Send Your Replies to Isabel

Bless your heart. Staying focused and in the now is indeed a hard thing to do. DON'T beat yourself up about it. It is something new
to have to learn and just remember baby steps. Dissociation was an easily learned defense mechanism takes practice to do things a
different way.

One thing that worked for me was to get into my car, drive down a road where there are few cars and let out a scream! It helped ground
me and it also was a form of release for negative emotions.

Hang in there! It is always slower than we'd like, but you can do it!!!!



Dear Isabel,

What sometimes worked for me were relaxation CDs. Journaling always helped. I received a lot of good ideas from your replies.

Talking on the phone to a trusted friend was always soothing as well as I found myself getting centered without really realizing it. Swimming is a great idea because it helped me too as well as an air bike I'm lucky to have.
There's nothing more I can say that hasn't already been said.
I wish you all my best Isabel.
Warm Wishes,



Hi Isabel,

What has greatly helped me, is when I find myself not staying present, but I want to, I drop my chin onto my chest close my eyes and breathe as deeply as I can and then let it out very slowly; I do this for about 5 times, and then lift my head up slowly, focussing on things around me, and I seem to find that I am very connected back to the present world. then and also quite relaxed. It might help :)



Dear Isabel,

There are many valuable resources online which you may want to look into. I'll name several of them here, but this would be good for MV
to compile a comprehensive list of resources and suggestions.

There is unfortunately no secret method. There are general principles, that over time, one makes their own and use of them
becomes automatic.

In the beginning, it's sometimes a good idea to carry an index card with you that has your "grounding list". You can go down the list in
order, if that's easiest for you. Or you can only do the ones you feel most able to do. Or I guess you could keep the list on your
iPod or cell phone. Sometimes people keep a diary card where they rate their panic/distress levels and keep track of what they did and
what works and didn't work (and how much medication you took, etc).

Here's a possible beginning list. Some are action items, some are mind items.

1) Positive self-talk. Remind yourself you are okay, the date, where you are. These things are sometimes confused in panic, PTSD reaction
or dissociative reaction.

2) Play visual games. I find that the iPhone is a wonderful distractor. I used to play music, which I do also, but lately I've
been using the iPhone games and that works well. If you don't have a game phone, then try other games, like looking around you and playing
the alphabet game: pick out things from your surroundings that begin with letters of the alphabet starting with A. Make sure you keep your
eyes open.

3) Touch. Feet on the ground. Feel your surroundings. Some people carry healing objects with them. A stuffed animal or even a little
stone. Can say out loud: "I am touching the ground..." Some people use ice cubes, snap elastics, warm heat. There's no end to what you
can do here.

4) Internal collaboration. If there is a dissociative reaction and confusion among DID parts, you can try talking and coming to a
compromise. Or ask other parts to take over.

5) Medication.

6) Eat ice cream. I find that this is especially helpful for some body memories. Do it deliberately and with the intention of self-soothing.

7) Call someone.

8) Play an instrument.

9) Write or draw about it in your journal.

10) Relaxation, breathing, etc. I carry an audio recording of my therapist doing progressive relaxation with me. It's really quite

I think Michael's point about things working sometimes and not other times is a good one. The list above is a start, but the idea is to
make it your own.



Hi Isabel

I am responding to your call for help on many voices I was going to tell you what has worked for me. When I need to stay grounded I go to my room to read a book or draw. Reading really helps because i can get so lost in a book that i forget about the problems at hand. I also feel alot calmer than i was. And you can talk to me any time.

My name is mallory and i am 15 years old and have DID


Dear Isabel,

I was hesitant to write send this at first as it seemed so negative, then went with you know how hard it is. That helped me a lot when I accepted how hard it was and frustrating when others think they understand and they do not.

For me what worked sometimes, did not other times; what never worked, all of a sudden would work. Some things had the opposite effect at times. Going for a walk sometimes would make it worse and other times was helpful and such. Sometimes I would wear myself out trying different things. Not my fault--just the way it was. It's hard.

The best over all for me was swimming. I am lucky that I can do that. I have a membership at a hotel pool. Many of them have memberships. I figured out when it was likely empty or only a few people would be there. I go to the pool and do what ever seems right for then. I have no program. I might just stretch, hang out, do laps or swim underwater. I learned the side stroke and that seems to work well most of the time. I swim one side and then the other which seems to help we me getting and staying balanced.

I also found it helpful to separate getting present and staying present. For me they are two separate dynamics. Both hard.



Dear Isabel,

One therapist recommended placing a bag of frozen green peas on the forehead, to help grounding and getting back to reality. It sounds silly, but it would definitely distract you from your troubles!

Hope this helps.

Lynn W.