Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
It started when I was twelve. I used to day dream during classes (especially Chemistry), long car rides, and, of course, before bed.
After 14 years, he's still there, same face, just minor personality changes.
Whenever I'm in a new relationship, he goes away for a bit, but inevitably comes back when the love tones down, or I'm unhappy with anything in my real love life.
I've been in a happy relationship now for 4 years. My boyfriend is amazing, he's the first person I ever spoke to about my fantasies. But the imaginary boyfriend is still there.
How sad is it to not get flutters when you kiss your real boyfriend, but to sometimes do, when you imagine (or write about) kissing the imaginary one?
I used to feel depressed and cry at the thought that he didn't actually exist. I've resigned to the fact now, and I'm grateful, because this constant yearning has inspired me a lot, in my songwriting, and, recently, writing a book which I just finished.
This is a song called 'If Only You Were Real', written about me and MD. I told people it's written from the perspective of a slightly crazy person... maybe I am a little bit haha?
This is a song I wrote when I decided to give up daydreaming, and consequently, the imaginary boyfriend. I managed only for a little while.
I think letting it out through art keeps it under control, and I'm grateful to 'him' for inspiring me. Is that crazy? When I see it written down like this it certainly seems like it :) I feel pretty normal in day to day life, though. Do your fantasies inspire you to create things?
Hmm it's difficult to say if he has a face. A whole face yes. I can see his facial expression very clear and I can focus on his eyes. But trying to picture how e.g. his nose looks doesn't work and I think I couldn't draw him. But I get very confused when I come across guys looking similar :D What about yours? How do you see him?
Hey you actually reminded me of something. I used to draw comics when I was about 12. Now I found that long lost huge folder about my first imaginary love story. About me and an anime char. I wrote new adventures with an additional female char. Haha it's soo obvious that this new char represnted me and I was crushing on this guy. I remember my brother used to read the story back then and even he realized somehow how much that guy ment to me and made jokes about me all the time... that was scary :D
Oh wow, that's an early age! Would you tell me more about it? For example, I'm curious how old were you imagining him to be when you were seven? Was he a kid like you? Did you kinda 'grow up' together? Cause for me he was always grown-up, which was weird when I was twelve, but it's normal now (he kinda stayed the same age from beginning until now).
Same. Except I met mine when I was seven.
no, they do not !! what a pity for I think what you do is great !!!
Feeling a little bit down lately. Not in a great place with my boyfriend (the real one) so the imaginary bf comes out quite a lot.
The other day I cried thinking how sad it is that probably the one person I've loved the strongest in this life is imaginary. It's the saddest thing, crying because someone doesn't exist. I used to cry for this when I was a teenager, hasn't happened in years. I'm getting teary as I type. What is wrong with me?...
Oh, but that imaginary boyfriend exists, just not in the way you think.
You already noticed how the intensity of his presence fluctuates according to necessity. Your life is stressful and heavy, and he acts as a source of relief within your mind. The two are intrinsically connected, with the weight of one determining the strength of the other. It's how MDD works as a whole, there's a dream world that reshapes itself constantly to compensate for the negative feelings caused by real life.
It's a fool's bargain, though, and a slippery downward spiral. The worse the outside situation becomes, the deeper you retreat into the inside. Then you realize that you have nothing but smoke and ghosts in your hands, which puts even more weight on you and makes you escape even deeper. You've already experienced this many times, have you not? And in the process you have sundered yourself from yourself, with an ever-widening abyss tearing you apart between fantasy and reality spinning ever faster in opposing directions. This creates a ton of painful friction between the two, bringing you to tears when it's powerful enough.
What is wrong with you is that you don't understand what is at the heart of it. Yet.
Search your feelings, your thoughts, your memories. Ask yourself, what went wrong so long ago that led you to this point? What causes all of this? And when you've found the causes, rip them open and find what caused them. Repeat the process recursively, until your mind has nothing left to show you, and when you have reached the true bottom you will know - and feel - what needs to be dealt with. I know a lot of this could sound like nonsense right now, and if you decide to do what I suggested it will feel like a more and more painful trip to the bowels of hell. It will consume time and energy and I cannot tell you how hard it will be or how long it will take, that is for you to discover, but you can trust me when I say that the reward is well worth the effort.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Source. May I ask, do you daydream yourself?
I have actually wondered about the cause of it in the past. I can't find anything! My life has always been pretty good. I've always been at top at school and uni, I've always had lots of guys (admirers) around me. I haven't suffered any trauma or anything like that.
I've always had huge aspirations, though. But then wouldn't it make more sense if I daydreamed about a successful career? About being a famous musician or something like that?
I'm up for a trip to the bowels of hell, as you say, if it means I can fix something. But I don't think there's anything there. It's scary how empty it feels.
I have created and nurtured unrealistic standards and now I have to live with it.
If I didn't daydream, I would never have come to this site in the first place. In fact, all the understanding on which I based my comment comes from my own experience, which is apparently very similar to others once stripped of the details.
I also hit a dead end, about two years ago. I tried to use that method to find out what was actually wrong and I hit an apparent bottom that just didn't feel right, but I couldn't crack that one open so I thought that was the end of it. Then half a year ago I was forced to resume that dig with new, better "tools", and that's where the hell trek really started.
If you never suffered anything at all you wouldn't be in this situation, MDD doesn't just happen; something happened at some point, which created the core of what became your current condition. It makes sense that you couldn't tell what, though, because if my guessing is right that core is doing a hell of a job of hiding itself.
Having high aspirations doesn't necessarily mean you'll daydream about them. You see, the content in our dream world isn't directly copy-pasted from the outside. All that's there are manifestations of our own emotions, or lack thereof, with such "masks" slapped on them. You can daydream about being a powerful empress without actually aspiring to be one.
I see you already have an inkling of what awaits beyond the borders of the dreamverse. The flood of daydreams occupies an immense amount of space that would be otherwise completely empty. It's the abyss I described, the one that keeps you separated from yourself, filled with such a flood as an unconscious attempt to bridge the gap. That flood also keeps you from accessing that emptiness and seeing what's actually going on.
You don't have to live with those standards, you just think you do. Believing that thoughts are rigid and immutable once established is a mistake I also made; that rigidness destroyed everything I believed in, and when there was nothing left it destroyed itself.