DP-free for a month - Recovery Stories - Depersonalization Community

Jump to content


Please Read the Community Forum Guidelines Before Posting.


Photo

DP-free for a month

recovery

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 AnnaGiulia

AnnaGiulia

    Regular Contributor

  • Moderators
  • 107 posts

Posted 07 May 2020 - 03:10 AM

Today is exactly one month that I am DP-free. DP was never my main problem, but it was the most acute. I felt as if I was not able to work on anything else while DPd, as I had no capacity to process things as I usually do. The other day my knowledge of another foreign language came back, only because I was able once again to put individual words into coherent narrative, as I was not losing my energy on just trying to cope and survive another day.
I read over and over the posts of people stating that they are staying away from the Forum, once they get better, or when they feel exhausted with reading about DP, and I honestly understand that. However, for me this Forum has only been beneficial, as it was a logical step in my recovery. I see it now as I saw it when I first logged in, as just one option in a multitude of options: embrace whatever works for you.
I did not come here first. I had three years before that, with DP on and off, to figure out what is wrong with me, to take therapy and meds, to go through stages of healing of at least some consequences of the trauma that made me this way. Not many people talk of trauma here, but I came to realize that most people I interacted with actually had some early attachment trauma in their life, that made them prone to perhaps dissociate more easily than other people.
The tone of this forum is set in a very rational way. It attracted me at once, as I ran scared from chats at other forums that I frequent, as I could not cope with the amount of trauma triggers. It does not mean that people with DPDR are not suffering. They do. Immensely. Just the nature of this state makes us detached from emotions, and it makes expressions of our suffering seem a bit detached, as well. I felt safe and at a precisely right distance here.
I had DP before, and I will have it again, I am almost certain about that. It does not scare me, though. Other times in life I got out of it on my own. This time I needed more support.
For people I know in rl, some close people, it means nothing when I say I am DP-free now. For a whole month. They absolutely cannot understand how precious it is and what does it mean to wake up one day and not feel completely out of one’s own mind, thoughts, body. Because they do not know what it means to be disconnected from life. So, the only people I can share that with are you.
I have a massive load of other stuff to deal with, so I cannot say, hey, wow, now I am DP-free and everything will be great now. My work on so many other issues has only just begun. But it is ok. I never expected to just miraculously step out of DP, and find everything else just where I left it. Basically, it subsided in me because now I am able to deal with other stuff.
Anyway, if you are struggling right now, know that DP can come and go. The experience of people with DP differs, and your recovery will probably be different than mine. If your DP has been with you for years, then you are a real-life hero, but no one will ever know the amount of will power and courage it takes for you to go through your days. I absolutely sympathize with you, and wish I could express my admiration for you in a better way than this. But you know what I mean.
I do not intend to stay away from this Forum, not only because I am certain I will be DPd again some time; I think it is a well needed self-help tool. To be able to say things knowing the others would understand without too much explanation, to vent, to get some feedback, was already huge for me.
Take care and see your around,
A.



#2 forestx5

forestx5

    Senior DPSelfhelp.com Member

  • DPSH Members
  • 1250 posts
  • Locationcentral virginia blue ridge mountains

Posted 08 May 2020 - 08:14 PM

DP wasn't my main symptom either. I became ill in 1971 at age 17.  The internet didn't appear until the mid 80s, and I guess I discovered this site in the mid 90s.  It had a smaller audience then, but there were some great people on this forum and they meant a lot to me.

I lost 40 years to mental illness, but I am as recovered as anyone can be from a serious mental illness. I feel confident in saying that most individuals who had symptoms as severe as mine, and got treatment as poor as mine, likely died of their illness.    My depressive episodes were

epic struggles for survival.  I once went virtually sleepless for 52 days, during which time I continued to work 40+ hours per week. I can't even begin to describe what that was like.

I would lose over 30 lbs of weight during a depressive episode.  I would go from an athletic 205 to anemic 175 in 6 months time.  I look back over those years and my memories are more faded than normal, because I never made them in full color.  I acted for most of those years and I feel a bit guilty about it

because no one ever really knew me.  I wouldn't let them. 



