Wild Minds Network

Where wild minds come to rest

Do you? If you could wake up tomorrow with this gone would you want to?
In all honesty, I don't want to live without it. I don't think life would be worth living without it.
I'll give up everything else, my social isolation, eating disorder a thousand times before I give this up. I thought I may have been ready to recently, but I never had to imagine living without it, so no I don't want to give it up. *Sigh*

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Hey Corinne, just want to ask, how many hours a day do you spend daydreaming? And is it affecting your real life?
I don't want to either. It's all I know. I have no family or real friends outside of there........but for me it's horribly toxic. I'm communicating with a nice lady in NY who's been studying this. She doesn't recommend quitting completely. I'm not sure I could. I've tried more times than I can count, but it never works. I can daydream less for awhile if I'm busy & distracted, but it always comes back full force after awhile. I'm almost 30 & desperate to make something of my life, and I know I'll never be able to achieve what I want to as long I do this. Whatever % of my life that's spent in my fantasy world is a % less than I'll achieve in this one. I'm too competitive & desperate to be successful for this to be ok for me. I need to feel smart. I need to feel better than people. I need to be the best at everything I'm interested in. Having my fantasy world has made me think in more ways than I ever imagined. It's expanded my mind, but it's made me desperate for outside approval. That's what I get there after all. To not have that in my outside world is just unbearable. It makes me want to achieve more in general because I hate even more how people see me. I hate being seen as a quiet, lonely loser by people I'm sure are inferior. I wanna scream "How dare these morons see me that way?" I know it's crazy, but that's what this forum is for...... ....unashamedly admitting the crazy.
Anyway, it's hard to imagine quitting entirely..............but that's also because my outside life is so inferior to me. If I had enough to keep me interested in the outside world then maybe I'd quit naturally. The only time I daydream less is when I'm inspired by outside events. It's a vicious cycle, but if I can do enough & keep up that momentum enough to distract me for long enough...........one day I may realize that I'd never gone back. It's definitely not something I could do on purpose. The pressure of that knowledge would get to me & I'd cave very quickly. I'd definitely have to realize it in retrospect.

Either way, I don't recommend intentionally trying to quit for anyone. It sounds unrealistic. I would need to quit to have a full life, but lots of people daydream & lead full lives. If we can dial back the addiction to moderate use then perhaps there wouldn't be a need to.
Honestly, I do not want to defeat this. I like talking about it in forums like this because because I don't feel as crazy but I have no real desire to stop. I think it does interfere with my life but not to the extremes like it does with other people. If I quit I would probably be more social and put more effort into relationships with people but I really don't want to stop. I also agree with Cordellia that there is no way I ever could stop completely. I've literally been doing it my whole life and my fantasy characters are a part of me and I could never give it up. I have found that I do it less when I'm on these forums discussing it. Does anyone else find that? The more it is on my mind that it probably is an actually disorder, the less I seem to do it. Again I am SO thankful for Cordellia creating this website!! I can't believe I actually have a place to openly talk about this with people who know exactly what I'm talking about.
If I could wake up tomorrow and this could be gone, I would. Years ago, I would have had the exact same response that you had, Corrine. But now, as I race toward 40 at the speed of light, I find myself wanting to make my real life more damn interesting so I can dump my fantasy life. I am terrified of trying to stop, though. I feel like, if I didn't have such an active and detailed fantasy life, that I could accomplish more in real life......get my house renovations completed, actually finish a hobby project, clean the damn living room.....Ha, ha.... but escaping into my fantasy life is way more fun than any of that and it is just too easy.
I would give anything to wake up tomorrow and have this gone. i have been fantasising compulsively for 30 years and as a result have none of the things in my life that a normal middle aged woman would have. anytime i wanted success, money, a family, a career etc i could find it all - in my head, i never needed to work for anything, risk failure, loss - it was all in 'la la land' where i have spent the majority of my time over those 30 years.
The most success i am having is to address this using 12 step work - i also have issues with alcohol (and with food) and attend a 12 step fellowship. I see my addiction to fantasising as EXACTLY the same thing as my addiction to alcohol - just more difficult to address because the compulsion means it is always immediately available, unlike substances you can avoid taking. This 'disorder' has blighted my life, ruined my life almost but i do understand that at the time i took it up, it was a much needed escape, a coping mechanism, maybe even saved my sanity when i was very young and unable to cope with pressures of dysfunctional family life. I have been amazed at finding forums online that discuss the issue - for years and years it has been my most shameful secret; i never thought i would find another human who did the same things as me. I would point out as well that i hear fantasising, even compulsive fantasising mentioned fairly often in 'the rooms' of AA. There is no doubt it is an addiction. Good to hear everyone.. K
Hi I have a question in regards to what you guys daydream about? I am 21 soon, and I also have this problem of daydreaming when I don't want to! Like...theres things that need be done so it distresses when it gets really, out of control. I have been trying to stop since I was 11 years old so it hasn't stopped completely. But these days if I write it out, meditate and keep these habits up (which is a challenge in itself - particulary with buddhist meditation) I can control that 'daydreaming mode/desire' and put it aside to do whatever else I need to do.

