Two years ago when I joined this community, I think I was more dead than alive. I've been waging quite a brutal war with maladaptive dreaming and the array of issues that underlie it ever since then and I'm on my way out of this prison. I wanted to do something for you guys so here is a little essay with insights on MD and what you can do to understand better and finally tame this beast. Hopefully, someone will find it useful.

 The split and the life between two worlds

Do you think the vague feeling of being split in two and existing between two worlds but belonging to none is exclusive to maladaptive daydreamers?

“If you try to have a conversation with me, I can’t bring myself to listen to you. I pretend to listen and you really think I do but my mind is somewhere else, thinking about it. Every time I try to stop doing it, I genuinely feel as if a part of me has been torn off and a deep sense of personal loss ensues. I feel as if I’m not here but I’m not there either and I can’t shake off this feeling of being split in two.”

This is what a recovering heroin addict once told me. Heroin addict. But it’s also what a regular maladaptive daydreamer could have told you, isn’t it?

Maladaptive daydreaming is, among other things, a typical psychological addiction. Most of the negative issues associated with maladaptive daydreaming come from the fact that it is an addictive coping mechanism and not some unique disorder with specific symptoms just recently discovered. You have heard million times that addictions are encoded in the primitive part of the brain associated with survival – which means that if you don’t get your fix right now, you feel more dead than alive and you need your drug of choice to bring you back to life. Your brain is sending a false message to you – it is issuing an urge that is blown out of proportion, compelling you to constantly indulge in daydreams and making you think that if you don’t, the world will end and you will lose a part of yourself. Drugs usually invade your sense of self – they fuse with it and by giving up the drug, you feel as though you are giving up a dear part of yourself.

Addiction is addiction but different types of drugs and addictive behaviors tell you different things about their users. So what does fantasy reveal about you? MD is like a guardian angel that tries to protect you too much and eventually causes more harm than good. But it’s still your guardian angel that tried lifting a burden off your brittle shoulders. It’s destructive in its own way but it was originally born to protect you from something. To realize and accept what you are trying to run away from is your first step towards recovery. Maybe it’s depression, maybe it’s low self-esteem and loneliness or it’s anxiety or PTSD.

Fall of the self

Maladaptive daydreaming isn’t the act of random mind-wandering – it’s a highly immersive mental activity, where all attention is gathered and directed towards happenings of the fantasy. This would be parallel to a so-called flow state, which is characterized by immersing intensely in an activity to the point of losing the sense of self. Which means, whatever happens in fantasy, happens, but not to you. It is a selfless experience, never integrated into what you call yourself, into sense of identity, into what makes you you. It exists as a detached, ecstatic, fleeting moment that slips through the fingers the moment you try to make sense out of it and process it as your own experience. You witness traces of happiness but the happiness is never yours.

Fantasy is an egoless state of mind where we are not ourselves. And by temporarily cutting ties from your own ego, the conscious identity, you’re also cutting ties from all insecurities you have ever had, from all the problems that are currently bothering you and this is why daydreams feel so damn good. Everything bad is just cut off from your perception. The part of your brain that defines your sense of self, along with all the negative things and mental illnesses attached to it, is turned off.

As you venture into this egoless place that is MD, you make up imaginary people you sometimes end up loving dearly or even fall in love with or you conjure imaginary places you’re desperately drawn to, and then suddenly – you wake up from your dream and you’re violently pulled back to reality and to being yourself. And this is where the problem arises: all those things you’ve done in your dreamworld and all those made up people you’ve come to love have nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with real YOU. They are not attached to your conscious sense of self. All those dreams and false memories you made – you made them in an egoless state of mind. And it’s this that makes you feel split. It’s not the fact that you’re physically apart from the content of your fantasies. It is the fact that your subconscious feelings, fantasies and desires do not connect to your sense of self. Even if everything you’ve been daydreaming about came true, you’d still feel like garbage, empty and miserable. If your imaginary friend came to life to make you less lonely, you’d still be lonely – because MD isn’t about made up friends or lovers or getting a new life. It’s about you not wanting to be you. Everything else is irrelevant.

In other words, you’re not addicted to your fictional characters or your imaginary love or to a fantasy about being a famous singer or writer. You’re addicted to not being you. You’re addicted to this erratic state of consciousness that is MD – regardless of its content – that provides a temporal relief.

I’m not saying that you don’t genuinely care about the content of your daydreams (quite the opposite, more on that soon) – what I am saying is that it’s not your love towards whatever is the content of your fantasies that creates this ugly feeling of being split between two worlds. One thing I can assure you (and this comes from my own experience) is that the moment you feel comfortable being you, those two worlds will reconcile, they will merge into one, and you’ll finally feel at peace with yourself.

