Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
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:
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?
I think the first step is to figure out where daydreams/fantasy fits in your life. Are you like me, where it's your hobby, passion, and pipe dream? Or has it become an unhealthy coping mechanism that you would rather live without?
I can't really speak on how to get rid of daydreams. But I think it's good to think about the difference between a good daydream and a bad daydream, or what that means for you. For me, romance plot lines can be hairy. They pretty much get muscled out when I actually like someone, and I focus that energy on the real person instead, which isn't always a good thing. With some deliberate self-guidance, I can make my romantic daydreaming evolve from its unchecked version when I'm single, to the modified version when I'm in a relationship that's from more of an author's perspective than a self-insert POV.
It also helps me to clear my mind in the moment when I remind myself that I have time. I don't want to stop daydreaming, so I don't need to binge as hard. I don't feel like I'm only happy when I forget what I'm doing, but I've experienced that before. Honestly, I mourn the time I spent playing The Sims 3 more than I do the time I spent daydreaming, because I don't play The Sims anymore. If I had been addicted to The Sims 3 for a decade or more, then, yeah, I'd mourn the time lost. But my daydreams are the rough draft of... everything creative. I'm in school, taking longer than expected, but I'm not in a rush. I'm confident in my ability to make the best of the real world, and I'm prepared for the possibility that no one but me will ever enjoy my Cool Thing tm. But, I have a Van Gogh type daydream for that, haha. Seriously, if you're a fellow failwriter who doesn't write anything down, I suggest thinking about that scene from Dr. Who with Van Gogh.
I don't just "write like everyone [I] know is dead," I write like everyone I know never existed, including me. (Well I OUTLINE like I never existed, but whatever.) I'm only truly free in my mind, if that. I've pushed it too far and ended up in the psych ward, but even that was enlightening to me. There's plenty wrong with me; being a compulsive fantasizer just ain't it.
I think you made the first step just by being here. I hope you find what you need here, and if you're a lifer, then I hope your daydreams stay dreamy :)