Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I dont want to give this up either I see mdd as something that enhances my life. I have ocd and I suffer because of that but daydreaming cheers me up and brings happiness to my life.
I am conflicted about my answer. On one hand, I would most definitely be happy about doing away with my constant, excessive daydreaming all together. This would mean that I would gain back my motivation for things in life, and I would be able to concentrate better than I currently do now. I may even have better relationships with other people.
On the flip side, my daydreams are my much welcomed escape from reality. Many times, I find myself wishing that my daydreams would become my reality. My dreams calm me down and make me feel happy and secure in times of distress. They help me to forget all the bad things that happen in this world, most of which I don't know how to handle. I've even grown attached to my dream self, who embodies everything that I wish to be as a person. So it would be hard for me to let her go.
I don't want to defeat this necessarily. I want to control it. I've been getting better at controlling it, but now I fear that it might disappear completely and I don't want that. I love my daydreams, I really do. I have grown attached to them. However daydreaming too much can cause problems.
I like it when it's just in the background and it's something to do when I feel like it. I don't like it when I have a massive 'need' to do it and it doesn't go away, and I don't like it when I'm in the 'real' world too much. I read a book on meditation from the 60s and it said that you've got to go out of your mind sometimes to stay sane, and I need my DD to channel my creativity. Without it, my emotions go haywire and music and art aren't enough. I start feeling like I'm getting strong ADHD ad OCD symptoms (I have Asperger's) and I become hyper sexual.
My character in my DD helps me interact with people in real life. My DD has helped me learn how to deal with people, deal with situations, talk things through and understand different consequences and how to understand things from others' perspectives. I don't see how this is any different than someone talking to their pets or to God.
I don't like it though when it becomes a drug and all I want to do is be my DD character. I also don't like it when i want to be in my DD so bad I nearly have breakdowns because I realise how far away my DD is from real life and I'll never be my character.
I want to stop. I have been trying to stop for over a year now. Living with maladaptive daydreaming isn't really living. The misconception that I used to have was that by daydreaming, I could create a world and characters and experience life, just life that I could control and make everything I wanted it to be. After finally coming up for air and seeing life, at least for a few weeks at a time, without daydreaming, I realized that real life is something completely different from life inside my head. Daydreaming is really only like watching a movie, just one that I am seriously invested in. It isn't life. I mean, I don't even have the sense of touch in my daydreams. How can that even pretend to be real life?
In my opinion, it is not only a dangerous habit but a pointless one. Those moments that are spent daydreaming could be spent in the much fuller real world. Or in useful, inspiring corners of your mind, the parts that actually process the world and improve your understanding of and love for it as opposed to running from it. In addition, it is impossible to get any new experiences of life from your daydreams. You are creating the world, and you can only create it out of the parts of the world that you know. The people that exist in your mind are not real people, they are your foolish perceptions of people. They cannot surprise you or teach you anything new. You cannot gain any wisdom or strength from them. You can repeat the feelings of friendship and love that you have experienced before or, more often and more uselessly for me, that you have seen played out for you, but they cannot love you in any new, surprising way that changes your life or your person.
In my daydreams, I cannot actually experience pain, or love, or anything. I can pretend that I am, but why? One moment of actual life contains more things to be felt than an entire lifetime of daydreams. And yes, this world sucks sometimes, but I would much rather experience real, aching, not-fun-at-all pain than that which I create for my own pleasure. That is such an incredibly obscene thought, that pretending to be physically and mentally tortured can give me some sort of weird high. I like this world. It has music, and people, and the color yellow. And yes, my daydreams have these things too, but only because I experienced them here first. My daydreams do not have a lot of things that this world has. Once again, I can't feel anything. In my mind, I can die a violent death or kiss my true love, but not really. There is more sensation in accidentally bumping into someone on the street. I cannot taste. I cannot smell. I cannot read a book. I can only pretend to do these things, but that is so pointless when I could actually be out here doing them.
When I daydream, I miss out. Not only on living a fulfilling life, because I honestly was doing reasonably well in my life even when I was daydreaming full-time. I miss out on this moment. My good friend dead British journalist G.K Chesterton once explained that everything in life has a poetry to it, even the things that seem to be the most mundane. I don't want to miss out on any more of that.