Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I'm a recovering daydreamer now. I've been successful in controlling my daydreams. It's been a long haul, working at it each day over the past six months or so. It's been hard too, but each day it gets easier and easier. I didn't use any medication. I personally don't like taking medications and I believe we have the power to change how our brains work, but after reading other's posts I realize my problem was probably not as intense as others, so my tactic at beating it may not work for everyone.
It started out where I would be daydreaming like usual and I'd just pause for a moment to realize what I was doing. Realize that I was daydreaming and I would force myself to stop for a few minutes. Of course I would soon go back to daydreaming again. So I began wearing an obnoxiously large bracelet as a reminder for myself. It had to be something that I wouldn't normally wear, so that every time I glanced down at my wrist I would be reminded to take a moment and find that clear spot in my mind again. Sometimes it would take several minutes before I could clear my head, but I would hold my wrist with my other hand and just concentrate on nothing. It didn't work if I tried to stop the daydreams, I just had to focus on nothing until I could feel that I was there.
It was hard in the beginning and many times I didn't want to do it because the daydreams felt so comfortable to me, but slowly over several months I would find that clear spot in my mind many times throughout the day. It does get easier. The funny thing is, when I'm daydreaming I just want to stay there and when I find the clear spot I just want to stay there. It's like two different realities (watch Stargate episode Bane for full understanding). Now, roughly six months later, I find myself mostly in that clear spot. I still daydream and go off on tangents, but if I feel myself slipping any deeper, into anything that creates intense emotions, I quickly find that clear spot again. Because I know if I slip I will be stuck there for a while. I was there for four days last week. It was crazy. I was freaking out about my life decisions and intensely worrying about everything. Luckily I was able to pull myself out, but even that was caused by an outside force. I was scolded at work for slacking too much and that brought me out of it. If you do this and you feel yourself slipping, pull yourself out immediately, no matter how good it feels to slip back in. Nothing good can come from it. I imagine this is what any addict feels like.
Some of you might need meds, but I truly feel that the best way to overcome it is through mental will. I've always been opposed to being dependent on outside forces, but that's just me. If you want to have a life outside your mind, daydreaming is a bad place to be. I encourage everyone to try something to get away from it. So it's good that this condition has been brought to the attention of the psychology fields. Congrats to Cordellia.
In addition to what I just said, I must say that life outside daydreams is hard too. I apparently don't understand social norms because the people inside my mind all thought like I did and that made sense. But people on the outside world are much different. So I am experimenting with their "language" and trying to figure out how they think and what tactics work best with them. I'm sure that's going to take many years of practice. I get along with quite a few people, but with others I can feel an oddity to the situation. People on the outside lie a lot too. In my world everyone was honest and told it like it was, but people out here hide themselves for whatever reason. It's frustrating to deal with them. I would expect that if I asked a straight forward question and even implied an honest answer, that I would get one. But sometimes I feel like they are hiding something and I don't trust them. But it's just because they grew up with a different social language than myself, so I just have to learn it like any other language.
I was trying this but recently my MD has become so bad that many people are starting to notice that somethintg is wrong. I zone into it at the most inappropiate times, it's almost uncontrolable. I have always told myself that I would not take medication for it but see a councilour. Yet when I had the oppotunity to do so, I felt so shamed that I couldn't go. I know that I need outside help because I feel myself slipping more frequently into these daydreams. I feel like I am loosing control.