What does it feel like to be delusional?

Where is the line between dream and delusion?


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That is the question I find myself asking when considering how my antipsychotics are affecting my day-to-day decisions. The drugs have some very noticeable effects, things like an increased capacity to engage in conversation, but on the flipside are things like a perpetually dry mouth.  


It was a delusion when I told myself in 5th grade that if I just laid flat enough in my bed, that if I could just lay as flat and as quiet as the sheets, that I wouldn't have to go back into school and subject myself to facing … her … again.


It was a dream when I thought my partner and I were going to save the world. I knew it was unattainable but I still wanted to reach. Unfortunately at the time I was unaware of the people I stepped on to reach so high. It felt safe. It felt open ended, non-binding.




Every memory has weight. Some memories carry more weight than others. This weight has gravity. These memories are held within the matrix of the mnemonic structures of the brain. As we recall something from memory, the path our thoughts take might pass in proximity to some of the weightier memories, recalling them into the conscious mind. This is my understanding of how individuals become “triggered”.

When I become delusional, it feels like I have encountered a memory of such massive magnitude, of such gravity that at some point I cross an event horizon and begin to fall into myself. That is to say, that in the course of autonomically recalling something from my mind which is triggering, my thoughts fall into a black hole from which I cannot escape through any direct or active measure. The only escape... is time. Time to rest, time to breathe, time to remind myself that I am loved, or more importantly that am capable of returning that love. Time to be mindful of my body, of my environment, of my family.


Not all delusions are the same. Delusions regarding an expectation placed upon myself, they feel like they have a pull to them. Delusions regarding an expectation I place upon others, those have more of a “pull” feel to them. To the delusional mind, the corpus of these traumatic memories warp and refract the way my mind’s eye perceives that projection of our own memories. The analogy which comes to mind is that of gravitational lensing, or the way massive objects in space bend light that passes by them. In just the same way that a dead star can refract and warp our perceptions of a younger universe, my traumatic memories refract and warp the way I perceive my younger self.