Have you ever woken up and not recognized your life? I have. Just this morning in fact. It was one of the strangest sensations I’ve ever experienced. It wasn’t like amnesia; at least not in the way I understand the term. I had full knowledge of who I am and the bits and pieces of my life that made me, well, me, but I couldn’t associate with any of my surroundings. The scariest part of the whole thing was turning to my right and seeing my loving husband and not really knowing him. My analytical mind had established that this guy must be my boyfriend or partner, given the way he was turned to me with his back against the open door; almost like he was protecting me from anything that could enter our sanctuary of a home. The problem was, his face was unfamiliar to me. I literally laid there for what seemed to be an eternity in silent panic, trying to piece together the facets of my being. The moment my cat jumped on top of the bed for “pets” (which is how we ask Domino if he wants to be petted), I had this surge of understanding that gave me psychological whiplash. I was whole again.
Of course, I ran to my computer and started Googling the hell out of what I had just experienced, but couldn’t find anything; at least nothing specific to what I just encountered. There were articles on Alzheimer’s, amnesia (which apparently includes 2 kinds, retrograde and anterograde) and just anything that had to do with forgetting. My search was in vain.
Then, I remembered something I learned years ago regarding changes in life. It was something to the effect of the three biggest life changes you can make in your life: ending a relationship, changing jobs and moving. They say you’re only supposed to do one of these things per year as the stress they cause to your mind, can be monumental and have unknown effects on your psyche. Well, I kinda did all 3 at once recently. I moved, I quit my job and (although it’s not my marriage that changed) in a sense my relationship with all my friends and family back in Los Angeles had ended as I knew it. Most of them were now only Facebook friends that would give social media updates on their lives. It would be like watching a sitcom now versus actively participating in their adventures.
So that’s the non-professional diagnosis I’ve given myself; the stress of doing all 3 at the same time had me unhinged. I’ve done it once long before but certainly not to the scale I just endured. Perhaps the reason I had that momentary disassociation with my life is because (to put it frankly) this ISN’T my life. Outside of my husband and cat, I know nothing and nobody, for miles around. Add in the Seattle Freeze I’ve encountered and you have a recipe for disaster. I’m sure in time, this too shall pass. I just hope I recognize and like the guy I am when I come out the other side.