I was 13 when it started. I woke up one day and felt like I was in a dream. I didn’t feel real. I felt out of my body observing from above, I forgot everything instantly and my memory was scrambled. When it started I thought I was just ‘high’ I was 13 and had smoked weed a few times and I thought for some reason it was in my system and I was randomly getting high. I wasn’t. I started dissociating daily, 24/7. Dissociation is one of the most difficult things to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it, you feel out of your body, you don’t recognize your own hands or reflection, you don’t remember the last thing you said a few seconds ago, your hearing is distorted and all you feel is panic. I didn’t know what was happening to me for weeks, I eventually did some research and found out that it’s called depersonalization. Most people experience it a few times in there life but I lived with it for years. School was the worst part of the day for me. The crowds of people in the hall says made is so much worse. Sometimes I would forget how I got places or not remember walking to my classes. I didn’t feel real I felt like I was in a simulation. The best way to describe it is being really really high and paranoid. It was horrible and made it so difficult for me to interact with people. I tried to talk to my friends about it but no one cared because they couldn’t understand it. I thought it would never end. It ruled my life for months until it slowly started to get better, I only felt out of it maybe half of the day. I remember vividly being in class one day and I didn’t know where I was and I just started crying. I ran out of class and ran off of campus and walked around empty streets for hours, I felt lost and confused. Another time I was out at night with a few friends and it just hit me, I didn’t know where I was, I forgot what I had just said and my hearing felt muffled. There are nights that I was so dissociated I don’t remember them. I wasn’t drunk or high I just don’t remember. Another thing that came with this new found dissociating is that I felt disconnected from my child hood, I didn’t remember memories from when I was a kid like I used to and if I did I felt disconnected from them, the memories felt like someone else’s. Dissociating is common with people who have depression/anxiety, both of which I’m diagnosed with. It’s the minds way of protecting its self, instead of getting depressed or upset I would just dissociate and feel nothing. I truly believed I would never recover but luckily today I have. I still have it time to time but I’ve learned to cope with it and deal with it instead of fear it. If anyone reading this experiences dissociation or anything similar know that it’s not permanent and recovery is always possible. You are real.