Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Hey, I was looking for some advice as to how to cope with the fact that the characters that you make up are fictional and yet matter so much. Loving people that arent actually real or present in my life is a really painful experience and I was wondering whether anyone had any coping mechanisms to aid that.
Well, what do you mean "Loving people that arent actually real or present in my life is a really painful experience"? Do you mean that you are shame about it, or do you mean that you have been hoping them to be real but always getting hit by the fact that they aren't?
If it is the former one, what I have learnt is to be shameless about it. Plenty of us, have been MD about someone real that we are obsessed with, and imagine dates in our stories while not knowing them personally. In reality, this is simply equal to loving an imaginary person while secretly denying this fact by trying to match the person to someone we thought we know. You might say, hey this isn't normal, but no one in the world has the right to define what is "normal" for the other person. In fact, as long as there are enough people who love an imaginary person themselves, this act itself is by no mean considered as "weird". You might not be able to say it out loud, but, you can definitely believe that there are more people who love an imaginary person nearby, by secretly doing it yourself you would join as a part of the Society! Meanwhile, when the day your real life true love approaches, you can always leave the Society and go on with a new, happy life.
For the latter one though, you may need to get creative a bit; some direct solution, e.g.engaging in real life simply doesn't work for a lot of people, and I guess you have probably tried it yourself. I must admit though, when the character is based on a real life person, most MDers like me would pick the shortcut of thinking ourselves as loving a real life person instead of the imaginary character. However, I do know one MDer whose character is also purely imaginary same as you. One of the thought he has, is that he will eventually meet the character after his life on Earth has ended, and this thought ease the tension of his relationship a lot. Interestingly, knowing his character being purely imaginary actually make him feel much less guilt to his wife in real life, because he has no chance to cheat with an imaginary character, so it will not involve any risk.