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Hi Collette,

I have struggled for years to build a support system outside of therapy and an integral part of that is finding things to do that keep me from isolating, help me socialize and/or create some joy in my life. It has not been easy because my first thought is to do nothing because planning anything creates stress, but in the long run it is so lonely.

I have taken community education classes and am currently taking a class in Mindfully Based Stress Reduction at the local university. I started a yoga practice about a year ago. It's somewhere that I can be with others, not necessarily converse with anyone, but feel safe. The body work has been wonderful for my fibromyalgia and also for me emotionally. Sure, it's brought up issues, but I've been able to work through them with my therapist. And, I come out of yoga each day feeling cleansed and uplifted. Before yoga, I swam about 5-6 times a week for many years. Exercise does wonders for the body and spirit. I also volunteer at the local counseling center and each week I help out in the office with whatever needs to be done. Since I'm not working, it's so nice being a part of the team at the center and knowing that I'm doing something worthwhile. It's a win-win.

I also googled "womens' retreat Minnesota" and attended a wonderful women's retreat (on my own for the first time ever) last summer at the Audubon Center in my state. I had a great deal of apprehension, but overall it was a great experience. Google "" -- another great place to meet people in your area.
Hope this is helpful.


Hi Collette,

Therapy is very very hard especially when you need it often but I have read somewhere that for us, people with dissociation or trauma issues, that physical activity is very important.  So while it doesn't seem like therapy, it is, and we need to learn to enjoy it again.  Sometimes it can be simple things like gardening or it can be something that takes alot of energy such as learning some type of karate. Whether it is tae-kwon-do, karate or whatever, not only does it empower us, but it also helps us to feel and relearn how to have fun.

I can not comment about friends too much. I really don't have any.  I choose to stay to myself for the most part. Too many trust issues I guess.I Would however say that no, it isn't lying.  If you are not super close with the person you are friends with, you may not want them to know. I think it all would depend on your level of confidence and trust in the people you would choose to tell.  Some people may not react well.  Good friends however, would react positively and possibly want to learn more about your disorder.

Hope that I have helped some,


Dear Collette,

Several years ago, I decided to start telling people about my MPD. I felt like I wasn't being honest with people if I didn't tell them about it. And I felt I should be able to tell people and have them be accepting of it.
Of the people I told, a few were extremely accepting at first. And they're still fine with me today. Others I told, were fine at first, but then quickly, they got " sick and tired of it" because it was taking too long for me to heal. So at some point or other they dropped out of the picture.
A few others I told, literally ran away from me as soon as I said MPD.

I realize my situation is not like everyone's. Some people may have a great support system. I didn't have one at the time. I have gone through the final integrations. And I have found a good group of people at church, who are very supportive.

I'd say use caution in who you tell. Are they people you trust with your information? Do you know what their thoughts are about this? Just weigh everything out good before you tell anyone.

Debbie E.



Hi Collette,

I have figured out for myself, that I have to really trust someone first, before I share. I experienced
too many expressions on peoples faces that said I should not have shared. It is not to say I haven't
shared with someone I just met, because there is something I trust in them. I do this to educate
people. I tell everyone of my doctors. 98% of them have no clue what DID is. So I tell them. It lets them
know to handle me gently.

I think it is time we (survivors) stop hiding and be proud. We fought a war that far surpasses any other. My enemies were people who were
supposed to love and protect me. I hope this helps.



Hi Collette

Although it seems odd, try reading and writing healing poetry, it will do wonders. In an effort to heal others, you will automatically heal your problems as well as create a masterpiece.

Best wishes
Sanju Paul


Hello Collette,

I can really understand your desire to have some "free time" away from therapy. Sometimes it may seem that it consumes all of life.

Since I have integrated over 15 years ago, all I have to offer is what I remember. There was a time when I could not even leave the house for fear of where I would end up. I could not guarantee where I would go or what I would do. Then came a time, similiar to yours, that the desire to experience life as a "normal" became greater than the fear.

I started with doing laundry at a laundromat. Seemed like an easy enough task. I was successful at cleaning my clothes, however whomever returned home was not the same one who left the house to do the laundry in the first place! Noone got hurt and I did not get lost AND most importantly, I remembered the entire event!

As time went on, I was able to do more and more (with increasing amount of importance). Events included going to a restaurant to eat a meal, going to the mall and actually purchasing something etc.

It all took alot of group talk and a bit of a firm hand that I was in charge, if we ever wanted to be "somebody" in this world. I reassured everyone that I would do my best to keep us safe. I also offered a great treat when we arrived home safely and successfully.

I firmly believe this was a major step in my being a recovered, whole DID. Since this is not the goal of many people, I can understand how this may be somewhat concerning. Since I did not know what was going to happen to my system, I was simply working towards something that I felt would be the best for My or Our survival. The spontanious integration was a gift of many years of hard work, not really a goal, and I would NEVER trade it for anything.

Blessings in your journey, whether it be co-operation or integration.

Sonya Rogers


Hi Collette,

I got sick of therapy all the time, too. I have done many different things to meet people and distract myself from the inside uglies. I don't do this all at once, of course but I have taken classes in art, tarot, yoga, exercise-dance. I joined a group that works for Peace and Justice in the world. I go to lectures at a nearby college, and also go to free concerts they have there for students. I got involved in 'causes' I believe in, where I think I can make a (small) difference. I write letters to the editor. I write poems and stories that have nothing to do with therapy. I go thrift shopping. I take myself (& insiders) to a movie once every month or so. I cook for fun (chocolate chip cookies! Yum!) and then I share some of what I cook with friends, because I live alone and if I ate it all I would be as big as a house. I volunteer for the blind. I joined a book club, and a bicycle club. Most of the time, no one has a clue that I'm in therapy. I only tell people who I'm very close to, and it takes a long time for me to feel that close to someone new. But I think the answer to 'telling' is really just up to you--do whatever is comfortable for you. I don't think there's anything 'wrong' about telling. I'm just not comfortable with it. I think it's been very helpful for me to do something besides therapy all the time. Try it and let us know how it works for you!

Good luck!