Monique

My name’s Monique and I’m 21, I’ve experienced DP/DR in one form or another 
since I was about 14 but in the cruelest form since I was about 17.

I guess my story starts a few years before I had smoked marijuana. I had 
always experienced depression, especially in my first year of high school, 
and I would feel like the speed of my heart would slow down so much that the 
world wouldn’t really be connected to me anymore. This was a very unnerving 
experience but I always felt a sense of awe about being that detached, if 
not just a little bit creeped out.
    I had smoked marijuana before hand and quite enjoyed the experience, I had 
a sensation of the smoke burning the inside of my lungs but everything kind 
of had a pleasantness about it when I was stoned. In January of 2003, a few 
days after ingesting mushrooms and having a brilliantly orgasmic trip, I 
went out with a few of my friends to have a last laugh before school 
started. I wasn’t eighteen at this time (legal drinking age) so we decided 
to stay in and smoke a ton of weed.

It’s really difficult to say how much we really smoked because I have a 
memory of my friend constantly reloading the bowl with weed and seemingly 
breathing in nothing but pot until I felt dizzy. I started to twitch 
uncontrollably like I was having a seizure but I felt like I was almost 
paralyzed from being so intoxicated. My friend came into the room to ask me 
if I was going to go to get pizza with them and I looked at her face when 
the most hellish moment of my life happened.
    It seemed as though time had slowed down to a complete stop and was 
restarting unbearably slow. Her face spun before me forever until the world 
gathered back together for an instant, long enough for me to express my 
utter fear in what I had just experienced, and then stopped again for 
another forever-moment. I darted out of the room and outside (which actually 
occurred in the time frame of about thirty seconds, but felt like at least 
an hour), went to unlock my car door but dropped my keys in the snow.
    When they finally convinced me not to drive home they brought me back up to 
the dorm room where I immediately started going into excessive feelings of 
depersonalization and derealization. In traumatic experiences people tend to 
detach from reality but I detached so much that I started to believe that 
what I was experiencing was a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I 
looked in the mirror and started screaming that “I’m real, I’m real, I’m 
real!” trying to hold on to reality but I would inadvertently start feeling 
like I was dreaming again.

I was embarrassed because my parents came to get me and take me to the 
hospital. I admitted all of my past drug use to them and they made the 
entire experience a lot more unpleasant. The doctor gave me a strong 
sedative but I couldn’t seem to fall asleep. At one point I started to fade 
out into a calm stupor while the world spun and it felt like I was in that 
state for hundreds of years when it was only a moment (I am not 
exaggerating, it really felt like whole lifetimes). I finally passed out and 
woke up in my bed at home the next morning.
    Oddly enough, I decided I was okay to go to school even though I was still 
high. Time was still awfully slow so I was sitting in my 2.5 hour, boring, 
early world history class when I started having the beginning of the worst 
series of panic attacks in my life.

For about two years I was convinced I was in a coma and this was a dream 
world because I was constantly in a severe state of 
depersonalization/derealization from that one drug experience. Now a days I 
guess I’ve gotten used to it and learned not to panic. There’s much more to 
this story than just the drugs but I don’t want to make this too long.

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