Do You Ever Feel Disconnected?

How does your body feel?

Do you ever feel things like this?

like i can’t feel my legs
my arms are sticks from my elbows down
i float through life with my head in a cloud
so much is happening, i feel worn out.

my heart is heavy, something squeezing in on my chest
my shoulders droop and i can’t rest,
i don’t sleep at night, i awake with a fright
then lie there for hours
mindlessly thinking of what is not right.

i eat and then realize i did not taste it at all
so i eat more and then feel bloated and distraught,
i hate my body, nothing is right
i am too fat, my nose too big, my hair too straight, my stomach to fat, my cheeks too red, sometimes i feel i would rather be dead.

Feelings of disconnection, disembodiment, dissociation are very common today. I have been working with these feelings myself throughout my life, and often with my therapy clients. Feelings of being disconnected and overwhelmed with life can be associated with past trauma. Many of us had parents that were not fully embodied, as well as growing up in a culture that encourages children and adults to be overly outer orientated. Feeling disconnected is often connected with anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Common feelings of disconnection

As you read these statements, stay mindful of your body, your breath; the sensations in your body. Have you ever felt this way? Do you often feel these things? Do any of these statements trigger changes in your breathing or trigger other changes in your emotional feelings or bodily sensations?

I feel hollow inside.
I hardly feel my feet.
It is difficult for me to spend time with myself.
I feel anxious a lot.
My hands are clammy.
My hands and feet are cold when they should be warm.
My head often feels foggy.
I can’t concentrate.
I have terrible memory. 
I talk to someone for a while and a minute later I can not tell you the color of their eyes, the color of their hair, or what they were wearing.
I feel this sense of weakness, like I am weak, small, no good.
I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t like myself. So much about me I don’t like.
I can’t think of something intelligent to say.
I often feel overwhelmed.
I blush easy.
I feel stupid a lot.
I feel anxious and tired at parties.
I feel drained in big stores, especially crowded places.
I get wired and tense easy.

More ways people feel disconnected and ungrounded

I get really high and excited with new people and experiences, then I crash and feel I have no friends and nothing is any good with my life.
I feel ungrounded.
I can’t meditate.
I can’t quiet my mind.
I can’t sit still. My mind jumps around.
I can’t read. I can’t concentrate. 
I get confused easy.
I keep checking my phone.
I keep flipping the channels.
I do like ten things at once.
I don’t finish things.
My room is a mess.

I get all excited and buy fresh vegetables, I say I am going to cook and then all the vegetables rot in my refrigerator.

More feelings of dissatisfaction and failure

I have always wanted to do artwork. But I never do.
I dream and desire a lot of things, but I don’t do them.
I start a drawing or painting, and at first I love it. Then at some point it all crashes and I feel so depressed. I hate it.
I am never satisfied with what I have, the grass is always greener somewhere else.
My arms feel like sticks from the elbows down. I can’t feel my hands.
My hands and feet feel far away.
My arms and legs feel skinny, small, like sticks.
My hands and feet don’t even feel like part of me.
I can’t feel my genitals.
I don’t like sex.
Sex is not satisfying.
I feel numb.
I don’t know if I am doing it right.     

My chest feels like there is armor over it.
I feel encased in a cage.
I feel trapped in my body.
My head floats above my body.
I feel spaced out all the time.
I feel unfocused.
I feel like a ghost.
I feel up in the air somewhere and above my body.
I feel disconnected from myself.
My heart is racing.
I can’t stop thinking about sex.
I am lustful. I look at bodies as sexual objects all the time.
I can’t have an orgasm.
I pick at my skin.
I pull my hairs.
I need rough sex to get turned on.
I chew my inner checks and lips.
I chew my nails.
I feel very anxious speaking to people.
My stomach hurts a lot.
I can’t breathe.
I breathe only into the top or middle of my chest.
I have a tense ball in my solar plexus, stomach or chest all the time.
I feel like I don’t exist.
I cry a lot.
Everyone thinks I am happy, but secretly I am not.
I feel like a failure.
I don’t think I will ever be a success.
I am not lovable.
I will never be happy.

Get Connected and Put An End to Suffering

Do a lot of these resonate with you? People that can relate to many of these statements may have not received the kind of love they needed growing up. Others may have experienced serious hurt or trauma. Trauma does not need to be some major experience that everyone would agree upon is a big trauma. In fact, the trauma may be something subtle, even unrecognizable from the outside: something that was just part of everyday life in the home or family, so much part of everyday life that it does not stand out as something ‘traumatic’. It just slowly and consistently over time ate away at our self-confidence and made us feel powerless.

The feelings, difficulties and experiences on the list above are often associated with trauma. Those statements and feelings come from my own life as well as from 30 years of working with clients.

If your life has silent suffering, if you feel disconnected from your body, if you feel something is wrong with you because you just can’t create success in your personal life, career, health or creative dreams, please seek help. There are people trained and knowledgable in how to help you. Don’t allow your anxiety, fear and distrust to keep you from seeking help. Seek help and stay with it until you are living the life you really want to live. 

It is Common to Avoid Seeking Help

Avoiding seeking help, or thinking no one is capable or good enough to help you, is very common for people who have been very hurt, or are suffering in silence and afraid to expose themselves. Shame is often a major factor: we don’t want to feel or have anyone think there is ‘something wrong with us’. On the one hand we feel something is wrong with us, on the other we can’t face it or show it to someone else. There is nothing wrong with us at our core, though there is something wrong that is blocking us from living free and shining in life. 

Going through life feeling disconnected, fearful, anxious, cut off from our bodies is a very depressive, lonely and painful way to go through life. Be brave and find a counselor to help you free your life by getting fully connected and empowered in your body. Take it from me. I suffered for many years before I dedicated myself to some years of therapy that totally changed my life in many positive ways. I hope this for everyone that is suffering.

With love and care, and hoping you will contact me to see how I can help you. Set up a 30 minute complimentary session and find out how we can work together to help you heal and move forward in your life.

Timothy Long