Where wild minds come to rest
I just registered to this website after stumbling upon this article http://www.youbeauty.com/mind/maladaptive-daydreaming - I had no idea this condition had a name and although I really like the idea of people openly talking about it, I'm sad that the 'maladaptive daydreaming' comes with such a negative connotation. I admit that there are definitely downsides to this habit and I can understand that some of us have a harder time than others, but I found that -even though MD keeps me from certain progress in 'real life'- it also enriches my 'real life' in very many ways.
If life is a bundle of memories, emotions, thoughts, connections and intense experience then our imagined world can add life to life. I agree that you need to find a way to manage or balance it, but I've 'really' learned a lot from the experiences I had that aren't considered as real. I sometimes catch myself understanding myself better thanks to it, and apply the experience in real life. If you can analyze your daydreams, the story lines, the tendencies,... you can learn a lot about your subconscious, about your internal drive, your true motives and yes, your stumbling blocks. This understanding can propel you forward in real life.
A friend of mine has the same positive way of looking at his 'condition' as me and he's gone a lot farther in surrendering to the dreams to the point where he couldn't remember anymore whether entire story lines had really happened or not, whether they were part of the real, or the imagined. This can happen easily, since you can feel a stronger connection to the imagined than you do to the real. We discussed this and I think the difference was that he embraced the daydreaming from very early on, whereas I condemned and fought it when I was about 16 or 17 cause I realized back then how it could cause me a lot of trouble to just keep going the way I did.
Knowing there is no way I could ever really stop (and I'm not sure I would even want to) I gave myself a couple of rules to follow that gave me the feeling I could control it to a certain extend.
Ultimately, this thing is part of my life and being able to do it is part of my personality, of my identity. It's part of why I'm able to work in the creative sector. It is something I'm proud of and even before reading about the name I used to tell people about it, mention 'daydreaming' when it felt honest and authentic. Most people responded rather curious than judgmental.
I'd like to encourage everyone to love that part of yourself and find a way where you can use this ability as a tool, where you can control it instead of it controlling you. But don't fight all of it, cause in many ways it is a gift. Very expensive acting seminars are being given for people to develop that kind of imagination. World famous actors would kill for it - unless of course they're like us and they have it already :-)