Hello!

My name is Nicole and I have suffered from MD since kindergarten. Perhaps I'm delusional, but I am under the firm belief that you can get rid of your "world". I think of escaping to my "world" as an addiction I need to break. I hope that these tips help you:

  1. Recognize the "bar" of this addiction: Our addiction is unique. Unlike the alcoholic avoiding the bar, we cannot simply avoid the bar. The "bar" follows us wherever we go. The "bar" is our mind. This makes the addiction feel impossible to escape. If we are bored, we indulge. If we are triggered, we indulge. We escape to our worlds in a fleeting second, whenever we want and wherever we are.

    BUT!, some of this is in control. There are "bars" for our problem. If you learn to avoid the "bars" you will be so much more successful.
  2. NEVER research your world: Our worlds are amazing places. If we were to write about them, we could fill novels of intricate details. Many research the details of their world. Perhaps you Google history to make your world make sense, or Pin a beautiful wedding dress you want someone in your world to wear.

    Researching your world is a "bar." I stay away from it. You will still be naturally exposed to things that will fill in gaps or expand your world, but researching it only makes it worse. It's a very easy bar to avoid. The internet is full of easy entertainment, so if you find yourself tempted to research, look to something else.
  3. Avoid triggers: There are triggers that make us DD. Some of the most commonly mentioned ones are music, books, t.v., the internet, going to bed/waking up, etc. Some of us have unique triggers, for example, spy movies or hospitals. Some of these triggers are unavoidable (I can't just stay out of a hospital for the rest of my life), but some triggers are avoidable.

    Again, triggers are like bars. Sometimes we flock to them after a hard day or when feeling down. We get stressed and we turn on that music or start reading that book that takes us right to where we want to be in our world. Stay away from triggers whenever you can. Believe me when I say that I know that is not easy, but it is possible. I've had to just stop listening to most music. I can listen to music when I'm otherwise occupied, but I can no longer entertain myself with music. Perhaps someday I will have the mental maturity to listen to music and not think of my world, but not yet.
  4. Involve religion (if you believe): If you believe in a god, involve Him/Her in what is going on. Perhaps just the idea of being helped by an entity is just an illusion of being given mental strength to overcome your world, but it has sure worked miracles for me, even if it is just an illusion. When you are struggling, pray. Pray, pray pray. Allow god (or an illusion?) to work the miracle in you.
  5. Meditate: Say what you want about MD, but you have to admit that one of our strengths is that we know how to meditate, and we do it well. Obviously, do not meditate if it is a bar or trigger to you, but if it's not, then meditate until you are blue in the face. I have found that meditating will relax my mind enough to keep my world out for at least a couple hours. I feel that meditating refocuses my mind on what matters most in this world. When I meditate, I tend to think about real memories, real people, and real happiness. The "realness" that meditation brings focuses me.
  6. Be creative: Another "advantage" of MD? We are creative FREAKS! I could go on for hours about A.J. (one of the characters of my world), and his career, relationships, appearance, home, etc. We are busting full of so many creative juices that we don't even know what to do with it.

    I'm luck y enough to have a career that captures so much of my creativity. I'm a trainer for a living. I teach boring stuff (how to be a loan officer... who cares?) , and I have to learn how to make it as engaging and retain-able as possible. I design games, write manuals, and get up in front of groups of people and entertain them for 8 hours straight as I teach them the most boring crap in the world. Somehow though, we make it fun and have a good time.

    Enough about that, all I'm saying is that when my mind starts to wonder to the "dark side" (my world) I easily have another creative place to take my mind. I shift to thinking about my work. I have an easy to access place in my mind that is still interesting and engaging that requires my thought and effort.

    Obviously, other more conventional forms of creativity may be helpful. I've decided to pick up my saxophone again and I think that will help to.

    Get a job where you need to be creative, or choose a hobby that requires your creativity. It helps a lot.
  7. Make your real world amazing: We are often focused on our fake worlds because they are awesome places. They are full of things that others aren't even capable of dreaming of! No wonder we escape so frequently! One of the best things we can do to make that world less tempting, is attempt to make this world as satisfying as we need it to be. This world will never be as amazing as our fake worlds, but it can still be amazing.

    Frequently, we have to make the real world amazing in a different way than our fake world. My fake world is amazing because everyone is rich and gorgeous. I can't make myself rich or gorgeous, but I can make my world amazing in different ways.

    I've made my real world amazing through exploring it. I hike hike hike hike hike. I can't get enough of it. It's exhilarating, challenging, rewarding, you name it. I'm not even tempted to think of my world when I hike because of how amazing the real one is.  It's my inexpensive, accessible way to make the real world amazing.

    Other ways I make my real world amazing: Spend time with my kids, immerse myself into my religion, snowboard my brains out (just thinking about it makes me happy... but you know how easily our thoughts change our emotions), read books (be careful! this is a trigger for some people), or exercise.

    This world can be amazing for you. Granted, I do not suffer from depression or anxiety, so I am very blessed and it may be easier for me than it is for others, but give it a shot.

Well, I hope this helps. I just went through a 2 month cycle of not thinking about my world at all, and sadly have thought of it for the past few days. I'm re-committing myself today to getting rid of it, and thought that writing this article would help.

I can do it, and you can do. Avoid the bars, change your life, and live in this amazing world.

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I believe also with enough discipline and motivation anyone can change their life and I think for a lot of people daydreaming can be overcome eventually. However as much as I think it's all well and good to avoid triggers or try and spend time in the real world there needs to be some understanding of why daydreaming became such a difficult and life consuming problem in the first place. For some people their reason might be obvious but for people, like me, their seems to be no distinct underlining reason as such. 

For me I don't really want a cure, I just want more control and it's my belief that that can also be achieved but I feel maybe that takes more discipline as you need to know exactly when enough is enough which isn't always easy. I suppose for me it's made harder by the fact I can project my world onto the real world i.e with enough thought and visualization it's very easy for me to hallucinate my world and as I have described it in the past it's like an overlay layer on the physical world so the line between fantasy and reality is one that is often blurred. I also suffer from psychosis which involves hallucinations which I do not control and so that makes me feel very isolated as well and adds to this feeling of being detached from reality so I'm not really sure where to start on my journey to "recovery". Ironically enough 2 of my hallucinations give me advice on how to progress in life.

I think people really need to come to a conclusion as to why daydreaming has become such a problem for them and then find ways to distance themselves from it if that's what they want and I believe you have come up with quite a lot of helpful advice on how that can be achieved. 

Thanks for sharing your advice!

This was very detailed and helpful, especially number three. You mentioned music was your biggest trigger. It is mine as well. I find music the hardest to avoid, it is my distresser after work and I listen to it drying to and from work. It may sound silly, but when you cut music out--what methods did you do and how long would you say it took to stop immediately sleeping into MDing upon hearing music. I know you said you still kinda do, but it probably isn't as bad as it once was...

I think if I can go three months avoiding music then i think I can reintroduce it back into my life without slipping into MDing too much. I've already identified why daydreaming has become so consuming so I'm on the right path. Its just music is a terrible trigger. 

Great tips;  very good to hear someone else getting better!

 

God is great and I also believe He played a huge part in me being able to stop MD.

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