#3 Cali123

Cali123

    Regular Contributor

  • DPSH Members
  • 125 posts

Posted 13 May 2020 - 11:09 PM

Today is exactly one month that I am DP-free. DP was never my main problem, but it was the most acute. I felt as if I was not able to work on anything else while DPd, as I had no capacity to process things as I usually do. The other day my knowledge of another foreign language came back, only because I was able once again to put individual words into coherent narrative, as I was not losing my energy on just trying to cope and survive another day.
I read over and over the posts of people stating that they are staying away from the Forum, once they get better, or when they feel exhausted with reading about DP, and I honestly understand that. However, for me this Forum has only been beneficial, as it was a logical step in my recovery. I see it now as I saw it when I first logged in, as just one option in a multitude of options: embrace whatever works for you.
I did not come here first. I had three years before that, with DP on and off, to figure out what is wrong with me, to take therapy and meds, to go through stages of healing of at least some consequences of the trauma that made me this way. Not many people talk of trauma here, but I came to realize that most people I interacted with actually had some early attachment trauma in their life, that made them prone to perhaps dissociate more easily than other people.
The tone of this forum is set in a very rational way. It attracted me at once, as I ran scared from chats at other forums that I frequent, as I could not cope with the amount of trauma triggers. It does not mean that people with DPDR are not suffering. They do. Immensely. Just the nature of this state makes us detached from emotions, and it makes expressions of our suffering seem a bit detached, as well. I felt safe and at a precisely right distance here.
I had DP before, and I will have it again, I am almost certain about that. It does not scare me, though. Other times in life I got out of it on my own. This time I needed more support.
For people I know in rl, some close people, it means nothing when I say I am DP-free now. For a whole month. They absolutely cannot understand how precious it is and what does it mean to wake up one day and not feel completely out of one’s own mind, thoughts, body. Because they do not know what it means to be disconnected from life. So, the only people I can share that with are you.
I have a massive load of other stuff to deal with, so I cannot say, hey, wow, now I am DP-free and everything will be great now. My work on so many other issues has only just begun. But it is ok. I never expected to just miraculously step out of DP, and find everything else just where I left it. Basically, it subsided in me because now I am able to deal with other stuff.
Anyway, if you are struggling right now, know that DP can come and go. The experience of people with DP differs, and your recovery will probably be different than mine. If your DP has been with you for years, then you are a real-life hero, but no one will ever know the amount of will power and courage it takes for you to go through your days. I absolutely sympathize with you, and wish I could express my admiration for you in a better way than this. But you know what I mean.
I do not intend to stay away from this Forum, not only because I am certain I will be DPd again some time; I think it is a well needed self-help tool. To be able to say things knowing the others would understand without too much explanation, to vent, to get some feedback, was already huge for me.
Take care and see your around,
A.

What helped you the most? And what’s different now from when you were dp’d?

#4 AnnaGiulia

AnnaGiulia

    Regular Contributor

  • Moderators
  • 107 posts

Posted 14 May 2020 - 07:24 AM

@Cali123,

 

I also try to understand what helped me the most, and I will try to put some of it down in written here, but it has to be understood contextually, as part of my whole life and experience. What worked for me may have nothing to do with another person's experience, as the causes of our conditions may be completely different.

 

Now, my DP is just one part of a complex condition caused by early childhood repetitive trauma. Trauma itself is of no importance here. What was important for me were the consequences of traumatization:

  1. My deeply hurt dignity, that resulted in self-loathing, toxic shame and some identity confusion, which developed further into dissociation (dissociative amnesia) and depersonalisation
  2. The loss of safety in my immediate surrounding, which resulted in generalized anxiety disorder and derealisation

My main problem as an adult was my inability to incorporate certain memories or parts of the memories into my life narrative (such as emotional memory of an event: I would remember the facts, but had no emotional relation to it, or I would remember something, but it didn’t feel as if it happened to me). My other problem was my inability to feel the unbearable feelings: of fear, shame, anger and hatred towards those I held responsible for my trauma.

 

My coping mechanism can be compared to an auto-immune response to certain type of information/emotion. As I was not able to process and incorporate certain experiences into my reality when I was young, the same mechanism continued to work into my adulthood, basically re-arranging my perception of reality, including my perception of self and of my emotions.

 

*

I was terribly DPd since January (and I was DPd on and off since the end of 2016), but I believe that in this period I was finally able to make some steps that helped me the most:

1. I took on a professional assignment (I am a freelancer), and I did well, even though I was rarely in my full cognitive capacity throughout the day. I put some extra hours and effort into it, and I did it.

