Updated: Apr 1, 2020
According to the Mayo Clinic, dissociation is a "disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions, and identity". Dissociation can often take the form of not understanding our limits; making choices that might be harmful to our physical, mental or emotional health; or feeling numb instead of having an emotional reaction.
Until recently, I had no idea that I was dissociating. I feel very deeply and often had intense emotional reactions to certain stimuli. What I didn't realize is that my dissociation had nothing to do with my emotions and everything to do with a disconnect between my body and mind. I told this story on social media the other day but it bares repeating:
I couldn't even feel my own heart beat.
When I started experimenting with listening to my body and being more intuitive about the choices I made, I instinctively put my hand over my heart. I could feel the rise and fall of my chest but, in a moment of panic I realized, I couldn't feel my heartbeat.
I had become so detached from my own body, I couldn't even feel my heart beating in my chest. I knew I wasn't dead, obviously. I could feel my pulse in my wrist and my neck, but I could not feel my heart when I put my hand over my chest.
For the first time I began to wonder, was this the reason for my health issues? I've done a lot of research about the connection of the mind and body. I am not a doctor and will not give medical advice, but I will tell you that as soon as I started addressing the root of my mental and emotional turmoil, my physical body began to respond.
The important thing here, when you have become dissociated, is to become aware of it first. Once you are aware of that disconnect, you can slowly begin to do things to bring your body back into alignment. For me, reiki, craniosacral therapy, traditional therapy, yoga, and meditation have helped beyond words. For you, it might look different. Just remember - the minute you start respecting your body and showing yourself just an ounce more of kindness is the moment that healing can begin.