Will a part of you be taken away as you give up your daydreams?

Maybe the saddest question I have ever asked myself was ‘how much of myself will I lose when I give up the only thing that makes me happy?’ Here’s a glimmer of hope: you’re not supposed to give them up. To give up the feelings you experience in your daydreams is self-mutilation. As strange or silly as they are, they still represent a censored part of your subconscious; maybe they are an epitome of your loneliness or your sadness. They are a testament to how hard you’re struggling and how hard you’re trying not to be dead – and to give this up is a crime towards yourself. Maladaptive Daydreaming isn’t just about wishful thinking and getting your wounds licked. It is that one place where your life flame stillburns while you may be dead in all other planes of existence. That’s enough to know that this MD thing isn’t all that entirely wrong. Maybe your real life is all emptiness and void but what you do in your daydreams – you do it with passion. And that’s enough to know that you are still capable of loving and caring about something just like other people. So passion exists and don’t you dare ever doubt that. It exists in a wrong place but it exists nonetheless. What you have to do is find a way to redirect those emotions from daydreams to reality and, as stated before, this causally happens once you’re finally you. All the positive emotions from your daydreams will flow back into you and you’ll feel as though these two worlds between which you have lived for so long have at last coalesced into one.

So what you want to do is focus on healing the self. It’s a tough one but there’s no quick fix here. Now comes the irony which you’ve been waiting for: in order to heal yourself, you need to let go of your daydreams. But didn’t I just say that you aren’t supposed to give them up, you ask? Don’t give up the passion, don’t give up the love you have for the content of your daydreaming, don’t give up the feelings – because they are all, real or not, a reminder that you’re alive. What you do have to give up is the false sense of comfort your daydreams give you. Try giving up all those countless hours you spend stuck in your own head pacing back and forth because you’d rather be there than here. Try giving up the temporal fix when you feel miserable. If someone angers you, don’t impulsively lock yourself in your room and act out a revenge in your head; go kick a sofa or something, lash out at something external.

You have to wean yourself off of this strange dissociative painkiller that’s fantasy, then let yourself feel all the pain with every ounce of your being, let all the negative emotions resurface, let them swallow you alive, don’t resist, don’t run away, accept them, let them ravage you, and somewhere along this process, a part of the you will be reborn. Something will awake. Not all of you, maybe just a small part but that’s enough to gather what’s left of your strength and continue the struggle. If you feel the urge to daydream, this is okay – as long as it doesn’t censor the pain which you shouldn’t run away from anymore, it’s fine to give in and indulge for a while if you feel like you have to. Don’t ignore temptations, this sparks the fire of addiction even more. It’s a well known pattern: if you fight the urge to engage in an addictive behavior, it makes it stronger. If you acknowledge it, analyze it, this is what breaks the cycle of addiction. In other words, the imperative is not to block the pain and negative feelings. If a sudden sense of self-disgust or low self-esteem suddenly hits you, welcome it. Welcome it, analyze it, let it consume you, and you will realize it is just a false message your brain is sending to you because that’s what brains of depressed people do, after all. The more you let yourself feel and process the negative feelings without censorship, the more will the urge to daydream weaken and the less you will run away.

Who are you really?

Depression usually enters people’s lives like a tempest – yesterday you were an optimistic person enjoying simple pleasures of life and today you feel like a suicidal or apathetic piece of shit, and this is how it is for most people. Depression that underlies MD, however, takes a different route. It enters your life stealthily, slowly, so slowly you don’t even notice it, then it gradually robs you of emotions, ambitions, memories, motivation, identity, empathy, and you end up thinking: “I don’t remember a time when I wasn’tmiserable,” or “these bad feelings must be a part of my personality, they have always been here. Because of this, most of us fail to realize where depression (or anxiety or any other kind of chronic mental illness) ends and where we begin. So if this illness isn’t you, then who are you?

