Wild Minds Network

Where wild minds come to rest

Dear Maladaptive Daydreamers,

I know it's tough.  I've been dealing with Maladaptive Daydreaming for all of my life.  For most of my life, it was in absolute control of me.  I was certain that it would never get better, let alone end, but it has...completely.  

The journey began in 2007...if you can even call that a real beginning, for I was a long way away from even learning what this was, but that is where I began because that is when I found my courage.   

In 2007, I was so ashamed of my life-long daydreaming habit, and I had had enough.  I had so many other problems of which I was not aware, but I knew this was the first place I had to start.  I knew it was crucial to my healing.  And so, I posted a long, sobbing plea for help on a mental health forum that I'm sure doesn't even exist anymore.  I posted and waited...and waited...

I spent 2 long years reading through loving, wrong, and downright mean answers and had all but given up.  Then,  randomly, on another desperate night in 2009, I went back to see what had been posted in my absence.  There, among the rough, was a little reply from a researcher who said she was studying this condition.  She didn't even say what it was.  I sent her an email, and that was the beginning of a long, arduous, and fabulous journey.   You might say she saved me, and in a way she did.  I certainly felt so, but it was I who made that decision, and it's been up to me to really help myself along the way. 

She certainly did provide me with a lot of needed answers and guidance.  She told me what she knew, which was a lot.  I knew, then, that there must be others feeling as lost and alone as I did, so I created this site.  I knew somehow I wasn't alone, and I didn't want you to be, either.  

I made another decision that was extremely important.  It's a decision we all have to make at one point in our lives, if we want to be well.  I decided to open up.  You see, we all have our proverbial closets, from which we need to emerge in order to be well.  We all have parts of ourselves that we hide from others for fear of not being accepted.  We wait for others to accept us before we share ourselves, but how can they do that if they don't know what there is to accept?  

I'm 36 now, and it took me most of my life to understand that in order to grow, you have to live like you just don't care what others think.  They may raise you and guide you, but you're the only one who's there, in your mind and body, from birth until death.  You're the only one who ever truly understand what's going on, and therefore when there's any question, your vote is the only one that counts.  If they've never heard of something, and you live with it, it doesn't matter who they are or what their experiences are, you're the expert on your own brain...always.   I'm not saying never to listen.  I'm saying that make it a conversation and not a dictation.  You can listen to then, but when it's your turn, take it.  Take the time to speak for yourself, and make sure you're heard.

It's now been 9 years since the beginning of my journey, and not only have I conquered my Maladaptive Daydreaming, but now it's another part of me, of which I can partake and enjoy when it suits me.  It's not always easy to turn off, but it doesn't have to control me.  

Taking charge of my own mind and life has lead to many other discoveries.  If I were to write my list of conditions of which I've been diagnosed, you might be astounded, but for me those are all issues conquered or being conquered.  They're things that at one point frustrated, angered, and crushed me, and now they're just parts of me that I manage, if they're even still around.  

As for the why, the how, the details of what I did, well, if you just start where I told you and really absorb it, your journey is well underway.  The rest, is up to you.  

Never, ever let anyone tell you they know you or your mind better than you do.  Never force yourself to hide in shame.  Shed the shame.  Free yourself, and the rest is downhill from there.  It's really going to be okay.

Be at peace.

Cordellia Amethyste Rose

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Comment by Cordellia Amethyste Rose on August 1, 2016 at 4:14pm

No, I don't mean focusing on positive thoughts.  I mean distracting yourself with another interest that is gripping enough to distract you from your daydreaming.  

Comment by Source on August 1, 2016 at 3:45pm
I still can't understand why focusing towards positive things would help if there's no control to keep the intention solid. If your own mind doesn't obey you, what effect can positive stimuli have aside from temporary placebo?
Comment by Cordellia Amethyste Rose on August 1, 2016 at 3:08pm

Well, I disagree that his only applies to that.  Most people I've spoken to have such deep inner judgment that they don't even see for sure how the outer world will react until they rip the mask off, and then there are a range of reactions.  Frankly, most I've met were really interested in it.  

Would you clarify your question, please?  Do you mean how do you get yourself to actually stop?  Well, forcing myself to live openly took away the negativity that kept pushing me back in.  I would get angry at myself and depressed, and that would make all my problems worse.  Having something positive on which to focus was also important.  Just telling yourself to stop won't work.  Accept that your mind works the way it works, and try to find other things that are so interesting that they distract you away from it.  Some people get sick of hearing to just do this or that because their suggestions aren't working and don't inspire them.  You have to find something that will inspire you.  Some people find turning their daydreams into art or writing helps.  Some find that having a group with whom to speak helps.  If that's the case, then living openly can be a great conversation-starter.  I have Autism, so I was born with a certain awkwardness, but this condition, instead of inspiring judgment, really inspired curiosity in a lot off people, and talking about it was a way of engaging with people.  I don't know what the trick will be for you, but you have to just keep trying until you figure it out.  The key is running towards something positive rather than running away from something you perceive to be negative.  Does that answer your question?  

Comment by Source on August 1, 2016 at 2:58pm
This is inspiring, but only effective if the problem is outside judgement. But if the problem is having a course of action but not the 'action', what then?
Comment by Roel on August 1, 2016 at 12:12am

Thank you so much Cordelia! This realy encouraged me :)

Comment by OhMyMagenta on July 30, 2016 at 10:01pm
Hopeful post! Glad to hear you're doing well Cordelia!

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