Wild Minds Network

Where wild minds come to rest

I wanted to write this for those of you who feel as if they are giving up a part of themselves at the thought of losing MD. But sometimes, things are not like they seem.

This is part 5 of the series of posts on overcoming MD but it also works as an independent post, just like the previous essays.

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Was it all just a lie?


"My real self wanders elsewhere, far away,

wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life."
- H. Hesse

-

Mechanisms driving fantasy addiction break down with recognition of absence, with poignant realization that your characters are not here, that they have never been here and never existed, that they were never yours. You're alone, completely and utterly alone and your most ardent passion, your trump card, that one thing that dissipates meaninglessness and takes away the feeling of crippling loneliness is a lie, just a self-crafted lie to stifle your existential turmoil.

Is it?

Is it really that cheap in the end?

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You don't need me to tell you that, sometimes, maybe even most of the times, it takes looking oneself in the mirror and realizing that, god, we really are cracked and some of our daydreams are indeed just that, silly distractions and compensations to feed our messed up ego and get us out of the mud because we are too scared to try and step out on our own. Yet, this is just one tiny aspect of your defense mechanism that happens to be serve one far more important purpose.

What we call MD is not fundamentally wrong.

Before you decide that your levels of fucked up are so high or bizarre that they don't fit any diagnostic criteria, remember that those cravings driving your MD, they are cravings for life. Life that was denied to you. And there is nothing wrong with that, there is nothing wrong with protesting against the dullness of existing. This is what most substantial aspect of MD is, this is what MD itself is: your way of frantically holding onto that one reminder that you too can feel alive, in strange and deviant ways, but it's still your most honest attempt to live. Is it maladaptive? Yes, sometimes terribly so. But still, you are trying to live your life the only way you know it and there is no need to feel guilty over a habit that is merely a manifestation of your insatiable instinct to survive. If you're in deep, fantasy is where all your feelings escaped to, it's where you escaped to and metamorphosed into microcosms of intricate storylines and characters, so that your own emptiness cannot recognize you when it comes looking out for you. It's a game of hide and seek, where you are both hunter and the hunted - but you have forgotten where to search, you have forgotten where you hid yourself.

MD is an extension of you. It is you to the very core of your being. It is the feelings you never got to express, words you never said, beliefs you never defended, traits you never nurtured enough. But these phenomena, they exist as latent possibilities somewhere deep within your mind, they exist as seeds that were left forgotten and never got to flower. But they are not gone, they still can be sensed faintly somewhere on the other side of consciousness. If you are cold, it means you instinctively know the meaning of warmth, even if you have never felt it. That burning love some of you have for your dreamworlds, for your characters, "made up" love also had to come out from somewhere. You didn't invent it, you didn't fabricate it. It came from depths of your subconscious that craves and knows how to feel love. If you know how to love fantasy, then you have the ability to love reality too because this war is not about fantasies and realities - it is about you and your ability to love. As I explained in III part: overcoming addiction to fantasy does not mean finally learning to love reality - it means rediscovering that self you sent into exile. The only reason one can madly love fantasy, while remaining indifferent to reality, is because to love fantasy, you don't need a self. You merely exist as an awareness without identity, a selfless observer who consumes and lives off their characters and idealized selves. But to love and interact with reality, you sure need a well-defined self because it is the receptor through which you perceive reality. Without this receptor, reality cannot and will never get to you. You know what reality is? It doesn't exist. Reality is moulded by feelings, made by feelings, born through its observers. It doesn't exist without you observing it, without you feeling it.

You have forgotten yourself. You have forgotten in order to forget the discomfort that comes with it and by forgetting yourself, you have also forgotten reality. You're held back by your own convictions that you are too different, too dysfunctional for this world. Living - what should come off as an instinct, like breathing, like blinking, for you occurs as a sophisticated skill that has to be practiced daily, with crippling bouts of tiredness at each pretense to be alive. Every day is a pretense, every fucking moment, pretense to smile, pretense that what your friend says gets to you, pretense to care, pretense to be alive. But this, too, is a defense mechanism that must be broken. Otherwise, you will always be standing on the sidelines, torn between watching other people living their lives and watching your characters living their lives. But where are you in all of this?

