Hello. I know why you’ve clicked on this post to read, hopefully because you are in a bad place right now and need a glimmer of hope.
Well, I’m hoping I can achieve that for you.
What does recovery mean for me… well it means when someone no longer suffers from Derealisaiton / Depersonalistion / Unreality / Brain fog etc. and I am most definitely recovered. How long for? I honestly don’t really know… a year maybe? Why don’t I know you ask? Because when you truly recover, you forget. How can you forget such a terrible thing ? Well I suppose you never forget what you went through but you forget about the condition because it becomes unimportant and when something becomes unimportant you leave it behind, as in , actually leave it behind, all subconsciously with no conscious effort from you whatsoever. That’s what happens when you no longer care about the condition.
I’ll get to the ‘how’ I recovered shortly but I wanted to expel the biggest myth of all first, and that is that you will not be stuck this way forever, I repeat you will NOT be stuck this way forever. What you have… and what I had.. is a brain that’s currently wired up to an ingrained habit of thought, an obsession. If DP/DR was left alone, like a scab healing on your leg was left alone, then it wouldn’t be around for very long and that would be the end of it. Like you, when first hit by this odd strange sensation, I worried intensely which of course only makes it worse and then I became ‘obsessed’ with it. Genuinely obsessed. Checking every day to see if the feeling was still there, scanning my surroundings ‘do I feel ok today?’ ‘Hope today wasn’t as bad as yesterday’ these questions are doing nothing but tiring our minds even further to prolong DP/DR, because all DP/DR actually is , is a harmless feeling of a tired, battered and exhausted mind. Not a broken, permanently damaged mind.
I spent the best part of 4 years with it on and off, good days, bad days. Good weeks, bad weeks. It was hell, torture, I was winging my way through life. I somehow managed to maintain a Job and do everything I did before the condition just felt miserable doing it. You don’t actually lose a grip on reality, you just go about your day in a haze.
I could go on and on and on about my particular circumstances but it isn’t really relevant to my point. And this leads me on to ‘how’ I recovered.
Well I have two answers both of which you will need to do to be rid of it, although it’s easier said than done. Not impossible , because I did it and many others before me have to. It takes a little practice and trial and error but with perseverance and time you’ll be rid of it, for good.
The first answer is to fully, whole heartedly, without question, ACCEPT your current state. Don’t worry, doubt , obsess over it, just accept this is you for a while. It’s not forever, just for a little while… until your brain learns over time that this ‘sensation’ is nothing more than a tired mind that’s making you feel foggy and unreal. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but it’s not a dangerous feeling either. With true acceptance, you are starting the beginning of your recovery. It won’t be a straight road, it’s a windy road, with curves and hills etc but the road eventually comes to a stop. You won’t know the road has stopped until it becomes a sudden realisation that you’ve not felt this way in a very long time, like me.
My 2nd answer is to live your life as if you never had it and do not read or research this condition. When you do something habitually, obsessively you do it automatically. When you suddenly stop doing something the brain is defaulted to… it has a little panic. If you suddenly stopped researching the condition and being on this forum, you’re brain won’t be able to comprehend it at first, you’ll feel an urge and a pull to want to come back here. To read ONE more recovery story , that’ll make you feel better again and provide hope. And to an extent , yes it will, but it’s a compulsion. Every time you come back to research the condition or check out recovery stories, it’s a compulsion. If you cut out the compulsions, you starve the habit and habits eventually weaken and then die.
That is all I am going to say, it doesn’t matter how you obtained the condition , be it anxiety or weed or whatever, the way out is the same. Read this story, fully take it in, absorb the info I have given you , read it again and again if it helps. But once you’ve digested it, leave the site and try not to return. If you do, don’t be hard on yourself, the habit will make you do it but just gradually ween yourself off it.
So to summarise :
Your condition (for now)
2. Live life as normal regardless of how you feel
3. Patience, I can’t stress this enough. It’s a process … you can’t undo something like this quickly, especially if you’ve suffered years. Just trust your mind will heal and that’s all you need. Your brain will replace the habit of worrying about DP/DR with not caring anymore that you have it , and that’s the key to the way out.
Happy 2023 everyone
I wish you all well!