Now that we've had some time to think about this & discuss it, let's start creating a plan to help.  Let's try and make a list that we can refer to & refer others to.  Here's my question:


What helps? 


Not just what helps you stop daydreaming.  This is a condition we need to learn to live with. 


What helps in any way possible?  Interpret that in every way possible, and be as specific as possible. 

Some ways you can think of it:


What helps make your life better?

What helps you feel like you’re living a more fulfilling life?

What helps you feel like you’re in control?

What helps you daydream less & what helps you daydream more?

What makes your daydreams more productive?

What makes your daydreams feel less productive?

When do you leave your daydreams feeling better & more charged?

What makes them leave you feeling more sluggish?

What helps you feel stronger?

What helps you feel safer?

What helps you feel more confident?


Let’s act like we’re compiling a list of things to tell new people who’re just figuring out they’re going through this & are not sure what to do.  What advice would you give them to help them feel more empowered?

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So far, I've found that the following things help me:

1. Attending twelve-step meetings and working the twelve steps
2. Visiting this site and the Yahoo site daily
(#1 and#2 seem to work together)
3. Getting out of bed as soon as I wake up
4. Listening to recordings of twelve-step speakers as I fall asleep
5. Recognizing and avoiding my triggers, which include listening to music alone, watching T.V. shows that stir up my anger, and going to sweat-lodges :)
6. Contacting friends and openly discussing my MD with them
7. Choosing not to enter my dreamworld consciously
8. Redirecting my thoughts (by interacting with other people) when daydreams come upon me (not all daydreams--just the ones that paint me as an imaginary person with an imaginary life--of course, sometimes there's a fine line between helpful imagination and the soul-crushing escapism I'm addicted to)

In my case the daydreams I conciously start are more intense and obsessive than the ones I unconsciously slip into, so distinguishing between those I choose and those I don't has changed my life. Staying out of the most powerful dreamworld has empowered me so much that I don't beat myself up about slipping into the milder dreamworld (and I beat myself up about everything). However, I try to get out of the inadvertant dreams once I realize I'm in them. I'm hoping that my mind will wander less as I practice redirecting my thoughts over time.

9. Being aware of my emotions, especially anxiety and self-hatred, and facing them in the open rather than running from them, telling myself I can't handle them, or making them worse by beating myself up about them.
10. Not controlling my addiction, but letting go of it. Focusing on taking positive action rather than on making myself not daydream.

I'm very bad at most of these things. But I've had some success recently, so I'm practicing optimistically and getting better.

Love to you all.
It usually gets intense after i see or hear something
That stimulates my imagination, like a beautiful woman
Or really cool artwork..  ( i also have stendall syndrome
So i can get lost in a painting for hours, creating a 
Fiction for it, and living it as though it were a place).

Also anything that gets me fired up or intellectually
Stimulated...  Exactly its like fodder for a perpetually
Unfolding narrative.   It would be a blessing except
Sometimes im usually too absorbed in the act of fantasizing
To do anything creative with my thoughts..

Will said:
Also, and this is something that I think might be key.... What do you notice happens right before the onset of a daydream (preferably a full-blown episode)? How closely have you been able to pay attention to the moments leading up to it? Specifically, what is it that you notice happening, both with thoughts and feelings? I'll share my description, but I want to hold off and first hear yours :) My hunch is that it should be similar for all of us and so I don't want to ruin it. If you haven't ever made the effort to observe this period of time, it's a little tricky... but definitely worth the insight :
Awhile ago, i found a piece of advice online about
Daydreaming that suggested if instead of trying to
Completely avoid daydreaming, you schedule a time
And place for yourself for a limited amount of time.
Its like literally visiting your world.  And of u catch yourself
Slipping, u gently bring yourself back and remind yourself 
That u have an appointment.  I havent tried this yet but am going
To give it a whirl..  

I'm really trying to get to the bottom of this - why I started to daydream and why I continue to do it. Addressing the surface things (triggers, excercise, diet etc) have very short term effects. I've started reading some books (again) and I'm really trying to go through some programs. Looking back into my childhood and revisiting it through the excercises is very hard, but I feel like killing it at the roots is going to work....

Hi People,

 

I came across this website after reading an article about daydreaming in the latest Scientific american Mind issue (March/april for anyone who's interested - good article). I too have a mind that shall we say, wanders. While it seems like my habits (I'm reluctant to classify my own case as a condition) differ somewhat in scope from some of the things I'm reading here, I am definitely picking up on a lot of similarities and can partially relate. My thoughts tend to get rather compulsive at times, to an extent that goes far beyond what I'm comfortable with. 

