One of the effects of becoming aware that there is a “me” on top of all my thoughts and feelings- this concept of being meta about myself, is the loss of my ability to daydream intensely.
I used to be able to imagine deeply. I would imagine myself as a Dragon Ball-like person, with all the superhuman strengths and abilities. Or I would be this person who had bullet time built in. I would go on secret missions, mostly stealth missions, to topple a regime or assassinate a bad person. I would be on these special pod-like planes/ships. I would imagine the details inside the cockpit and my outfit. Everything.
Or I would imagine myself being on a cruise ship. I would think about the surroundings, the vast oceans under the moonlight. I would think about the breeze, the sounds, the tranquility.
Or I would spend hours ruminating about a conversation, an interaction, or a presentation.
Or I would become completely lost in thoughts during meetings. When I was younger, I would be thinking about sex. When I was older, it could be about anything (but sex). I would be obsessed with these ruminations for hours.
But now I can’t do it anymore. I become aware of myself ruminating, and it breaks the imagining. I notice I can no longer stick to any thought for more than 10 seconds. I am interrupted by my own awareness.
The good thing is that this interruption has helped me from ruminating on terrible thoughts, such as plans to kill myself or extended arguments I wanted to have with Sharon, or Kristen, or anyone I hated. I think this newfound awareness has saved my life for good. This complete rewiring is life-changing.
At the same time, I do miss the rumination, especially the ones that were fantastical. I miss the ability to create my own movies and delve deeply into them. I miss the comfort I would find in those fantasies.
Another thing I have gained from this awareness is the 100% certainty that “this too shall pass” is real. No pain will stay forever, no emotions will stay forever. I have witnessed it so many times now, I know it is true. And the reason I could collect such evidence was because of this newfound awareness. It’s a good thing. This too shall pass.