Here’s how it works:
When you first experience the dread, fear , worry, scary thoughts, symptoms... this is the cloud. It is hovered above you and is a very big and very nasty cloud that is lashing down heavy rain on you. You are in the middle of nowhere, alone without shelter and soaked through to the bone. This happens for a while until your mind decides enough is enough and it simply cannot take anymore, so it shields you. That is where the umbrella comes in. This umbrella is your minds protection mechanism, its sole purpose is to stop anymore worry, anymore self sabotaging so it can try and have that much needed break it so desperately craves to heal itself as the cloud has taken its toll.
This umbrella over you, can take a variety of other names. It can be called derealisation/depersonalisation/unreality. It’s also very scary, causes you to feel strange , foggy minded, unable to focus properly or think clearly and make you feel in a dream-like state. All it is though in reality is the umbrella temporarily protecting you until it decides it isn’t needed anymore. It’s completely harmless and no damage will ever come of this.
When the day finally comes that you feel the umbrella has slowly lifted itself, you may feel fantastic, your clarity has returned! But wait, this is short-lived, and only to be shattered again when the big nasty cloud makes an unwanted appearance again... he rains down on you once more, filling you with dread, more worry, back to square one. This happens again until the umbrella steps back in to protect you and the cycle gets repeated.
During this journey, you make a discovery... you learn that the big bad cloud isn’t so big and bad after all. You realise he cannot harm you and will never harm you. He can try and break you, try and make you catch Pneumonia, but your umbrella will always be there to protect you. Always. When the umbrella lifts again, this makes the cloud a little bit smaller than before... and less rain is coming down on you. He isn’t as scary anymore and you go about your day as normal, come rain or shine (excuse the pun).
You make more and more discoveries through your journey to recovery by allowing the big bad cloud to rain down on you no matter what without seeking shelter, or being afraid. The more you do this, the smaller and smaller the cloud gets over time until you finally start seeing the sunlight. This is a glimpse of what’s to come. The cloud may be bigger on some days than others, and the umbrella may also cause you hassle from time to time, but there will also be days where neither are around at all. How you respond to them both is what keeps the cloud there, let him be there but don’t be so impressed by him. You may go through many different periods of the cloud and umbrella, frustration will come of this the longer you’ve endured both, but by repeatedly showing them no concern and going about your day as normal without question, the sun will eventually outshine the cloud and the umbrella will go back to its usual resting place.