Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I know this is a funny question to ask on an online forum, but I can sense a connection between my fantasizing and the way I have used the internet. They're correlated, if that makes sense. If I think back on times in my life when I was fantasizing the most and unhappiest, my internet activity is often very high at that time as well. I can use the web to fuel fantasies and obsessions. I also have an easy time finding online friends and often feel that I am closer to internet friends than anyone in my real life. I've lamented this and wished for better friendships IRL, but I think I may actually not know how to become close to and maintain friendships with IRL people.
I have been trying to cut back on fantasizing in my daily life ever since discovering MD last week. I'm trying to pay attention to when I fantasize and especially when I start to hold imaginary conversations with people, which I do all the time. I've cut back, but I'm experiencing a bit of withdrawal. Last night it really became a feeling of urgency, that I needed to step out of what feels like the madness of daily life and be in my own mind for awhile. I ended up spending several hours just reading stuff online, which satisfied that urge. I'd never made an explicit connection between my fantasizing and my internet habits before, but now I can tell they're connected and that makes me feel even more fucked up (honestly) because the internet is such a huge part of my life and I don't know what I will do if I have to cut back on BOTH! How do you cope with daydreaming withdrawal? What can you do to quiet your mind?
I use the Internet to listen to music and read fantasy stories, which triggers my MD. Sometimes when I listen to music, I have vivid fantasies going on in my head. I know I use music as an excuse to relax my brain, but in reality, it makes my mind even more active.
I try to withdraw from MD all at once, but that didn't work. What I do is try to limit my MD to certain times of the day. For example, I set aside an hour to MD. Afterwards, I shake myself out of MD and try to focus on doing real life tasks. Meditation can help calm the mind, and I find that yoga helps too. But lately, I've been skimping on meditation because it's just so boring to sit still and do nothing. I guess I need more discipline and motivation.
I experienced severe withdrawal when I quit MD. Hands shaking, loss of appetite, fatigue, increased heart rate and so on. On the other side, MD was masking a depression which I didn't know I had prior to deciding to get rid of daydreaming, so when I quit all those things slapped me in the face. Now it's been two months that I don't daydream although I keep having imaginary conversations from time to time. What I do instead is spend huge amounts of time on the internet which is equally bad. Internet is just like MD for me, it's a way to prevent myself from facing real life and my own mind.
it is harder for me to DD when online. I still do but not deeply. So me being on the internet limits my MD. I have not found a way to quiet my mind. Keeping it cluttered up with lots of things going on at once seems to keep DDs at bay. When I get still or quiet, I DD deeply.
Internet also limits my DD. Or, rather, it helps me keep my DD organized, as it is always in line with what I do online.
I never realized this before.
Keeping myself overactive (physically, mainly) in real life seems to always work on limiting my MD. Doing housework, going outside for buisness, talking with people e.t.c. It makes me keep my mind on the matters at hand. Finding the energy for running around may be hard at times, but it could be worth a shot-at least you get a lot of suff done :)
I feel like online activity stops me from DDing but it acts in a similar way (allows me to chase ideas down rabbit holes, delve deeper, chase thoughts) so I think I may need to limit it in the same way I need to limit DD. TV watching, too. I feel like I will have to go all luddite and stay very busy, which will be hard for me because I feel like hometime should be downtime! Reminds me of when I quit drinking -- feeling very restless, grouchy, looking for that habitual thing I've relied on for so long. Ugh.
Internet activity can be a trigger for me - I read stories online that develop in to storylines for my dd
When I'm on the computer, I am either reading stories or playing Sims 3. They are both very similar to daydreaming.