Through journal writing I realized all my excessive daydreaming often evovle around men?LOL. that sounds crazy like it's some teenage fantasy or desperate women (it's not) but let me explain. Its revolves around the idea of love, receiving someone's attention, desire to have the same social freedom as other ppl my age, popularity/acceptance/fashion and friends. Those are the base themes of which entire, intricate events and scenarious are constructed around. I suppose some of these link to my unhappiness as a child and emotional neglect from my father - whom I found overbearing and this distressed me greatly as a child. So I was wondering, if you are willing to share, what themes/stuff do you daydream about?

Thank you for making this website by the way. It's interesting the term 'maladaptive daydreaming' has come about and I can't believe there are others who do similar things to me while daydreaming...such as pacing. Makes me think this may be some 'behaviour' that should have it's own name.
Hi Ruby! I was also very glad to find this site - as it makes me feel less alone.....My daydreaming consists of a central male character - my fake husband - and usually some side characters - our fake friends... The scenarios are day-to-day things... like I dream that we are having friends over for dinner, or going out to a fancy part, etc. Mostly just normal things.
Nice to meet you! Jenny

Ruby said:
Hi I have a question in regards to what you guys daydream about? I am 21 soon, and I also have this problem of daydreaming when I don't want to! Like...theres things that need be done so it distresses when it gets really, out of control. I have been trying to stop since I was 11 years old so it hasn't stopped completely. But these days if I write it out, meditate and keep these habits up (which is a challenge in itself - particulary with buddhist meditation) I can control that 'daydreaming mode/desire' and put it aside to do whatever else I need to do.

Through journal writing I realized all my excessive daydreaming often evovle around men?LOL. that sounds crazy like it's some teenage fantasy or desperate women (it's not) but let me explain. Its revolves around the idea of love, receiving someone's attention, desire to have the same social freedom as other ppl my age, popularity/acceptance/fashion and friends. Those are the base themes of which entire, intricate events and scenarious are constructed around. I suppose some of these link to my unhappiness as a child and emotional neglect from my father - whom I found overbearing and this distressed me greatly as a child. So I was wondering, if you are willing to share, what themes/stuff do you daydream about?

Thank you for making this website by the way. It's interesting the term 'maladaptive daydreaming' has come about and I can't believe there are others who do similar things to me while daydreaming...such as pacing. Makes me think this may be some 'behaviour' that should have it's own name.
i dont think so... id be so bored!! i mean i spend hours doing this so what would i do with all that spare time ha!! i think we're amazing people if we can just entertain ourselves for hours and not desperately need anyone around like some people do. id like to see what other "normal" people live like maybe just for a day.

Ive always thought of it as like my 'Drop dead fred' where it comes back and stays for longer when i really need it the most. it must be a coping mechanism of some kind maybe because reality isnt so good. I always wondered what pills it was that the girl in the film took at the end to get rid of fred and i thought maybe i could try some of them haha... but also in that film she battled some past demons with her father leaving and her mum being a superbitch so maybe thats why her fred left. i know that sounds crazy but its how i justify it to myself how much of my life ive wasted so far.
Drop dead fred: you've got it. I remember when I started university (18 years ago! urgh!) and didn't do it for the first couple of months, but as I became increasingly unhappy in my first year I turned more and more to fantasy, at one point being able - intermittently - to lucid dream (when you are dreaming, but you are in control, so you can fly / achieve amazing things as if they are real). I ended up only being 'awake' for less than six hours a day - fantasy was a complete refuge. Needless to say I didn't get very much done, and didn't actually resolve any of the things that were making me so miserable, some of which are still with me.

sky said:
i dont think so... id be so bored!! i mean i spend hours doing this so what would i do with all that spare time ha!! i think we're amazing people if we can just entertain ourselves for hours and not desperately need anyone around like some people do. id like to see what other "normal" people live like maybe just for a day.