 

Last year I was made aware of this book (link to the ebook below) after my then girlfriend printed it out for me and I think this may pertain to what some of you experience (i.e. difficulty paying attention). It is called assimilative memory, it is rather old, and offers some practical methods for remembering things and more importantly, paying attention. Emphasis on the practical. I've been through several "improve your brain power" type books, and find most of them to be a bogus attempts to cash in on the anxiety that comes from the futile pursuit of keeping up with information overload. It has helped me "snap out of it" on occasion, particularly the methods talked about in chapter 7. 

To anyone who's interested,I would advise proceeding with caution through the initial chapters. When I first read this, I became somewhat obsessed with committing large amounts of information to memory, which just fed back into my compulsive habits.  Steering clear of that however, this can help anyone improve their ability to pay attention I believe. Whenever I find myself re-reading the same paragraph in a book for twenty minutes, I think back to chapter 7 in this book and the methods bring me back into my reading. I don't know how helpful this is outside of relating to the written word, but its possible that some of you may wish to improve your ability to read without drifting off.

 

anyway, here's the link for anyone who's curious.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25354/25354-h/25354-h.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been living with MD since I was about 11 years old. I am now 37 and I am finally getting a firm grip on this ailment.

It has taken years  of  fighting urges , hating myself  and giving myself the permission to drift away.  I don't give myself permission anymore.  I had to say enough.  I no longer believe that for someone like me excessive fantasizing serves any purpose. I don't do it a little.  In fact when i did try to do that I would go back head first into weeks of secluding myself, pacing and talking to the walls.  Reality can suck ya know, but its way better than giving up on it completely . I am not "special".

Being ordinary can be extraordinary.  I am now training for a marathon, going for my masters and imagine this making friends!!!! There are so many gifts for staying present. Beautiful things happen!  I noticed I have an intuition again, that i am more in touch with others feelings and best of all the world seems new.  I know not everyone can exercise , but if you can work up a sweat or chose an exercise that requires concentration. I spend my day choosing activities that are not conducive

to the activity of daydreaming. They do exist. I have known the severity of this affliction, it has cost me friendships , convinced me i was helpless, and almost caused irreparable damage to my identity and self-esteem. I read these posts and I am amazed by everyones thoughtfulness , insight and obvious intelligence.  MD is all about immediate gratification, and it is irrational.  eventually I started to get immediate gratification when i realized I had control and i could choose to do something else.  I think us dreamers are too passive.  Smart and passive.  I got angry a few years back and it worked.

There is no fantasy that makes me feel as good as no longer being a victim of a mind i think I can't control.

 

 

When I say you can't be normal and be extraordinary, I mean literally and figuratively.  Extraordinary by definition means outside the ordinary.  It's actually not possible to be ordinary and extraordinary.  Anyway, I was trying to be clever in reminding us that being abnormal can often be great.  Of course there's beauty in "ordinary" things.  I'm trying to get us to work with our brains and use whatever weirdness we have to be great.  Let's work with them rather than against them.  We're like this for a reason.  

TheMisanthrope said:

I have been living with MD since I was about 11 years old. I am now 37 and I am finally getting a firm grip on this ailment.

It has taken years  of  fighting urges , hating myself  and giving myself the permission to drift away.  I don't give myself permission anymore.  I had to say enough.  I no longer believe that for someone like me excessive fantasizing serves any purpose. I don't do it a little.  In fact when i did try to do that I would go back head first into weeks of secluding myself, pacing and talking to the walls.  Reality can suck ya know, but its way better than giving up on it completely . I am not "special".

Being ordinary can be extraordinary.  I am now training for a marathon, going for my masters and imagine this making friends!!!! There are so many gifts for staying present. Beautiful things happen!  I noticed I have an intuition again, that i am more in touch with others feelings and best of all the world seems new.  I know not everyone can exercise , but if you can work up a sweat or chose an exercise that requires concentration. I spend my day choosing activities that are not conducive

to the activity of daydreaming. They do exist. I have known the severity of this affliction, it has cost me friendships , convinced me i was helpless, and almost caused irreparable damage to my identity and self-esteem. I read these posts and I am amazed by everyones thoughtfulness , insight and obvious intelligence.  MD is all about immediate gratification, and it is irrational.  eventually I started to get immediate gratification when i realized I had control and i could choose to do something else.  I think us dreamers are too passive.  Smart and passive.  I got angry a few years back and it worked.

There is no fantasy that makes me feel as good as no longer being a victim of a mind i think I can't control.

