Day 1 - I've been Maladaptive Daydreaming for over four years now, and I know that it's time to stop. I've recently been able to improve my life, but am facing some obstacles right now and want to clear my mind and focus on improvement. Today I spent a huge amount of time in depression and daydreaming, trying to escape my current circumstances and overlooking all the blessings in my life. I truly believe that all our lives have so much value, value beyond our imagination, and that we should try our hardest to recognize that value. So right now, I will take small steps, starting off by forgiving myself for all the mistakes I have made, and calmly take on whatever I need to do.

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Hi Ulaan

Another wall of text:

When I was diagnosed with dissociation at 16(they didn't know about MD) I was struck with some sort of deep urging to make up for every lost moment of my life. I read all I could in self help books and 'completing' myself was the first thing I thought of when I woke up each morning, and the last thing on my mind when I went to bed.

Yet I constantly failed, or had small amounts of progress with big relapses in between. The interesting part of this is, that even though I never really progressed and ended up wasting all these years of trying as well, I always thought that salvation was just around the corner.

Being happy within myself and living in the presence seemed like small goals to me, yet what I was really trying to do, was to fix everything I ever thought was wrong with me, all at once. This, and having low self esteem, is a bad combination - it makes you blind to many things.

I ended up basically having low self esteem about not loving myself enough. It just became a new way of punishing myself like I always have, through positive psychology, perfectionism and control.

Your ideals are not wrong and I do not know you, or how you are feeling about yourself. I'm just saying that for me, personally, taking on the language and ideals of self help books and the like took away years from me and from finding myself. I lived in self-denial.

I think maybe you are spreading yourself too thin, and is exhausting yourself in the progress. MD cannot live without low self esteem, so it makes sense to attack the root cause first. That was my thought progress as well. But sticking to the topic(MD) I think what helps me, is to have a sharp focus on just eliminating that, and that alone. I do not love myself ideally yet, but in simplifying my approach I have succeeded in cutting down on MD significantly. I do not treat it as low self esteem, or as a lack of appreciation about my life - to me, it is nothing more than an addiction. So just curbing the habit and replacing it with more healthy ones are enough. I do have motivational quotes, but they are from alcoholics and the like - their struggle is incredibly easy to relate to when you have MD.

People start complimenting me for seeming more vivid, active and charming when I take this approach, so I know it works. My voice gets louder, and I stand more upright. Of course this raises my self esteem all by itself. But my point is, you don't need to feel perfect about yourself to get a new life without MD. You really don't need all this self adjustment.

Reading through your life experiences sounds dangerously familiar. I've been feeling the exact way you've just described. I'm trying way to hard to become my ideal self that I'm punishing myself for having low self-esteem, not enough self-love, and not being "perfect", and doing so has been really counterproductive. I have to admit that I do feel exhausted and sometimes that my efforts are all in vain. I think I really need to take your advice and treat MD as an addiction. MD really feels like an addiction because I get strong highs from daydreaming, and it's extremely hard to stop despite the known negative consequences of daydreaming. Thank you so much for your response, and I'm hoping that over time with this new approach, I'll be able to simplify my life and really eliminate MD. After all, a lot of the negative symptoms I'm complaining about are effects of excessive daydreaming.

Sophie said:

Hi Ulaan

Another wall of text:

When I was diagnosed with dissociation at 16(they didn't know about MD) I was struck with some sort of deep urging to make up for every lost moment of my life. I read all I could in self help books and 'completing' myself was the first thing I thought of when I woke up each morning, and the last thing on my mind when I went to bed.

Yet I constantly failed, or had small amounts of progress with big relapses in between. The interesting part of this is, that even though I never really progressed and ended up wasting all these years of trying as well, I always thought that salvation was just around the corner.

Being happy within myself and living in the presence seemed like small goals to me, yet what I was really trying to do, was to fix everything I ever thought was wrong with me, all at once. This, and having low self esteem, is a bad combination - it makes you blind to many things.

I ended up basically having low self esteem about not loving myself enough. It just became a new way of punishing myself like I always have, through positive psychology, perfectionism and control.

Your ideals are not wrong and I do not know you, or how you are feeling about yourself. I'm just saying that for me, personally, taking on the language and ideals of self help books and the like took away years from me and from finding myself. I lived in self-denial.

I think maybe you are spreading yourself too thin, and is exhausting yourself in the progress. MD cannot live without low self esteem, so it makes sense to attack the root cause first. That was my thought progress as well. But sticking to the topic(MD) I think what helps me, is to have a sharp focus on just eliminating that, and that alone. I do not love myself ideally yet, but in simplifying my approach I have succeeded in cutting down on MD significantly. I do not treat it as low self esteem, or as a lack of appreciation about my life - to me, it is nothing more than an addiction. So just curbing the habit and replacing it with more healthy ones are enough. I do have motivational quotes, but they are from alcoholics and the like - their struggle is incredibly easy to relate to when you have MD.

