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Hello All,

I apologize for a long post. but i know I always wanted all the details when reading other recovery stories so I thought I would do myself justice.

I think most recovered DP/DRers would tell you that you need to find a system that works for you. A new way of thinking, OR breaking the old thinking cycle.

So here is my story.

I am a 19 year old college track athlete, I am in my second year of college in the Fall of 2014 after transferring for a different school where I was playing football. I went from playing Wide Receiver to running track at a different school where I currently am. This was obviously a big decision at the time.

Anyways, My first year at my new school in my second year of college. I had heard from one of my older sisters that my parents were having "issues." I didn't think much of it at the time. I thought my mom was just over reacting. I had never seen my parents have any major fights or anything that seemed out of the ordinary, so I brushed it off.

3 weeks later my dad leaves my mom. I was just kinda shocked, very mad, and confused. My mom wouldnt give my 3 sisters and I any answers. and we didnt want to talk to my dad. long story short, we found out my dad had cheated on my mom.

I was always a very religious catholic, my mother still is.

Always went to church.

Fast forward to the summer after my parents divorced, and I meet this girl i worked at a summer camp with. We have been together for over a year now. I believed very much in chastity before I met her. she was catholic as well. but did not practice to the level I did. She gave me the first 3rd base experience I had ever had. I always had felt extremely guilty after even 2nd base with a girl.

I would beat myself up for days.

This guilt I believe game from my mother, and this unreasonable fear of God she had instilled in me.

Of course I liked going to 3rd base with a girl in the moment, but hated myself for it after because I thought it was Damnable.

i eventually had this discussion numerous times with my now girlfriend. we stop doing sexual things for a while because of it. I told her that I was ok with it again, and we started again, while I was still conflicted very much in my head that chastity was an absolute truth. So truthful I had never accepted any other thought. I know this sounds trivial to most people and I am thinking so writing it right now. but this is what tore me up, and made me obsessed with the thought of "how could a catholic girl think all this is ok?" it was worse because she treated me so much better than my 3 past GFs. anyhow, the thought of continuing to do sexual things before marriage gave me crazy anxiety.

before the anxiety set in I also drank for the first time in my life as a 20 year old. My thoughts about drinking I had adopted from my mom all my life were similar to the sexual ideals, and my mom had always seemed to look down very harshly on people she heard about doing these sorts of things.

Dont get me wrong I love my mom.

The combination of these new experiences, and my preconceived thoughts about them is what lead me to my obsessive thoughts. which led to my anxiety, which lead to my DP/DR. but I only realized this recently.

Me and my girlfriend have sex now, and I believe this to be an important step in my recovery. It made my illogical fears go away by learn through actual experience instead of setting myself up for guilt through preconceived irrational stigmas.I have become less religious in the last year. I am not saying to do this or to not do it. this is just my experience, you must find what works for you.

I didnt see my dad for over a year until a few months ago. I believe reconnecting to him in person was also important.

Sorry to be all over the place and disorganized with my thoughts but I am happy to answers an questions If you comment with one.


First week of October 2015 I had spent a weekend in a hotel with my GF. We drank and went to third base and had fun. This was after a whole summer of obsessive sexual thinking and guilt along with my thoughts about drinking and guilt. I returned that monday to class. I was at track practice on that Monday when a bat was trapped in the indoor track I was determined to release it outside. It did not bite me but nibbled on my thumb like a puppy. I sent pictures to my mom and sisters, my mom called my telling me to go to the ER to get rabies shots. I tried to convince her that it didnt bite me. but she scared me so bad that I went. I got 8 shots that day. and was very worried I would be the EXCEPTION to the vaccine and die. I continued to have very negative scary thoughts about my life and dying in sin because of my sexual activity. These thoughts persisted through October.

My vision started to get very bad. I had trouble adjusting from dark to light. I almost felt like I was hungover all the time. I had terrible obsessive thoughts that everything was bad. I would second guess everything I did. I would hear music and over analyze the words to the point where i didnt like listening, and music is one of my most favorite things in the world! I would hear people (including myself), say swear words, I started to think that swearing was a very bad thing to do. I started to think all humans were just so negative and selfish people and that there wasnt a lot of hope for the world.

Everything just looked so foggy. I had an eye doctors appointment cause I thought my contacts were bad. I got new contacts and it did nothing. I started to feel like the days were going by so fast and I was just going through the motions and not enjoying anything. Once I researched my symptoms of feeling like nothing was real and being in a dream I discovered DP/DR and I was for sure that it was my problem.

