Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I started keeping track of my daydreams about a week ago. I have a little sheet of paper on which I label the date and tally each time I catch myself daydreaming. This method isn't perfect, but it does at least help me slow down a bit and realize what's really going on. It allows me to at least have a moment to think about what I'm really doing, which I believe is crucial for overcoming Maladaptive Daydreaming. I usually don't write down the content of my daydreams since they tend to differ a lot and are usually very short-lived. However, I'm starting to take some time to mentally note down what my daydreams are most often about, which is helping me to realize what I'm longing for the most in real life. With that clear, I can take steps to solving those problems in real life. But overall, I find that the most effective approach for dealing with daydreams is first stepping back from the situation and observing what is really happening in my life, then taking a few conscious breaths to focus my mind, followed by asking myself what I really want to do with the moment - do I really want to waste my time and energy on a daydream or do I want to do something meaningful with the moment - and finally responding in a healthy way, such as working out, drawing something, reading something inspiring, etc. Hope this helps and good luck!
I have too many daydreams to count :/
Like I cannot count them without forgetting tens of them, and by the time I have counted them all, I have made a new one already. And the line between idea and real daydream is always abstract. (some are very simple, some are veery complex, and I can't realy put them in categories :/ )It's very difficult for me to keep track of them all.
However I have been keeping track of some daydreams since I was a kid.
I made maps for the Burning Planet, an encyclopedia for the creatures that live there and I wrote about it as soon as I picked up writing. I also write about ofther daydreams, and doodle/take notes of the ones I'm still building.
But I can never take care of all of them :/
I do all of that, writing, drawing, mapping, creating names and relationships and story lines!
I just rewind the event in my mind and daydream about them. I have a very good memory so I don't need to write it down.
I used to keep journals, but those were more for diary-like reflections than actually writing things down for organization.
Since my daydreams are more like a second life for me, I can easily remember the places and faces of people I see regularly; and since I've been daydreaming in the same world for a number of years, I know everything by heart and have no need to map things out or write things down. The DD-related stories and drawings I create are for personal creative purposes only :)
Mo, I do the same as you. My DD is like a soap opera though. Some of the current stories started over 10 years ago now, but the 'world' has been around for much longer, probably 14-15 years. I used to love reminiscing with my fake friends about our good times....then it started to scare me because my real memories would be blurred or pushed to the side. Also I noticed that the story had continued on for years, and the fake 'me' in my DD was 40 when I was 12 but I kept on having to change my age and change it because real me kept on getting older.
Anyway, long story short. The more I documented things the scarier it got because the dates started being confusing and my age and my alter ego's age were overlapping. But I do do super weird things like design band posters and CD covers and tours etc for my fake band. I write music so some of my songs were written by me, and others written as my alter ego, and others still....written by the real me FOR my fake band. Sometimes I felt that my alter ego would write songs for ME. Well, it just got weirder and scarier. I told my dad about it once (the only one who knew about it, he's dead now though) and he said "there's no *band,* or *my alter ego's band,* they're YOUR band because you made them and you wrote all their songs." I then realised I could sing these songs in public as ME, and once I started doing that (I used to play in pubs) my songs became more mine and less my fake band's. Once I started recording them (I have a few CDs) I had to listen to myself singing songs I had in my mind as my alter ego singing (who's male) and I found this really difficult. Then I couldn't imagine my alter ego's band singing and playing them anymore. This made me sad but was a positive.
A lot of people know about my alter ego and his band because I illustrate graphic novels based on them. People just don't know all the back stories.
I have a system to keep track of things in my daydreams. I have a spreadsheet of my characters and their large family to keep track of things (age, number of kids, relationship status, job), as well as a family tree (and a more complicated diagram, a family tree is harder to draw without a lot of simplifying it due to all the incest), a document with a picture of each person along with important details about them (their date of birth, their partner, who their parents and children are), I keep a whole bunch of those baby age ticker things you see on parenting forums to remember how old the children born since I started this daydream are (as well as keep track of pregnancies). I cant believe that the story started when the quintuplets were born, and now they are three years old. I also have a whole pile of drawings.
I created very detailed spreadsheet for my characters since I have dreamt of the same characters for twelve years. I thought getting them on paper would make less of an effort to remember every detail about them (they are very detailed) and that my dreaming would take less time of the day.