2. I was lonely out of my mind with my DP (and some other issues), even though I have people in rl, so I joined several self-help forums and a chat, and took a lot of comfort from knowing people who go through something similar... It was helpful to step out of my usual manner of speaking about myself and my problems, or about life in general, trying to articulate it all in written for a kind stranger who is going to read it. It somehow made it more clear for myself as well.

3. I tried to understand who I am and what my needs in life are. I know this may sound as a cliché, but I was NEVER in touch with my real self, with or without DP. It was a deep and serious consequence of the trauma I suffered as a child, as I continued to have some kind of auto-censorship not only of my actions, but also of my thoughts. I tried to override that coping mechanism, that became obsolete in the meantime, and I was surprised with what I found, and what I continue to find in me.

4. I practiced some kind of radical candor in all communication. I was able to speak out loud things that I was not able before. I don't want to seem vague, so I will say that it had to do with clearing a lot of relations in life, but most specifically with my mother (who used my hurt and my attachment issues to manipulate me for most of my life, in order to get some kind of emotional satisfaction for her insatiable emotional needs). However, I found myself dealing with other relations in life just as well, both meaningful and superficial. I learned what it means to set boundaries. I will need to practice that a whole lot more, lol

5. I tried to accept my body, my pain, my illness and my mortality. These things never meant anything to me, as I knew how to dissociate from them for as long as I lived. I was detached from my body, and its needs, I could ignore the pain, I was not acceptant of my condition as a mental illness, and I never properly dealt with the issue of human condition and finiteness of life. I guess that what I tried to do and continue to do is some kind of radical acceptance of things for what they really are, and I hope to make it my new normal.

6. I had and still have problem with Genralized Anxiety Disorder, so I learned that holding a fidget helps, when I go outside. I do not feel as anxious any more, and I do not feel weird for squeezing a colorful rubber spiky ball in my hand. I only say this because anxiety was contributing my DP a lot, and I can feel it could do it again, so I try to keep it contained any way that I can.

7. I find it ok to protect myself from certain situations and stimuli (and people) that I find unpleasant. Before, I could not really tell the difference, as most things were unpleasant for me, because of anxiety.

 

In summary, I think that learning about myself, about my relation to my body and emotions, articulation of my life experience for others to read, connectedness to real-time emotions and timely reactions in accordance with them, all contributed to feeling less DPd over time, until at one point it completely subsided.

 

*

The most significant moment that tells me about being DPd/not being DPd is in the morning, when I wake up, or if I am still in a half-dream state. If I do not know who I am, where and when I am, and what awaits me that day, then I know I am DPd.

 

On the other hand, now I wake up knowing where my body is, where its limits are, who I am, who I live with, how old I am, and what I have in plan for that day. Some days it is thrilling, other days it is just normal...idk...sometimes I am in pain, or do not feel like doing anything, but it feels like me, like my body, and my mind, and my day to do with it what I want.



#5 Cali123

Cali123

    Regular Contributor

  • DPSH Members
  • 125 posts

Posted 14 May 2020 - 11:10 PM

@Cali123,

I also try to understand what helped me the most, and I will try to put some of it down in written here, but it has to be understood contextually, as part of my whole life and experience. What worked for me may have nothing to do with another person's experience, as the causes of our conditions may be completely different.

Now, my DP is just one part of a complex condition caused by early childhood repetitive trauma. Trauma itself is of no importance here. What was important for me were the consequences of traumatization:

  • My deeply hurt dignity, that resulted in self-loathing, toxic shame and some identity confusion, which developed further into dissociation (dissociative amnesia) and depersonalisation
  • The loss of safety in my immediate surrounding, which resulted in generalized anxiety disorder and derealisation
My main problem as an adult was my inability to incorporate certain memories or parts of the memories into my life narrative (such as emotional memory of an event: I would remember the facts, but had no emotional relation to it, or I would remember something, but it didn’t feel as if it happened to me). My other problem was my inability to feel the unbearable feelings: of fear, shame, anger and hatred towards those I held responsible for my trauma.

My coping mechanism can be compared to an auto-immune response to certain type of information/emotion. As I was not able to process and incorporate certain experiences into my reality when I was young, the same mechanism continued to work into my adulthood, basically re-arranging my perception of reality, including my perception of self and of my emotions.