Life has to begin somewhere. Maybe it will not begin with rediscovering bliss, maybe it has to begin with pain, with surrender to all things repressed. Maybe you have to peel layers of yourself until you get to that place where things got blocked. Maybe you have to try to expose your dream self to the world, to someone other than you. Get things out of your system. Your beliefs, your feelings, your demons. You have to let someone other than you observe these feelings, directly or indirectly. I do not know how many false versions of yourself, defense mechanisms and fortified walls will have to fall for this to happen, but for your existence to be acknowledged, for it to bleed into reality, you have to try to reveal what was kept sealed. There is nothing more draining than waking up to the thought that no one can see the dream (real?) you, or touch you, hear you, witness the fires burning inside you, no one can warm up to those flames. There won't be a single testament of what existed inside you when no one watched. Have you ever wondered, if fantasy is the only place where you feel genuinely alive, why are you so secretive about it? Seriously, what's the point? Why do you hide the only thing that feels oddly right in a world where everything else seems wrong? Well, of course. You try to live out your daydreams, become the better version of yourself, you direct that energy to the real world, and what happens? The energy hits a wall and never reaches real world, leaving you forever estranged. Feelings you want to express are ideally supposed to flow naturally from your fantasies to your real self, but as soon as they reach your real self (that is, as soon as you try to express them in reality), everything backfires because your state of self is so broken and fragile that it cannot host these emotion, which is what prevents their expression.

To communicate your daydream feelings with the outside world, there has to be a bridge between your own world and the outside world through which these feelings can flow and this bridge is the self. Without it, those two worlds cannot communicate and this is where the split occurs, this is precisely where MD cuts you in two. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a vivid inner life; writers, poets, artists, philosophers, they all have it, don't they? But unlike us, people with healthy inner life are not split. Their worlds are communicating with each other, ours are not.

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Behind every daydream, there is a feeling.

It drives your plot, it molds your characters. It's the mastermind behind it all. Every character, every single story is an embodiment of it. The entire narrative content of your specific daydream is driven by an emotion that you failed and continuously fail to express in real life - and as long as this particular emotion remains unexpressed in your real life, by your real self, the respective daydream which is driven by it will not stop.

Every daydream is a personified feeling, a throttled desire to feel something, not to possess. And these feelings, they are truer than anything else, they are bits of the puzzle missing from your real self. The stories you weave in your head are an attempt to salvage bits of yourself, gone a bit wrong, but still, they were born out of your desire to live, out of your desire to change things. It is your primal hunger for life, for emotional or intellectual stimulation, for connection, fulfillment, meaning, passion. The silliest thing you can do to yourself is ignore the hunger and pretend you can live without it. You can't. You shouldn't. Instead of obsessing how to ignore the hunger, why not try to find some food for your soul?

But before you can do that - find yourself.

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You can read previous parts here:
Part 1 | Part 2Part 3Part 4

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you freaking nailed it! I've read all of your posting on here and I think youre the only person who has nailed it with how to deal with MDD. KEEP POSTING!!!

Visually, reading this post felt like I had written it myself, but its content didn't. It's filled with things I can't seem to understand, at least not fully.

You seriously sound like some sort of future me who found the solution and put it to use. How long did it take you to find it?

You know, you actually came to my mind while writing this. I thought, 'there's no way that Source who really believes that MD is the ultimate disaster would agree with this fluffy post.' Hehe.

This brings a question. Do you think that your sense of inner emptiness really comes from MD? Many people with severe MD do yet I'm pretty convinced that daydreaming is just an attempt to medicate illness, but not the illness itself. The emptiness and feeling of being cut off that people often ascribe to daydreaming do not come from MD. They come from depression that existed and still exists independently from addiction. When a daydreamer continuously blows off opportunities and avoids going out with friends so he could stay at home to daydream instead, it's not awesomeness of his daydreams that caused him to isolate himself from other people, it's not MD that should be blamed. It's the fact that if he actually did go out with his friends, he would feel inner emptiness. It's this that drives him to avoid real people and it's also what drives him to engage in MD. When a guy cannot fall in love with real girl because no woman will ever be as amazing as his fantasy girl that's too perfect for our human standards to understand, it's not fantasy lover or MD that's the root of his problem. What's to blame is his inability to connect to real people that consequently caused him to make up imaginary ones. And this inability is not caused by MD. It can be fueled but it's not created by it. The only real danger of MD is that it makes you postpone looking yourself in the mirror.

From the moment I said enough, it took around 2 years. And if it's any consolation to you, just a few months before I actually decided to turn the tables, my thinking was eerily similar to yours.

It never hurts to know.
I never considered MD a cause of anything, in fact I think it's nothing more than an indicator. The stronger its influence, the greater the root problem that caused it.
I have very good reasons to believe that daydreaming is the only replacement when it comes to psychological stuff one wants but doesn't have. There's an imbalance between the two, so MD fills the void and creates a false balance that is good and bad at the same time.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. They are very helpful. I read them from time to time in order to get help against my relapses.

Hey rose! Have you made any progress since our last conversation? :)

rose said:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. They are very helpful. I read them from time to time in order to get help against my relapses.

Yes, I made. I relapsed several times. But specially these days I feel much better and I live most of my time in realty.  I hope if I can keep going until the urge and the desire to daydream disappeared completely from my life.

Do you know? every time the desire to daydream appear I remind myself "IT IS OK TO DAYDREAM BUT REMEMBER YOU CAN FEEL THESE FEELING IN THE REAL LIFE TOO", as you said. It helped me a lot.

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