Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Hi guys! Long time no see. It is with a heavy heart that I am planning to leave this community, but I don't want to leave without giving a proper goodbye. I want my last post to be a positive one, so here is my success story on MD. I hope that it helps someone. ^^
I discovered this amazing community in May 2011. With tearful eyes, I rushed to sign up and tell everyone about how this condition has afflicted me for so many years. Finally, it had a name, Maladaptive Daydreaming. At that time, I was just about to graduate from my 4-year university. My grades were slipping because I couldn't concentrate, and I frequently isolated myself just to daydream. At its worst, I would daydream my weekends away, only getting out of bed to eat and use the bathroom. After graduation, I spent the next year living with my parents and hardly ever went outside. They threatened to kick me out several times because I was so-called "lazy." I thought--how could I ever make them understand that MD was holding me back? I didn't want to be this way. I wasn't lazy; I was just dealing with a condition or some kind of mental disorder.
Eventually, I applied to graduate school in order to please my parents. I also sucked up the courage to tell them about MD. I introduced them to it through Cynthia's article. I consider myself lucky because my parents acknowledged that MD was a real, significant problem to me, and so they did their best to distract my mind and keep me in the present moment. Their support meant the world to me, but you know what? That didn't get rid of MD. It was still terrible. I also informed my psychologist about this and showed her Cynthia's article, but all she said was "oh, that's interesting." After all that, I still felt lonely and sad in dealing with this condition. This community gave me some relief and hope, as I checked the forums to see if anyone had posted a solution or a cure.
I started graduate school last year in September. About two weeks into the program, I was hit by a car as a pedestrian. Broken bones and torn ligaments galore! The next three months were filled with excruciating pain and physical therapy. But do you know what the ironic thing was? Even though I was bedridden and had all the time in the world to drown myself in fantasy, I simply didn't want to. I could choose to turn it off. All I wanted was to get better and live the life I was meant to have. It was during this moment that I had an epiphany. I decided that I wanted to be an occupational therapist and devote my future to help others overcome their traumatic injuries. I researched OT schools before I even regained my ability to walk. I was more sociable than usual, interacting with other patients and total strangers in the hallway. I thought--was this really me? In case you're wondering, I did not have brain damage or amnesia. I simply made contact with reality for the first time in a long time. I became more interested in other people and my surroundings than myself, which set my priorities straight.
Since coming home and starting community college, my daydreams have continued on like before, but it's very different this time. I'm not miserable anymore because I recognize that they are under my own control. They always have been. I'm a much happier person now because I accept that my daydreams are just a special part of me--as a fun hobby and as a close relationship (my imaginary characters are still like my best friends). Even though I can stop, I'd much prefer a life with them still in it. My biggest problems earlier were that I lacked motivation, a personal goal, and only cared about myself, so I had turned my daydreams into enemies and blamed them for not succeeding. Now that I've taken personal responsibility for my own well-being and happiness, it has become easier to balance both worlds.
The bottom line is, a change of perspective and a little motivation can go a long way in helping you to overcome MD too. I understand that people have varying degrees of this, so you don't have to agree with me. I don't have MD anymore because of my change of attitude and life priorities, not because I stopped daydreaming a lot, crying over character deaths, or making gestures. Those are just the beauties of immersive daydreaming, as I still do them all the time. ^^
Thank you Cordellia, Cynthia, and friends for being so accepting and supportive of me when I needed it. I wish you all the very best!
It seems like the car accident was really a blessing in disguise. It changed everything for you and I'm glad you have found your calling. I wish the best for you. Goodbye Laila!