Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I have the same problems connecting the expectations I have created for myself with my actions. I know that this is due to my lack of motivation, work ethic, and constant daydreaming. DDing is just easier and if one life path doesn't work out, I always get a redo. Real life isn't like that or at least it requires a lot of effort to follow through, pick yourself up, and discover what it is that you really want.
The best thing you can do is to act - whether it be studying or working or writing down your thoughts to try to figure out what is that you truly want, what matters, what makes you happy, what you're good at (just attempting to discover yourself).
The first step is always the hardest. Right now I am attempting to complete school (I'm turning 28 tomorrow), which I have done horribly in for the past two years because of my constant DDing, lack of focus/motivation/work ethic. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to exams and assignments because I don't want to deal with it, it gives me anxiety, I think of all the work involved in it, and I DD to distract myself from all these negative thoughts/emotions. However, once I sit down and get through those first few pages, it gets easier and I ask myself why I made it such a big deal.
So, I guess that's my advice: get out there and do something! I know there maybe a fear of failure or rejection but this will build you and you will learn to adapt whether it be another path to your goal or a different goal. What I have also come to realize is that daydreaming (DDing) has the tendency to build false perceptions of many things in the real world, whether it be emotions, relationships, beliefs, values, success, failure, expectations in general.
In your DDs, you may think you want or are capable of one thing, when in reality it isn't like that. But at the same time it also gives you hope and lets you see all you are capable of doing, and lets you try on different lives till you have an idea of what you want. Its a fine line. You just need to go out there and do something, anything! Especially when you are feeling depressed or anxious (which I am currently going through) action/distraction is sometimes the best remedy.
I have a similar story, I have MDDd since earliest childhood and slowly it became more and more debilitating for my life. This was partly caused by massive insecurities and in turn caused very bad depression. Over the past year and especially the past weeks I have been working extremely hard on analyzing myself and why I do these things. I have learned that even though it is extremely painful, facing the issues head on is making me feel so much better than running away from them for the past 25 years ever did. I don't have a magic solution, but I would recommend keeping a journal to anyone willing to deal with their MD.
I write into mine how I feel and what I do, but I am also keeping a log of times I am daydreaming. I will write something like '11:00-12:00: DD about relationship with X, felt loved and happy. I think I may be lonely because I haven't seen any friends lately, so I need to make an effort here to stop filling the void with DD.' As you can see I write the time and duration as well as the topic, my feelings and why I think I did it at that time. It has helped me tremendously not only to see my patterns and triggers more clearly but also to figure out the reasons behind it.
I now haven't really DDd in a few days and I have learnt that I am so much more in control than I thought I was. There is hope that if I continue working on it I might be able to beat it.
What I am trying to say is that if you really want to heal there is no hiding from the pain of stopping your DDs initially. I have learnt the hard way that I need to deal with my reality completely so I can learn to be comfortable in it again. I hope you will manage that as well.
I would recommend reading the wonderful blog Eretaia wrote on here and also on wordpress (https://maladaptivedaydreamingguide.wordpress.com/ ) which really helped me kickstart my self-analysis and healing process. Good luck and we are here for you!