*
I was terribly DPd since January (and I was DPd on and off since the end of 2016), but I believe that in this period I was finally able to make some steps that helped me the most:
1. I took on a professional assignment (I am a freelancer), and I did well, even though I was rarely in my full cognitive capacity throughout the day. I put some extra hours and effort into it, and I did it.
2. I was lonely out of my mind with my DP (and some other issues), even though I have people in rl, so I joined several self-help forums and a chat, and took a lot of comfort from knowing people who go through something similar... It was helpful to step out of my usual manner of speaking about myself and my problems, or about life in general, trying to articulate it all in written for a kind stranger who is going to read it. It somehow made it more clear for myself as well.
3. I tried to understand who I am and what my needs in life are. I know this may sound as a cliché, but I was NEVER in touch with my real self, with or without DP. It was a deep and serious consequence of the trauma I suffered as a child, as I continued to have some kind of auto-censorship not only of my actions, but also of my thoughts. I tried to override that coping mechanism, that became obsolete in the meantime, and I was surprised with what I found, and what I continue to find in me.
4. I practiced some kind of radical candor in all communication. I was able to speak out loud things that I was not able before. I don't want to seem vague, so I will say that it had to do with clearing a lot of relations in life, but most specifically with my mother (who used my hurt and my attachment issues to manipulate me for most of my life, in order to get some kind of emotional satisfaction for her insatiable emotional needs). However, I found myself dealing with other relations in life just as well, both meaningful and superficial. I learned what it means to set boundaries. I will need to practice that a whole lot more, lol
5. I tried to accept my body, my pain, my illness and my mortality. These things never meant anything to me, as I knew how to dissociate from them for as long as I lived. I was detached from my body, and its needs, I could ignore the pain, I was not acceptant of my condition as a mental illness, and I never properly dealt with the issue of human condition and finiteness of life. I guess that what I tried to do and continue to do is some kind of radical acceptance of things for what they really are, and I hope to make it my new normal.
6. I had and still have problem with Genralized Anxiety Disorder, so I learned that holding a fidget helps, when I go outside. I do not feel as anxious any more, and I do not feel weird for squeezing a colorful rubber spiky ball in my hand. I only say this because anxiety was contributing my DP a lot, and I can feel it could do it again, so I try to keep it contained any way that I can.
7. I find it ok to protect myself from certain situations and stimuli (and people) that I find unpleasant. Before, I could not really tell the difference, as most things were unpleasant for me, because of anxiety.

In summary, I think that learning about myself, about my relation to my body and emotions, articulation of my life experience for others to read, connectedness to real-time emotions and timely reactions in accordance with them, all contributed to feeling less DPd over time, until at one point it completely subsided.

*
The most significant moment that tells me about being DPd/not being DPd is in the morning, when I wake up, or if I am still in a half-dream state. If I do not know who I am, where and when I am, and what awaits me that day, then I know I am DPd.

On the other hand, now I wake up knowing where my body is, where its limits are, who I am, who I live with, how old I am, and what I have in plan for that day. Some days it is thrilling, other days it is just normal...idk...sometimes I am in pain, or do not feel like doing anything, but it feels like me, like my body, and my mind, and my day to do with it what I want.

I can relate to #5 a lot. Just trying to accept that this is my new normal but I just don’t think I’ll ever understand dp or why I still experience it. I get moments where I don’t think about it and I can go about my day, which is why I haven’t been on this site for months but idk, it’s just still in my subconscious I guess. It’s like I know I’m still experiencing it. I guess my mind just can’t let go. Idk. But congrats on feeling like you again lol I can’t wait to fully experience that feeling again. It’s like I’m in limbo lol like part of me can experience life, emotions, pain and regular human abilities and go about my day & the other half just can’t feel like it’s my body. Idk, I always wonder if it’s just psychosis and not anxiety..

#6 AnnaGiulia

AnnaGiulia

    Regular Contributor

  • Moderators
  • 107 posts

Posted 15 May 2020 - 09:02 AM

Tnx for the congrats, Calismile.png

From what you say, I am almost certain it is not psychosis what you experience, as it sounds as DP spot on.

Give it all some more time...I believe it is already a very good thing that you can feel some connectedness to a range of emotions, even if only with some part of you.

I hope you will soon be able to connect with yourself even more.

I wish you all well, take care,

A.







0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users