 

 

I really didn't like my life. Everyone is different of course. I want to be more engaged personally. I hated myself and felt like I was missing out on everything. I fantasized to escape an abusive parent . It served its purpose but frankly there are too many things I want to get done. I'm using my weirdness alright , I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't discovered so much about myself through fantasy. I felt like I was cheating all the people in my reality because of my inattention .  I chose my daydreams over people I loved. I will always be abnormal because of this but I swear time has told me that I might be capable of more than staring at walls and wishing I was someone else. It might be the most abnormal thing to walk around in this life and believe you can be great in  "real " life. The truth is I never actually used my fantasies to do anything productive. It was an addiction.
Today I noticed my eyes were sensitive to light, but it is a cloudy overcast day. Perhaps i need sunglasses but I think the refraction from clouds is more intense than blue sky. I also overhear others conversations and try not to move but i can't stand perfectly still while others speak. I am conscious of myself and others and am trying to keep my consciousness to myself so others dont know how I think. I'l do simple things like wipe underneath my nose or rub my eye when i disagree or agree with others' conversation. eavesdropping isnt an option anymore, its something i do on accident as i hear others but i hope they dont hear me (or see me rather). its hard to forget when somebody mentions 'him' or 'you' they have no connection to me, but as I place myself as him or you as others are speaking i agree or disagree as that person in the form of (hopefully) casual body language rather than out loud thinking (speaking). how often does everyone sleep? sleep deprivation is a common problem, that what they told me in clinic.

1. What helps make your life better?

- I like feeling productive. I feel better this way, more useful. 'Productive' for me means actually finishing something, be it a book review, writing a new chapter, working on an AMV (video with music and existing show/movie clips to go with it. MUCH more interesting and difficult than it sounds!), writing a blog here, editing someone else's work.

2. What helps make you feel like you're living a more fulfilling life?

- See above. I'm fine as long as I don't feel nostalgic/upset about something. That, and shows/books trigger daydreams.

3.  What helps make you feel like you're in control?

- I don't know. I don't usually feel in control. Maybe when I able to watch or read something I've been waiting to get my hands on. :)4. What helps you daydream less and what helps you daydrema more?

-I daydream a little less when I'm doing something fun, usually with friends. I daydream more when I'm upset or I haven't have access to interesting media in a while. Of course, I also daydream more when I become obsessed with said bit of media (books, movies, shows), so it's a cycle I cannot break easily.

5. What makes your daydreams more productive?

- When they leads to writing or acting or art ideas! :)

6. What makes your daydreams feel less productive?

- When they feed obsession- or frighten me so badly I can't move.

7.  When do you leave your daydreams feeling better and more charged?

- When something good happens in my daydreams. Usually when someone in them says something to make me laugh. :)

8. What makes you leave them feeling more sluggish?

- When they scare me, or make me nostalgic or sad.

 

Interesting questions! I'll consider the last three some more and come back. :D

-

I figured out the answer to all three of the last questions:

 

THIS SITE!

 

Thank you so much for creating it. It really helps me.

Interesting answers!  

Victoria said:

1. What helps make your life better?

- I like feeling productive. I feel better this way, more useful. 'Productive' for me means actually finishing something, be it a book review, writing a new chapter, working on an AMV (video with music and existing show/movie clips to go with it. MUCH more interesting and difficult than it sounds!), writing a blog here, editing someone else's work.

2. What helps make you feel like you're living a more fulfilling life?

- See above. I'm fine as long as I don't feel nostalgic/upset about something. That, and shows/books trigger daydreams.

3.  What helps make you feel like you're in control?

- I don't know. I don't usually feel in control. Maybe when I able to watch or read something I've been waiting to get my hands on. :)4. What helps you daydream less and what helps you daydrema more?

-I daydream a little less when I'm doing something fun, usually with friends. I daydream more when I'm upset or I haven't have access to interesting media in a while. Of course, I also daydream more when I become obsessed with said bit of media (books, movies, shows), so it's a cycle I cannot break easily.

5. What makes your daydreams more productive?

- When they leads to writing or acting or art ideas! :)

6. What makes your daydreams feel less productive?

- When they feed obsession- or frighten me so badly I can't move.

7.  When do you leave your daydreams feeling better and more charged?

- When something good happens in my daydreams. Usually when someone in them says something to make me laugh. :)

8. What makes you leave them feeling more sluggish?

- When they scare me, or make me nostalgic or sad.

 

Interesting questions! I'll consider the last three some more and come back. :D

-

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