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The worst part of DP is that sometimes the way out is just too obvious.

I spent a long and unnecessary time with DP.

A lot of it was that in college I was determined to go to New York, and I knew how to sew, so I decided to pursue Fashion Design.

Well, I hated fashion design and really needed to be at a four year university focusing on academics.

It's like my soul was screaming against this path.

I couldn't admit my dissatisfaction to myself, and channeled it instead into an eating disorder which led to DP. I went back to my hometown and gave up trying on anything, since I assumed that it would bring on DP.

Eventually I started going to a community college, then a local university, then to the state university I snubbed in high school for being "too mainstream" for me.

When I got into THAT school, and pursued my passions instead of fashion design, I just didn't really have DP. I still had anxiety and such related to other issues, but the biggest problem to my DP disappeared: I stopped trying to be something I wasn't.

So, while that might not be everyone's story, I challenge you to examine your life:

Are you pursuing something not in line with your values?

Are you in friendships/relationships with people you don't respect?

Are you pretending to have hobbies and interests because the people around you have them?

etc, etc.

I can't tell you how beneficial it was for me to start finding ME. To stop pretending I loved the underground music so much and admitting to myself that I loved Celine Dion, for example. Sounds tiny, but the lies I made about myself (dressing weird/edgy, hanging with underground club kids, etc) were causing me to live a false life, and when I started admitting to myself that I loved the Ralph Lauren shirts and playing tennis and listening to normal music, I embarked upon a path of "what do I REALLY like?", and the more authentic I became, the less DP was an issue for me.

Also a lot of it was a lack of faith. I chose crappy friends and boyfriends because I didn't believe I could attain what I wanted, which was untrue.

Find out what you want, and how to attain it. Well...I couldn't do that immediately...find out what you LIKE. Baby steps.

It certainly made recovery interesting and colorful!
 

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Also, sometimes my pride kept me from self-discovery. I wanted to be "different" and "important" and stand out, etc., because I couldn't believe I would be fulfilled if I was the same as all those lemmings I went to high school with (right?), so that's how I really veered off path in life. I was too proud to admit that I wanted to be like those people I was avoiding, and just didn't know how to get there. Too prideful to ask for guidance on this.

DP was basically an alarm system my soul (or brain, or whatever) screaming "stop being this thing that isn't YOU! You are so much MORE!"

I remember having so many "a-ha" moments, like in Oprah magazine..I was shopping once and saw this cute hippie outfit that just felt "right" to me, and instead I went to go buy high heels because they would be sexier than those hippie clothes. But I knew in the back of my head I was forfeiting authenticity. Again, many people do this and DON'T get DP, but I think it's part of a larger picture of me not being true to myself...and I probably forfeited authenticity far more than the average person who doesn't get DP
 
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