Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Hi all. I am a 27-year-old architect and writer. By most account I'm doing quite okay with life--I do quite well with my job, my family are quite comfortable financially, I have friends I can trust. I have also been living about twenty imaginary lives throughout my life.
My daydreams began when I was very young, and I kinda took it to the next level--I would actually act them out physically, talking to a wall, pretending to drive a car in my room. I don't remember a time that this was not my life. Anyway as a child I turned them into writings, and during architectural school it helped me a lot.
As I grow older, I continue using it to fuel my work, to a point where I can't really tell the difference--I mean, I know which one is real and which one isn't, but the imaginary ones are so vivid anyway, it doesn't matter anymore. I developed anxiety issues and depression, and my health began deteriorating. But I do make really fine buildings, and I love what I do so much and I love my imaginations so much for what it has done for my work.
My romantic life suffers the most, I think. In my paracosms, there are loves that could never be replaced with the real life ones, mostly because it is just too damn tiring to have to explain why I could never be 100% thee for someone--through the eyes of most people, it looks like I'm just cheating around. Or perhaps I am. I have had boyfriends, but my biggest love affairs were in my head, and they're the ones I carry with me everywhere I go. My last boyfriend and I nearly got married but I realized it would be impossible because he and my future children would have to share me with my imaginary world.
Up to several weeks ago, I had never thought of my habit as a problem. And to be honest, I'm still on crossroads. It's mostly hard when I see how easy it is for my friends to live--everyday I have to think about at least three lives and I go to sleep thinking. But at the same time I would never trade my imaginations for anything in this world.
Does anybody have a sort of love/hate relationship with their imaginations? I'm not talking about the characters in your daydreams, just your tendency for daydreaming in general. Is anyone else using their maladaptive daydreaming to help with what you do?
I had planned to use my dding to help me while I was growing up to use my conversation and opinions in my head in my writing. I thought I could use the long-running, long-standing dreams as novels whereas my opinions & views expressed in them as articles or comments. However obviously once I had the time and reduced-stress(I had a stressful childhood)I had forgotten all the past observations and experiences. Also new dreams took the place of old ones.
I do have a love-hate relationship mainly because I think it helps me cope but also provides a crutch and back door exit to situations when I should face them instead of running away and when I was growing up and stressed focusing on things was incredibly hard because I automatically daydreamed.I loved it because without that coping mechanism I probably wouldn't be here but it often has a negative consequence.