Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I don't really know why I'm writing this other than to document a recent change in my feelings about MD. I used to be firmly against trying to quit because I felt the pros outweighed the cons. And also a feeling that I was a lost cause since I can't remember a time I didn't live in a fantasy world. I've recently become a lot more aware of how unhappy it actually makes me. Last night, one moment I was in my daydreams like usual, the next I was pulled from it with a rare lucidity. I've never really been unaware of reality, but I can usually easily push it to the back of my mind to keep it from ruining the daydream. That moment though, I was painfully aware of it. I don't need my daydreams to match up to my real life, but the disparity hurts so much and I don't want to hurt anymore, not like this at least.
Soon after that, I was flooded with fear, because I realized this was the beginning. The beginning of getting healthy and losing my coping mechanism that I can do any time, any place, with no materials necessary. I would essentially be alone again. I'm not alone in reality, far from it, but people have their own lives. MD allows me to have people who will never abandon me, on-call 24/7 to help me deal with life's ups and downs. I feel like I'm losing a valuable resource, worse, like I'm losing my friends. This term, I've been repeatedly told by professors in class that unresolved dilemmas will eventually come to sit right across from you. If I don't heal my MD and confront my anxiety, I'm going to run into some kid just like me who's going to make me confront it. So on top of that, to be any good at my future career I'm going to have to lose what feels like a part of my soul.
I'm sorry for ranting. I just needed to get that out there and here's the only place since MD is the one topic I don't talk about to anyone outside a therapist's office. I made a counseling appointment today with someone new who specializes in CBT and mindfulness therapy. I made that appointment more for my anxiety as that's something I know I definitely DO want to work on. But who knows, MD is a topic that will be breached at some point with this new counselor, so maybe this really is the beginning of the end.
So you think your unresolved dilemma is separation anxiety? You have trouble standing on your own, so you invent people to provide closeness and reassurance? If you let go of this coping mechanism, does that mean you'll be forced to deal with the emptiness left over? I have this feeling that MD has become such a big part of my life, that I don't think I could function without it. I'm afraid to confront the real problems underneath it, so I totally sympathize with what you're going through.
i feel this 100%, especially when you talk about how your characters can be there for you 24/7 no matter the circumstance. i try not to think about stopping but i know i'll have to someday. don't be sorry for ranting about MD, that's what this site is for!! i liked reading ur thoughts.
MatthewR: I don't think separation anxiety exactly, more like abandonment issues. I feel like if people get too close they're going to see my inner self and it'll scare them off, which feeds into my bad social anxiety. Or sometimes it's not something about me but something about them that triggers it, like my real life best friend had a baby recently and I've noticed I've cut a lot of communications with her in anticipation of her abandoning me for the baby and boyfriend (side note, she's the only friend who knows about my MD, and the only person I know with MD). I've lost a lot of friendships over the years so it's like I'm expecting everyone to leave me now. MD was already in place long before that though, so when those things started happening I just relied more heavily on it to give me what I needed from close relationships. A shoulder to cry on, a person to talk to, someone who could witness me warts and all and I wouldn't fear them leaving me for it. Alli's the perfect best friend, Lexa is a new part of the group but acting as my mentor to help me get my life in order, Dan's just my everything. Regardless of the nonexistence of these people, I have cultivated real relationships with them and they have become my support system. If that dissolves before I've figured out how to create a comfortable real-life support system... well, I don't know. I fear the worst, though.
Before that, I think it was largely about boredom with life. I didn't want to accept reality was this mundane; I wanted to have a tragic past, magic to exist, and world-threatening scenarios to be narrowly avoided. I'm not afraid of losing that because I'm a writer; I could revisit that whenever I wanted. Although, I fear my problem isn't just MD, but a general fantasy addiction, in which case I am definitely a lost cause because I'd literally rather die than extend my hypothetical abstinence to all forms of fantasy.
meghan: Thanks :) It's seriously nice to hear there are people in this world who get it. The most I find is the odd counselor who is fascinated by me, but I lost my most recent counselor who was that way, and even then MD is the only topic I have trouble talking about with a counselor. I still tend to omit details due to shame and fear of judgment, though I'm going into the helping professions myself, so I know that fear is irrational.
Jen: I'm very interested too ha, I'll keep you updated if it goes anywhere. I get to meet her tomorrow afternoon.