The thing about focusing outward is that if one is in the anxiety stage of DP, that's just not possible.
I just spent 24 hours with no anxiety, which is a good thing because it means that the next time I feel it coming on, I'm taking .12 mg of lorazepam without apologies.
Yes, I'm a convert. We have to shorten the actual time spent with the symptoms by using as low a dose as will bring relief. There is absolutely no point in experiencing the symptoms. There are no benefits whatsoever to experiencing the symptoms. It's a malady that may indeed clear up in some people. Other people may need other methods of keeping the symptoms under control. But under control, I believe, they MUST be kept. Part of the problem I see here is that people are "braving" it -- to no avail. Their great suffering does not help anyone or anything.
The longer we spend in the symptoms, the harder it is to get out of them -- by ANY method.
DP is the canary in the coal mine. We are the coal mine. Our own unconscious feelings are the dangerous substances in the coal mine air to which the canary reacts. The conscious mind really does not want to look at or acknowledge the unconscious feelings. I am experiencing that myself. The feelings are scary enough to run from, but they must be faced if we are to eliminate feeling scared by anxiety and DP.
The good news is that feeling the scariness of how we really feel is freeing ultimately, while the scariness of anxiety and DP is not freeing at all. It is enslaving. It enslaves us to fear while we think we are fleeing fear.
I'm discovering that indeed, I have been repressing feelings like this:
"If I have negative feelings toward people, they will stop loving me."
"If I get angry, I will lose love."
"I am bad for having angry feelings."
I never would have believed it, but its true: I'm a little kid inside who still believes my mother will yell at me if I say anything about how I feel about anything at all. But because the angry feelings don't actually stay buried and out of sight, they come out in various ways, including self-persecution.
I can't admit that I hate my siblings and my parents. Of course, I love them too (I think....) but I really do hate them. I'm starting to admit it and I do feel uncomfortable hating them.
Bottom line: Becoming comfortable with our true feelings and tolerating that they are not what we think we would "like" to have toward people siphons off negative energy that we have been using to tell ourselves in various ways that we are "bad."
DP is actually, I think, in some cases, a sign of impending mental and emotional health "breaking out" or trying to break out. It means something inside us is off-kilter and we need to look inside to find out what's really going on.
So "focusing outward" is something that I am starting to think is not the great help I once did, and I think that learning to live with a sense of unreality is unsound advice.
I know I'm probably going to be disagreed with, and that's fine. Just please don't yell at me or I will cry.