Wild Minds Network

Where wild minds come to rest

I have not been keeping up with the community on this site, which I regret. I was so happy to find people like myself initially – it was such joy to know that you all exist. But, as often happens, life gets in the way. I don’t know how much traffic this site gets or if anyone will actually read my little scribe, but I can’t think of who else might understand what I am going through. And I just need to get my thoughts out there. The thing is, what I recall from my limited presence here is that many of you feel an overwhelming sense of burden from your daydreaming habits (= why it has been labeled here as maladaptive). I would say that the burden of it for me has been less severe – yes, for most of my life, I felt my daydreaming limited (though not eliminated) my active participation in real life. And there were many times when I wished I could turn these creative energies into something (ANYTHING) more productive. But in other ways, I found the escape of it both comforting and perhaps even necessary for my mental health. So a burden and a gift, I suppose, for me. For a time, I was able to release some of the story “pressure” by writing them down. It was thrilling, mostly and sometimes frustrating (when I didn’t have the time). But it did help with the obsessiveness of it. Sorry, I digress.

My point is that the vibe I got from reading others’ posts on this site (years ago now) was that many wished they could stop. That this was something to be cured of. Or at least tamed. So what I am about to say may fall on deaf ears. The thing is, it has stopped for me. I am “cured” at the age of 47. And I am fucking miserable. I could always rely on my stories to get me through the most boring, monotonous and difficult times of my life. I never minded being on my own, because I could dive into the worlds I had created. And there was some comfort in the idea that if ever I was severely injured – paralyzed, stroke, or even stranded on a goddamned deserted island or sent to a prison cell – that I could cope because I would then have all the time I’d ever wanted to dream up my worlds and my characters and live another existence. But then it stopped. I can’t say exactly when. I do have a busy life – I am married with three children and a full time job. Maybe I just got better and better about pushing the stories to the side while I dealt with reality? Maybe it is the fucking Internet and social media and all the electronic magnets that fill up the interstitial moments. All I know is that now, I can’t seem to get lost in make-believe even when I consciously try. It’s like that part of my brain has gone dead. And I miss it so much. I am so profoundly, catastrophically lonely. Is this what other people always feel? No wonder there is an opioid epidemic! JFC, its awful. Nothing but reality. It’s actually terrifying, too. What if something happened and I had a stroke like my Dad did two years ago and was confined to a wheelchair without the ability to speak? Before, I would just smile at the thought of being able to just escape permanently to my worlds. But now – shit! It would just be…reality.

In any case, I would love to hear from anyone else who has had this happen. Especially if they can tell me it comes back. Or if not, misery loves company at the very least. Seriously, though, careful what you wish for. 

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Comment by Source on August 11, 2017 at 4:34pm

If you can't even remember when it stopped or why then I can understand why you see its disappearance as a negative thing. That vibe you described is that of people who wanted to find a "cure" and then apply it, to see the effort of besting that powerful energy sink finally bear fruit, not to suddenly find it gone with not so much as a hint of an explanation; that kind of "solution" is as bitter and hollow as it gets. It's one thing to kick a parasite out and feel the release from the burden it had built up, it's another to have the whole thing suddenly ripped out.

Don't let the shock cripple you, or you'll fall into a horrible rut and it'll be unfathomably hard to get out, even more so than it would have been with daydreaming.

Comment by Emily on August 11, 2017 at 11:25am

I've never thought of it like that. It's true many of us want this thing to be cured and go away but do we really? Like you,  I enjoy having my time to escape and go to my other world, it's one of the biggest things that makes me truly happy. We tell ourselves we want to get rid of maladapitve daydreaming but to tell you the truth if I lost my world I would be devastated, that's how much I truly enjoy it.  I suppose it's a bittersweet kind of thing for you. 

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