Where wild minds come to rest
Hello! I'm a teen, and I've had an "active imagination" for as long as I can remember. As an introvert, I've never had any problem entertaining myself--when I get bored, I just create appealing scenarios in my head, zone out, and daydream about them over and over again. Through the years, though, this daydreaming has grown from harmless to somewhat concerning. My daydreaming has become less controllable, and it has become harder and harder to turn it off and focus on the real world. I've always wondered what this condition is. Do other people have it? Am I the only one who relives imaginative fantasies constantly? A discovery on Tumblr and a Google search later, I found the answer. I am a maladaptive daydreamer. I daydream because it makes me happy--it distracts me from the problems in my life, and lets me live as someone else.
Indeed, MD is my form of escapism, except I escape to being another person. I assume most people with MD daydream about themselves, almost like a Walter Mitty situation. I kind of do, but it's a bit different. I daydream about an extension of myself. When I was younger, her name was Alice, but I have decided I like a different name better. Now, her name is Evangeline. I can't imagine my life without her, because she is me. Evangeline is me, but her characteristics and personality have been fine tuned by the real me. This sounds scary, like I have multiple personalities. I don't think I do. I can differentiate between the real me and Evangeline, and the real world and my made up one. My MD basically works like an ever-evolving movie inspired by everything I experience or like in my real life with the perfect protagonist. Evangeline possesses all the traits I like about myself, except amplified, and the opposite of all the traits I hate about myself. Evangeline goes on crazy adventures, chasing after criminals with Sherlock Holmes (the Benedict Cumberbatch version, not the Robert Downey Jr. one), or protecting women from rapists on the street with her combative street-fighting, or wielding knives as a knife-thrower, or partying with Youtubers like Dan and Phil, or lecturing about philosophy at a college. Most of the time Evangeline lives in London, in a giant house with different rooms for all of her exciting hobbies, including an entire library, a music room with every instrument imaginable, all of which she can play, and a giant bedroom with fancy furniture. Evangeline is gorgeous, thin, and strong. She has amazing athletic ability. She is extremely intelligent--a genius who went to college years earlier than is the norm. She likes philosophy, and exploring religion, and speaks over ten languages. She is talented in every sense of the word. But, she is not perfect. She is an orphan, abandoned by her mother as an infant. She struggles to form close relationships, especially those of romantic nature. She struggles with mental health. So, Evangeline is not "perfect", per say, but she is the perfect protagonist. Her story has excitement, thrill, joy, and angst. It's no wonder I'm always distracted by it.
I have MD, and I'm not sure how to feel about it. I have never actually told anyone about this, save for the slightest mention that I sugar-coated extremely, which took place years ago. Daydreaming fills me with an overwhelming sense of contentment. I have always lived with it, and have done little to nothing to stop it. Ever since I was a young child I have fallen asleep every night to my daydreams about the perfected version of myself. Evangeline distracts me from my emotions, but also allows me to express them to myself. When I feel sad, something sad happens in Evangeline's life, but she overcomes it. When the people around her comfort her, somehow I feel better. When I feel angry, Evangeline does something like winning an argument with a sexist, and I feel triumphant. When I feel happy, Evangeline spends precious moments with her friends, who, despite all her flaws, love her for who she is. In turn, I feel appreciated. I've tried to turn this habit into something productive by writing about it, but by the time I conceptualize Evangeline's story into words, I've already moved on to a fantasy that I like more. Indeed, I daydream because it makes me happy. I realize it is a problem, but I'm too content doing it to stop. I'm not sure I could stop, even if I tried. But I wonder what life could be like if I could just live in the moment. What do other people think about when their mind wanders? Do they just think about their actual selves? Doesn't that get so boring?
So here is what I'm wondering--am I alone in having MD revolving around a character? Do other people daydream about extensions of themselves, or different people entirely, or just their regular selves? Is my habit abnormal? Should I seek help? Please do let me know, or share your experiences. I'm new to finding out about MD and this site, but reading other people's experiences is consoling. Thanks for reading!