that my real self could not take them all on, so I put on a fake self, and at times I feel like my real self is trying to get out from inside of me. My psychiatrist’s are clueless on how to help me, which is why I started writing because I feel like I am the only one who can help myself become “me” again because I feel like I am living inside the body of someone else. Here is the beginning of my story:  

Chapter 1: Stream of Consciousness

June 3: Woke up this morning with similar feelings to other mornings. Not exactly depressed or anxious, but more like Doug Whitley is awake, but he doesn’t know who he is. He remembers e needs to go to San Francisco today for work because he has set his alarm for 5:45 am, much earlier than he would choose to awaken. He gets in the shower at 5:54 and is out the door by 6:20 am to get down to the Toyota Dealership at 9101 South Blvd by 6:30. On the way, he smokes a cigarette, a habit he knows is not for him, yet he has been smoking more in the past year for reasons he knows not. After the cigarette, he begins to feel like he can’t make this trip. He feels a
darkness coming over his body and his legs grow numb; he has had this feeling before, and he feels like he needs to go to the hospital because his heart begins to beat faster, and he feels as if he is going to lose consciousness. He is in and out of reality driving down South at about 20 mph. He feels like when he loses consciousness he is going to wake up and everything is going to be like it was before. 


Before what? He has been trying to figure this out for a long time. Was it before his dad dies when he was 15? Had he ever truly dealt with the fact that his father committed suicide? Or was it before he began to feel anxiety associated with adolescence, feeling like he needed to alter himself in order to be accepted? Or had he always been like this? Recently, he had been having thoughts that he could not believe he was still
alive. Not because he had tried to kill himself, but because on a daily basis, he felt like he kept himself in reality only long enough to maintain the life he had been creating since… He drifted along in a daze most of the time, not paying attention to his surroundings, as if his life was not his own. He would escape reality in his computer, staring at the TV, or trying to sleep. He could stare at a television for hours, not really watching it, trying to figure out why nothing affected him. Or did everything affect him? He felt like when he heard sad news, he could remain completely apathetic but would act like he cared because people are supposed to care about things. The same way he would instinctively pretend to find things funny on television when he was around other people; he could watch the same thing alone and be silent the whole time. 

He gave his mom a call telling her he didn’t think he could make this trip. His mom, obviously concerned because her son had been acting strange for a ling time now, convinced him he would feel better once he really woke up. She didn’t know how true that was. She was right. If he stayed home, he would end up just getting back in bed and feeling miserable having missed a business trip that would probably cost him
his job this time. So he continued on, fighting the darkness, and called his former girlfriend of four years telling her that he was feeling like he did that night in October of 2000 that he called her and got her to take him to the hospital – a feeling that he can only describe as one of going insane, like he didn’t know who he was anymore, his body was about to shut down, he was paranoid someone was stalking him trying to kill him, he would lose consciousness, and he would wake up not remembering anything that happened to him after it. After what? He does not know. He cannot put his finger on it; this is the  second time he has had this feeling – this time he made himself overcome it before he allowed himself to sleep; he must keep going to catch his cab to the airport. He makes it there at 6:44, and he sees the cab circling the parking lot of the Toyota Dealership looking for him. He hops out of his ’97 Black Toyota 4-Runner Limited, throws his pre-made instructions and keys into the night deposit box and jumps into the cab. He makes it to the airport by 7, picks up his E-Ticket, goes through security, and heads toward gate B12. He calls Chantal again and leaves a message telling her not to call his mom because he is tired of worrying her. He wants her to be able to help him, but she can’t, no one can, only himself, maybe. 

He sits down at the gate and begins to write. He feels like he should just try to get that feeling back because he thinks that the feeling is his window to find the answers he has been looking for for so long. He will try to get it back later, he tells himself, at a time when it is the most appropriate, but he is scared of what might happen if he lets that feeling take over him, yet he thinks eventually he must let it take over. He boards is flight at 7:55 and a lady from Tennessee is seated in the window seat next to him. Clearly hoping to talk during the flight, she asks him some questions about work, etc., tells him she is going to San Francisco to see her family, blah, blah, father’s 70th birthday, blah, blah. She didn’t realize she had gotten stuck next to a guy not much into conversation to say the least, or talk at all for that matter. His 3 and 4 word responses to her questions got her fishing for the Attaché pretty damn quick. He was free to write his thoughts down and possibly try to recreate the feeling. He is going to lose it at some point; he is pretty sure about that. 


So what has happened? Had he been abused as a child?  Did he eat paint chips as a kid? Did he live under power lines? No, none of those. Did his current mixture of antidepressants and anxiety pills make him feel this way? No he had felt like this even before even starting his medication. The medication was not the answer. He did not think he could talk this out with anyone because he didn’t know what was wrong. He
felt like is personality was not his – he had lost touch with himself somewhere; he complained that his voice was the problem, but he is realizing that is how he is manifesting his most of the time fake  personality. He knew he couldn’t fake it forever, but he also didn’t know how to be real again. In the back of his mind, he thinks he may never come back if he lets the feeling overcome him, so he wants to say goodbye to all the people he cares about in case he never sees them again.

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