Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Ok, I'm posting this here cause I'm out of options for telling anyone else and I need to get it off my chest.
The only one who knew about my DD was my father, and he passed away a few months ago. In the space of him passing on, I also moved into an apartment in the city. After getting my new job last year, I had moved back to the countryside to my childhood home, where my brother still lives. Of course, my childhood home was always connected to my current DD which has roots in about 2002, but some of the characters come from earlier than this. Every time I'm back 'home' for a long period of time, the DD creeps back in and takes over my life. I have done a lot of travelling and working around the country since leaving school, and after getting very very VERY deeply into my imaginary world a few years ago, it scared me too much that I pushed it away to a point where it was an occasional thing. Sure, like any addiction, I'd think about it on and off, but it wasn't a "need." Hey, I used to have to constantly be with my imaginary friends whenever I was alone, but I gradually weeded it down to only having to do it when I was at my childhood home.
Anyway, so after dad passed on, and I moved into my apartment, I was busy working and grieving (I think?) and just living my life (I have Asperger's, so I get overwhelmed very easily) that I didn't have any need for my DD. Whenever I'd go to visit my family I'd talk with my imaginary friends, but only for 5 minutes, then I'd leave and it'd all be over. I've been pretty happy with my progress, and I'm starting to finally feel like a NORMAL person, and I even have a partner.
But It's so boring. I can't believe how dull my life is. It used to be exciting and fun. In my imaginary world I'm in a band, and it was so much fun to 'catch up with my band and make music and talk about all our gigs.' But I've really seen it from the other side now. I'm 26, I'm not in a band (well I am but we're not famous, and we're not a rock band), and my partner is so drab and boring compared to my alter ego who is single and flirts with everyone. Suddenly I'm just boring, dull, me. And that thought, along with dealing with my dad, just made me so depressed it wasn't funny. Sure, I wasn't having the ups and downs like in my DD, and I wasn't constantly thinking 'I have an addiction that I can tell no one about' and 'I'm weird' but I'm just really really depressed.
So the DD has started seeping back in again. 1 month on and I'm thinking about it constantly, dreaming about it constantly, and feeling the highs again. I even took up drinking but I just can't find anything to substitute it with. Nothing else gives me the same high. It's pathetic. I can't even tell what it is I get from the DD that I can't get in normal life. I'm starting to feel less depressed, but can't help but think I've taken one step back again when I was progressing well. Worse still, it's like I've been off the drug for so long, any tiny thing just gives me a huge high. The other night I just had a dream that I was my alter ego in my DD. Nothing special happened, it was like I was just living my normal life at my normal job, but I was my alter ego. I've been on a high for 2 days now.
Who else has almost kicked it...to have it come back all over again?
Hey, I have.
I was out of DDs and in real life for a while now. I was making progress - working on my social skills, concentration and improving my interest in the real world. But yesterday I slipped. I suddenly had the urge to talk to and perform in front of my "friends" (real people I know and celebrities). I probably did it for 3+ hours (I don't know how long, I just get lost in that world). I have not wasted time like this in ages. I had even forgotten about that world, I was so focused on real life goals. When I DD my real life ceases to exist. I want to get back to real life today though. Remind myself of my goals, the progress I had made and move forward. In the past one slip up was the end for me but now I have the strength to get up and out again.
Are there things that help you come out of the DDs? Maybe try doing those for a while, also avoiding being alone (to DD) and setting small achievable goals that you can feel good about.
I seem to go through stages. If I have ways of channeling my imagination it's ok. About 10 years ago I started writing graphic novels based on my DDs and characters and I noticed that when I was doing painting/graphic novels/animations/writing novels about my DD, I wouldn't have to be 'in' it. But when I have no way to channel it, or I'm stressed or bored or whatever, I go into overdrive. I haven't talked to them in my new apartment since moving in, but I have done whenever being at my mum's. But it's just 5 minutes. Hi, how is everyone, bye. That's it.
It's hard because I like playing with my imaginary band. It's boring and hard for me to write music alone. The whole imaginary band thing started when I was a kid and I was learning to write songs and sing and play piano but other kids would make fun of me, so I only ever felt comfortable playing in my fake band because my band members would like me and help me write the songs. Well, I've performed in public a lot since being 10, and I no longer need them to help me write songs because I'm pretty confident. But without them it's just boring old me on a piano.
Being around a few close friends helps a lot, but being around people who are normal friends I find boring after a while and need to 'escape.' I suspect I have ADHD or OCD as well. I need constant mental stimulation.
Like you, one slip up was the end. The first time I tried to escape from it I nearly had a mental breakdown and had to have time off school. I booked myself into the shrink but they basically said that I was not my alter ego and I had to give it up. I was so scared they would take my imaginary world away I clung on so tightly.