Ive always thought of it as like my 'Drop dead fred' where it comes back and stays for longer when i really need it the most. it must be a coping mechanism of some kind maybe because reality isnt so good. I always wondered what pills it was that the girl in the film took at the end to get rid of fred and i thought maybe i could try some of them haha... but also in that film she battled some past demons with her father leaving and her mum being a superbitch so maybe thats why her fred left. i know that sounds crazy but its how i justify it to myself how much of my life ive wasted so far.
Actually it's classic addiction isn't it: rather than doing the work, turning to something that will give an immediate 'hit' of good feelings, ignoring the long term negative consequences. I wonder how common is the crossover between eating disorders / drugs / self harm and fantasy.

Kathy said:
I would give anything to wake up tomorrow and have this gone. i have been fantasising compulsively for 30 years and as a result have none of the things in my life that a normal middle aged woman would have. anytime i wanted success, money, a family, a career etc i could find it all - in my head, i never needed to work for anything, risk failure, loss - it was all in 'la la land' where i have spent the majority of my time over those 30 years.
The most success i am having is to address this using 12 step work - i also have issues with alcohol (and with food) and attend a 12 step fellowship. I see my addiction to fantasising as EXACTLY the same thing as my addiction to alcohol - just more difficult to address because the compulsion means it is always immediately available, unlike substances you can avoid taking. This 'disorder' has blighted my life, ruined my life almost but i do understand that at the time i took it up, it was a much needed escape, a coping mechanism, maybe even saved my sanity when i was very young and unable to cope with pressures of dysfunctional family life. I have been amazed at finding forums online that discuss the issue - for years and years it has been my most shameful secret; i never thought i would find another human who did the same things as me. I would point out as well that i hear fantasising, even compulsive fantasising mentioned fairly often in 'the rooms' of AA. There is no doubt it is an addiction. Good to hear everyone.. K
I'm very torn about whether this is something I want to stop.

Reasons to change

On the one hand, I completely agree with Cordellia's comment:

"I'm almost 30 & desperate to make something of my life, and I know I'll never be able to achieve what I want to as long I do this. Whatever % of my life that's spent in my fantasy world is a % less than I'll achieve in this one."

I'm intelligent and capabale and there are things that I care about very much, that I could maybe do something about if I lived out there rather than in my head.

I hold down a full time job and in the last couple of years I've started two volunteer jobs that fit in with my interests in poverty and social exclusion issues. But I feel like I'm very limited in what I can achieve in any of these roles because I'm only partly there. I can't really give to any of these roles properly because I don't care about them enough... I have little incentive to really try to do something with my real life because I can have something infinitely better whenever I want it. So I want to fix inequality in society ... hey, guess what, in my head I have!! A thousand times over!

Reasons NOT to change

One of my volunteer jobs is for an organization that helps people who, for one reason or another, are lonely (maybe they can't get out of the house for physical or psychological reasons, or perhaps they have no friends or family in the area). This job and the increasing incredulity of friends who can't understand how I can genuinely enjoy spending so much time alone has got me worried about what might happen were I to give this up. The people I see at my volunteer job, my friends (and, my former therapist told me, the vast majority of other people) HATE to be alone. Being single is less than ideal for them. Long periods of solitude are distressing to them.

If I didn't have 'other places to be', would I face what these people do? Would I have to make the huge compromises I see others make, desperately chasing friendship, companionship, romance? The fact that my daydreaming makes solitude very easy and very desirable for me gives me the chance to live in a way very few people do. A sort of 'path less travelled'. This propensity for solitude, inability to experience loneliness is so much a part of who I am. I'd have to completely restructure my life if it were to go away.

...

But every now and then the feeling surfaces that maybe I'm throwing my life away.
its insane that there are so many people in the world who do this...ive alway felt like the only mutant on the planet. im nineteen and pretty sure i wish i had more of a handle on this thing. no matter how good it feels, it is escapism and getting lost in that cant be healthy. i dont know if this is just me but im filled with this desire to just ...live. to create. to do. something. Im not happy. that much i know. this drive and my inability to enact it, it hurts. it weighs on my chest and hurts my heart everytime i step out my head and realize that months have passed and i havent actually done anything.i get sudden panic attacks (or at least thats what i think they are) and cry and bang my head against the wall. im terrified of the thought of looking back twenty-thirty years from today and knowing that i had done nothing with my life and that i ultimately had no value.

***im sorry if that all sounded selfindulgent and pointless angst....i guess there are bigger porblems to have but it feels good to share.

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