Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I have been daydreaming for years. When I say years, I mean I cant remember when I started.
Of recently, my daydreaming has started to make me depressed. In my daydreams, I dream of real people that I know and played out my interactions with them. What is more disheartening is that I often missed out on my real life. It was like I was so desperate to be friends with the characters in my daydreams (who are real people but not people that I am close to) that I missed out on the friends I actually had. I havent been able to socialize as much. I have lived in 6 different countries and it seems like I am on an endless search to find myself. I have friends but they are scattered due to the fact I have moved a lot and they move too. I just feel like I missed out on the real world and real experiences because I daydreamed all the time. I have almost become disillusioned into thinking that my daydreams can become true. Can anyone relate? What have you done to overcome this?
Depends what you mean. If the only thing that was different was I didn't daydream, nothing would really be different. I'd still be an introvert with social phobia who is too rejection-sensitive to put herself out there, I'd just be playing a hell of a lot more video games or watching tv or something. Under the circumstances, no, actually, I feel like it enriched my life because it allowed myself a venue to explore myself, feel a little less lonely, and process thoughts and feelings.
If I was mentally healthy as well, then yeah, there'd be a world of difference. But I stopped pining for that potential me a long time ago. I do have a few good, close friends, but unless I'm starting to feel my introvert senses tingling that I need to withdraw and attend to my fantasies, I prefer talking to them over daydreaming. Daydreaming can get close to the real emotion, but it can't beat it, and so when I'm with people usually the daydreams go away because I'm getting a little of what the daydream is usually substituting for. It's the only time my brain doesn't drift there.
Yes! I can relate to your story. I too was disillusioned into thinking that my daydreams can become true. It sounds so crazy. Dreams are just dreams, right? Thing is, to overcome this, I keep on thinking of real people's reactions to my day dreaming. Getting through school, everybody thought I was so weird and was 'living on another planet.' I had the illusion I could win them as friends and dates, but I was so dead wrong. They rejected being friends with me, because I was just an extremely
quiet person. They also felt uncomfortable with all the strange things I did around them, in reaction to my day dream life.
My mom actually sympathized with my peers who turned me off, feeling I must be effecting them at school with my inappropriate laughter.
I grew up in my hometown for 26 years, believing I'd have a life enriched with relationships, but didn't get my facts straight.
At the time, I didn't know I had Autism. As I was a very shy and quiet young kid. When normal kids hung out in groups in and out of school, I always just went straight home to do my homework, listen to music and watch TV. My dad lectured me every weekend about making some friendships, but I just found him annoying and was complacent about my future. I didn't think anything seriously unfortunate was going to happen for years to come. Well, I was a care-free kid with no life experience.
By 30, when learned that I was Autistic, this shocked me, because it explained why I never had a social life, when I was growing up as a kid. I realized being depraved of friends and relationships prompted me to want to live a day dream life, instead of a real one. I could've had it so much better if I learned this in the first place. Mom told me I never liked playing with other kids. So, I now see, my current lifestyle makes so much sense.