I had a panic attack the 3 weekend of october. I was just watching TV with my best friend and roommate and obsessively thinking about how my GF could thing that doing sexual stuff, and making out with guys for fun at a party (before she met me, obviously. Cause I'm the real deal) was an OK thing to do? It sounds so silly but I could not stop the thoughts. it was impossible at the time. I was trying to be drawn in by the TV and "The Office." my favorite show. none of my thoughts were stopping this awful barricade of terrible hopeless thoughts and emotions. because my original notions about sex and drinking were all I had ever know as absolute truth. And anyone I knew who did those things I kind of wrote off as a bad person. But her was my GF who I saw treated my so well as a person. but also had no reserves about drinking or going to 3rd base, like I did. So my head was in constant turmoil because of it. It was 9 oclock on a saturday. (the regular crowd did NOT shuffle in) -Billy Joel reference-, and I just wanted to go to bed and wake up and everything be fine. I wasn't even tired hardly but I went into my room to try and sleep because all I wanted was to STOP THINKING. I laid down in my room and shut my eyes. it didnt help the thoughts. I had this awful tingling in the base of my neck

and one point I THOUGHT MY BRAIN WOULD KILL MY BODY. I told my roommate what was happening and he managed to distract me enough so I didnt feel like a i was going to die. and that was just enough.

That was the worst night of it. from there I would get terrible anxious feelings about everything as soon as it got dark out. IDK why it had to do with the sun but it did. This still happens to me from time to time. but not at the magnitude it was.

To start recovery.

Like I said this is about finding your own way. Just like the rest of life.

1. Breaking old thought processes.

If you were like me and your DP/DR started from anxious obsessive thoughts+trauma or many other things. The key for me was to break that cycle of thinking.


Everytime you wonder, "I am out of it yet?" this FUELS it, ask anyone who is recovered or somewhat recovered.

2. Being obsessed

Everytime you were thinking about your DP/DR symptoms and you forget what you were trying to think about, and you ask yourself the inevitable "what was I trying to think about?" say FUCK IT. and revert to whatever you love in life. for me it was music and nature and track and field. and I would find topics of conversation in my head that were controversial about those 3 things I was obsessed with to try and solve the problems of those. and not the problems of my symptoms.

YOUR SYMPTOMS WILL GO AWAY WHEN YOU STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM. find something to be obsessed with you can definitely do it. there were so many times where I thought I didnt love anything enough to be obsessed with it and get over my symptoms. but YOU CAN! and YOU WILL

3. Youre not the first or the last

Remember how many people in the world have had DP/DR. and DO NOT think that yours is different and you will never get out of it because you are the exception to the rule. Were all human beings. We live love laugh and suffer all together. but dont let yourself think that you have the symptoms worse than another person who has had it. No one has died from DP/DR symptoms. and all the sufferers on this page are rooting for you. YOU WILL BE OK.

4. Its no big deal.

It really isnt a big deal! so many have gone before you and had it and come out a BETTER person on the other side. so treat your symptoms as such! they are not a big deal! ignore them. This takes time.

5. being distracted

Easier said than done. and this becomes more of a mental game in the beginning. You really just have to keep trying keep trying keep trying. theres no other way to explain it. When a thought comes into your head literally say to yourself "FUCK THIS DPDR SHIT" however many times it takes until you dont care anymore about the symptoms or the thoughts. or until you get distracted.

6. Reality checking

DONT DO IT. everytime you do youre ripping a little piece of the fun sandwich off and feeding it to the monster in your head. Its so tempting to check in but dont do it.

DONT FEED THE MONSTER! The monster will slowly turn into an angel I promise. very slowly though! youll get waves of strange good feelings for no reason some days. but dont try to hang on to that certain feeling that will just destroy it. be aware of it, but remain level head. just keep your cool through bad spouts on DPDR and when pieces of your old self begin to return. dont check out your surroundings to see if you feel like your old self and in reality when you get good feelings unexpectedly. Everytime you want to see if your "back" say "FUCK THIS DPDR SHIT" and laugh it off even if its hard. fake it til you make it.

7. Get focused. Be determined

Be in the moment. dont over analyze everything. your symptoms or your actions or other peoples actions. try new things! give things you are doing in the present moment you full attention. use all you power to tell yourself that whatever you are doing in the moments is so important that when you get distracted from it in youre head, you understand how important it is to give what ever you're doing at the time you 100% attention. Be determined to get tasks done! no matter how small!

8. It is going to take time.

I had bad DPDR for probably 4 months. and Im still not totally out of it. As soon as I stopped checking in on reality tho. my symptoms started to go alot quicker. and my daily thoughts of the fact the i have/had DPDR have noticeably lessened day by day. I probably relapsed and "thought" myself into DPDR two times after I really learned how to recover.

Ive definitely left some things out that I cannot think of right now. but If you have questions I would love to help out.

My last thing is that I found a great App called HeadSpace that has be teaching me alot about how to be present in the moment with thoughts and body! so that helped a lot in a short amount of time to control those urges of reality checking and asking myself if Ill ever get out of DPDR.

It will all be OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You will live a happy healthy fun loving life again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never thought I would but its so within reach. be patient!
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