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What it feels like… to be free.

By Barry Lachlan, Glasgow.

Imagine being a butterfly trapped in a cocoon, imagine that cocoon is your mind, now that you’re a butterfly beautiful in all its glory, but you can’t see that glory you can’t see your new wings, you can’t see any light, those wings are wrapped too tight, you feel suffocated with those wings and you can’t see any hope or breaking free.

Depersonalisation or DP feels like…

I had a panic attack, one panic attack and suddenly my brain turned sinister.

For a long time anxiety corrupted everything I tried to do. I felt like I had no soul. I didn’t understand what I was, who I was and everything in between. I was hyper aware of living in this world, my body was foreign, I was an invader in my mind.

Everyone out there in the world was strange and I didn’t understand them, friends and family strangers, everyone.

Space, stars in space the universe felt overwhelming too big too real which means i’m not real.

And there I was late twenties, pretty advanced in my career, good looking lad, living in the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland, money’s not amazing but good I always get by, I’m not money oriented anyway, so I should have been happy in my prime, living and loving this life.
I was in my cocoon.

So my Cocoon pretty much consisted of fear.
Heart attack is due any day…
What even is my blood pressure?
Stroke due any day…
Can’t breathe…
Lung collapse due any day…
What even am I?
You’re not right
…definitely not right?
Don’t think, stop thinking
Ok, I should phone 999
I could go on and on…

Now this all seems pretty anxiety related, and for a long time that is all it seemed to me. But the more it progressed the more out of this world I became.

I was the kid with the magnifying glass trying the burn the poor ant to a cinder, but I’m also the ant getting cremated, I was destroying myself, everything I was inflicting upon was brought by my own mind, my own body.

I had developed Depersonalisation/ Derealization, no longer me, I was gone. In DP your self awareness is hyper, I would to try control my breathing, cause I don’t think my body is going to work, I check my heart rate in work in the bathroom (there’s an app for that), bathrooms, actually thank god for bathrooms I have spent so much time in bathrooms, I should have been skiving from work, watching videos on Facebook, or just to get away from all the women in the salon….

So many women (it’s a lot for a guy…even if he’s gay) but I was most likely hovering over a sink breathing or playing with light shaping relaxation app. As I write this I feel sad but laughing, thinking how much of an actual riot I can be. I’m laughing cause I’m nothing like that person anymore.

Mental Health is a somewhat a mystery, no one really knows how to fix it. Your brain is its own universe, it’s vast and endless, every neuron is a star, every electrical neuron a supernova, it never stops, your brain is amazing!

You can google and google Mental health there’s no real answers.

So I had to cure myself, It’s a journey and takes a long time, and I’m not completely there, but through these ideas and research, this is basically how I overcame anxiety:

Everyday mindfulness (meditation)
A Course of cognitive behavioural therapy
Therapy
Breathing
Reading
Writing poems
Music
Friends
Good Diet
Exercise
Socialising
Taking on the challenge
Staring it in the face
And becoming stronger every day

I’m still on my journey but my cocoon has broke, and now I’m free…

Free To Be Me!!