Alternatively Titled: I Started Dissociating While Writing This So It’s A Wild Time
Disclaimer: I started dissociating partway through this, so I lost my drive to write and just wanted to focus on memes and normally I’d be like noooo Jack you gotta write well for these people on the internet, but I’m talking about my mental health in this post and dissociating is a thing I do because of said mental health, so fuck it. Have some memes and angst. Who even cares.
As I start writing this, it is 12:49 AM and in exactly 9 hours and 41 minutes I’ll be going to a feedback appointment for a neuropsychiatric evaluation. Which, to be blunt, is mildly terrifying at the moment. But whatever. I’ll explain later, but first let me introduce myself to you.
My name is Jack and I’m a nineteen year old college sophomore from another one of those too many Chicago suburbs that everyone is sick of hearing about. In case you’re wondering, I like dogs, music, sleep, some other things, and being vague enough that I don’t have to be consistent. I dislike a lot of things, including inconsistency, which makes me a hypocrite. At least I admit it.
To properly explain why I’m afraid of my feedback, you need to know this:
I’m kind of a mess of a person.
I mean, just this afternoon I literally thought for a solid hour and a half about wanting to stick my own arm into a lit fireplace just to play with a coal, thinking this was a fantastic idea without realizing that it would concern a lot of people if they knew. And that’s one of my more average thoughts.
I could list a lot of the things I do that make me into the disaster that I am in the hopes of vaguely explaining it to you without having to actually name all the things that people don’t like acknowledging. But I’ll be honest: I’m not going to do that because mental health is nothing to be ashamed of and if that makes you uncomfortable, that’s your problem to deal with, not mine.
I’m officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression already. Fun times, I know.
BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE!
See, I’m self-diagnosed as autistic and possibly schizophrenic. ADHD is another self-diagnosis of mine. I’ve also possibly got Tourette’s, the rapidly developing signs of which being the reason I finally got a psych eval after asking for years and being constantly ignored.
To me, it doesn’t actually look like a lot, but it freaks a lot of people out by the sheer amount of it all when I talk about it. I’ve come to terms with it and I like to think of myself as pretty well adjusted, all things considered.
Yet I’m scared of what I’m gonna find out.
You see, growing up, I had always been lead to believe that self-diagnosis is bad. Doctors know best and I’ll just overthink things. It’s probably not even that bad, after all.
And then my doctor failed to realize I was passing a god damned kidney stone of all things because I was downplaying my pain due to years of being told that I exaggerate.
Which, yeah, kidney stones are pretty yikes, but it gets worse:
Even despite my habit of downplaying pain, it turns out I have a REALLY FUCKING HIGH PAIN TOLERANCE which I found out when I went to the hospital, vomiting from pain, and the ER doctors were genuinely surprised that I WASN’T IN MORE PAIN.
Aaaaaaand ever since I’ve kind of stopped listening to anybody when they tell me I’m just exaggerating my pain or symptoms cos, as we can see here, look how much good that did me.
However, even after all that? I’m terrified of self-diagnosis.
I won’t lie, I’m terrified of being wrong.
It’s hard living day to day, wondering if I’m lying if I tell someone I’m autistic. Wondering if the schizophrenic urges of mutilating myself for the hell of it only happen because I want there to be something wrong with me. Wondering if the ghosts I believe in are just a cry for attention and not my actual beliefs.
Then the self doubt starts burrowing itself even deeper. Making me question my sexuality and gender. Making me question whether it’s connected to my self-diagnosis.
What if I am autistic, but as a result I’m not asexual because it’s my sexuality, I’m just really stereotypically autistic? [A/N: That is a shitty stereotype, I know. Don’t worry, I’m not your problematic fave just yet.] What if my genderfluidity is just the result of some mental illness?
What if I’m neither neuroatypical nor queer and I’ve just been deluding myself? What if nothing I’ve experienced to make me think these things is actually real?
These thoughts are terrifying and I can’t escape them. Most of the time, I don’t even trust my current surroundings. Dissociation is a constant state of mine.
But then I realize, if I’m getting to the point of dissociation and questioning my reality, then isn’t there a reason to think I have a mental illness?
I once tried explaining some of the things I do that I associate with my mental illnesses to a friend, and he didn’t understand why I categorized them in such a way. But the thing is, I’m never quite able to explain them to anyone, even myself. I just know that they’re a thing I do and there is a reason that I know instinctively but I can’t form it into words. They’re just associations that I have.
Which is why part of me thinks that if my feedback doesn’t completely match my self-diagnosis, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wrong. After all, I know myself best, right?