People start complimenting me for seeming more vivid, active and charming when I take this approach, so I know it works. My voice gets louder, and I stand more upright. Of course this raises my self esteem all by itself. But my point is, you don't need to feel perfect about yourself to get a new life without MD. You really don't need all this self adjustment.

Day 130 - Maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction, and right now I'm on a terrible binge. I think I just really need to get some sleep. This morning I felt awesome, better than I have felt in many weeks. Treating maladaptive daydreaming as an addiction really helped put my daydreams into perspective and really made it easier for me to step away from my daydreams. Basically the daydreams can be so pleasurable that our brain begins to question if there actually is something wrong with daydreaming. When considering the negative effects daydreaming can have on our lives, it becomes clear that we need to stop. Even though I'm currently indulging in my daydreams, there is a way to get out, I know it. I have to remind myself that my real life does have value and is not that bad, especially considering what a good day today was in general. I'm not going to be too hard on myself and will let myself get some rest.

Day 131 - This morning has been much better than last night, but my daydreams are still plaguing me from time to time. The main problem is I'm spending a huge bulk of time daydreaming about pleasing these two people, and I'm going to let go of daydreaming about them from now on. I'm allowing myself to daydream about anything else but them, and by doing so I think I'll really be able to reduce the frequency and intensity of my daydreams. There are good things waiting on the other side! 

(y)


Ulaan Gom said:

Day 131 - This morning has been much better than last night, but my daydreams are still plaguing me from time to time. The main problem is I'm spending a huge bulk of time daydreaming about pleasing these two people, and I'm going to let go of daydreaming about them from now on. I'm allowing myself to daydream about anything else but them, and by doing so I think I'll really be able to reduce the frequency and intensity of my daydreams. There are good things waiting on the other side! 

Maro,

I want to feel free, and I think that strong urge to do so is what's motivating me to stop daydreaming about those two people. I guess that I feel like they're superior to me, and that having their approval would suddenly make me better than who I am. I have a choice to respond to this inner dialogue though. I know that if I consciously try to stop daydreaming about them, I can save lots of time and energy, and maybe learn to appreciate who I really am along the way!

Day 140 - I've been pushing off dealing with many problems in my real life, and I know enough is enough. My procrastination creates anxiety, and this anxiety makes my brain search for a way to escape. In my case, it's daydreaming, and by daydreaming, I make it harder for myself to deal with my problems in real life. In a sense, I'm trapped in a cycle of addiction to daydreaming, because even though I know it has negative effects, I go for it anyways. However, I know that with any cycle of addiction, there is a way out. When I'm feeling down or unmotivated, I must take decisive action to ensure that I deal with my feelings properly. I need to remind myself that daydreaming won't make me feel better, and that healthier alternatives exist. I need to be mindful and watch how my mind feels, and maybe either go for a short walk, do a household chore, read a book, or talk to a friend. I need to be caring towards my mind and tell myself that if I deal with the problems of my life, I can make my life amazing!

I love that you're still trying. I hope that you never give up or find some peace.

Thank you for the encouragement! It's difficult to give up my effort to overcome Maladaptive Daydreaming when I know that there is a life filled with many more possibilities and much more meaning waiting for me on the other side. When dealing with MDD, we need to be "patient, persistent, and positive" (Les Brown) because by doing so, we can really open up the gateways for a better life.

Yolandi Wells said:

I love that you're still trying. I hope that you never give up or find some peace.

Day 152 - Although I did experience some pretty strong daydreams today, my mind is a lot calmer for the time being. Today before my daily exercise routine, I really stopped myself and asked where I was going with my life. I took a good 45 minutes just to think about what I wanted to do with my life, and I was free to dream, not daydream, but dream about things I could actually make possible in my life. The feeling felt extremely liberating, and my desire to daydream went down dramatically. For me, I feel like my daydreaming is a form of escape from the problems and pain of real life; I'm just grateful that I have an opportunity right now to face those problems head on!

Day 181 - My mind started going wild a few minutes ago. I had quickly slipped into a daydreaming binge about fantasies that would feed my ego and pride. Now I'm taking a breath to calm down and realize where I am right now. As I do so, I realize what I need to do. I know that it's okay to take breaks sometime; time to step back can be time to recharge. I will keep my feet planted on the ground as I sit, because for some reason I've noticed that whenever I plant my feet in such a manner, my daydreaming tendencies calm down. My feet tend to move around a lot and rub each other when I daydream, so controlling that physical movement can help me control my daydreams!

I stopped day dreaming Ulaan which was wonderful to feel i really hope you too :D

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