"How can you stay outside?
There's a beautiful mess inside
Take a deep breath and dive
There's a beautiful mess inside and it's everywhere
So shake it yourself now deep inside
… deeper than you ever dared
… deeper than you ever dared"
- Far Far by Yael Naïm
Dissociative Experience – Human Relationships and Dependencies
Complete darkness, I was suspended weightless in the vague in-between space of near-unconsciousness. Does this seem familiar to you? It's a “waiting room” where we linger for tiny moments before a dream is “loaded”; the quasi-Sleepworld we slip inside before suddenly shaking ourselves awake to realize we've nodded off. In this twilight land there's no body, little sense of orientation.
What arose from my twilight world were numerous slender, four-sided objects resembling towers which were drawn simply in tiny golden dots of light. They filled my field of vision. I observed that each tower had windows stacked one atop the other on all sides. Some were brightly illuminated, others were completely dark. Floating over, I saw that one tower among them had mostly dark windows relative to the rest and from someplace deep within I identified with it and I called that tower “me”. I turned my attention to the other towers, what were “they”? I observed closely.
I noticed there were thin threads attached to each window of my tower spanning the space between and connecting in a giant web with each of the windows of the other towers in such a way that the dark and light windows of mine were joined to corresponding windows of the others. I silently interrogated the meaning of this.
I became aware that the other towers which I called “they” represented my friends, family, acquaintances, everyone in my life. The windows of their towers were mostly lit - except for the ones that were connected to the darkened windows of mine. I came to understand that the absence of light where these dark windows were joined meant I was no longer interacting with those individuals, all those darkened windows in my tower represented my depression and isolation. This visualization caused me to realize in a profound way how my isolation wasn't merely affecting me but also all the people in my life.
Curiously, negative emotions and accompanying judgments like guilt and shame didn't emerge, rather a realization that my presence in the lives of others had been very much missed and with that knowledge came a warm feeling of being valued. I was staring at this abstract representation of my relationships when I remembered that I've always depended on them to nourish me in ways I can't account for. And finally, that there is an interconnected nature to all human relationships - with all their complexities – that are not simply conveniences but necessities. For all of us.(1)
My severe depression distorted the way I viewed most everything. I regarded relationships as a series of confusing, demanding and exhausting obligations from which I could no longer account for what I gained. But in that moment, I remembered they're necessities for me whether or not I can articulate the gains derived from them. Remembering this interdependence was both profound and simple and I was awestruck, with one thought that repeated in my mind: “I had no idea, I really had no idea.”(2)
The image dissolved as the music changed and I had a pang of regret. Wait, don't go. I silently told myself to remember this, I must never forget this again.