Let me make a digression here. MD is usually born when you can’t express yourself properly because you’re anxious, depressed or sometimes simply shy or lonely. Mental illnesses are like lenses which distort your perception. Everything you see appears more tragic, senseless or uglier than it really is. And your both eyes are infected with these lenses. But here your subconscious decides to play a trick on your mental illness and tells you: ‘well, if your both eyes are infected and make things appear worse than they really are, then why don’t you just close them?’ You do and this is the beginning of the addiction to fantasy. You stop paying attention to the outside world and you turn it inwards and use your mind’s eye to create things inside you: your daydreams. This mind’s eye, which is fantasy, cannot get infected with depression and this is why MD is a safe haven. Depression doesn’t reach there. What your subconscious forgets to tell you before it’s too late is that if you close those two eyes used for perceiving outer world, for things outside of yourself, you’ll be completely cut off from reality. But none of this is your fault – this is a war between mental illness, the attacker, and your subconscious, which is your protector, and you are their battlefield. You don’t have a single choice, they are the ones who decide – you only observe. So if you ever blamed yourself for being too weak to make a decision to cease this addiction, stop it. It’s wasn’t your fault.

Back to my question, who are you then?

The daydream version of you isn’t the true you but it’s not a fake one either. It’s a highly filtered product of your subconscious that tried to protect you. Then we have this other real-life you imbued with low self-esteem and negative thoughts that seem to go on a loop forever. Well, that’s certainly not your true self either. Heck, if it’s any comfort for you, the daydream you is far closer to the true you than this real-life depressed version of yourself will ever be.

Can you remember the time when you didn’t have MD? Can you remember your sense of identity when you were a child free of MD? Try conjuring up all those times when you knew how to live in the present. It doesn’t matter if you were 6 years old the last time you were here. Just try to pinpoint all those moments and try to remember the feeling of being in the now. Here’s one pretty handy trick you can use. I always joke that music is a drug that takes you on a trip down a memory lane. It’s like an emotional psychedelic. It transports you emotionally back in time, to another place, another reality, to wherever you wish. It helps people with Alzheimer’s remember who they are and regain a sense of identity for a short while. Maladaptive daydreamers often use music to help them imagine an alternate setting – but what if you used music to transport yourself to the past when you had neither depression nor anxiety or MD or whatever is bothering you? If you can remember a forgotten song which you used to listen as a child who at the time hadn’t had MD yet, listen to it again, try to remember who you were, and if the song is meaningful to you, the old you and your sense of self, which you used to have back then, will come back to you for those few minutes while the song plays. You’ll feel the warmth of finally being you. You won’t quite be in the present – you’ll be in the past, but it’s your real past, it’s your true self. Try to capture this feeling and then try to reenact it. It’ll strengthen your identity in the long run.

I’ll give another example on what set me free from my own MD for a short while. You all know what fight or flight mode is. What you also probably know is that most people with PTSD or chronic anxiety are stuck in a constant state of fight or flight. Spending too much time in this state eventually leads to a burnout and is a sure ticket to depression since you go from fight and flight into freeze mode where all your functions are off and you feel like an emotionless zombie. You don’t care, you don’t live, you don’t get angry or sad or happy, you only exist on autopilot. In order to feel normal and alive again, you usually need a fix so strong which will set your body back on fire. Someone or something has to attack you so fiercely in order for you to rethink your existence and regain your instincts and the will to fight back. This is what happened to me. When one of my daydreams violently crumbled some time ago, I got so ridiculously pissed off that for the first time after several years spent in freeze mode, I felt genuinely alive. I was me. The anger acted like a stimulant and the state lasted for 15 minutes until the anger wore off. But hell, during those 15 minutes, I was me. I was so mad but I was also indescribably happy. I could feel. I could let go. I was defeated but I also won. The thirst, the cravings, the split, this strange nostalgia for my daydreams all dissolved. But instead of just disappearing, every positive feeling that was limited to the daydream world only, such as sense of purpose, motivation and normal self-esteem, flew back into me. I didn’t lose a single part of me – quite the opposite – I regained back that detached part of my soul that existed only in daydreams. What took for me to awake was extreme anger, being defeated, my world crumbing to pieces. The moment I genuinely accepted that my dream world crushed, the moment I let go of all attachments holding me back for years, I was reborn. The anger, which is a natural stimulant, made something in me click. But note: this feeling of finally being alive and the desire to fight back woke up in me once my daydreams were in danger, not me. It’s because we’re so displaced, because fantasy is where we had hidden the core of our souls.

In the long run, you’re destroying neither the daydream you nor the positive feelings that come with it, you’re not giving anything up – you’re just transferring it to reality, to where it should be. But for this change to occur, before you can be reborn and whole again, you have to self-destruct, you have to let go.

-

If you made it until the end, thank you. I hope you found it at least a little bit useful. This is just a part, you can read the rest here: 

Part 2

[nature of fantasies]


Part 3

[return to reality]

Part 4

[emotional bluntness]

Part 5

[root of MD]

[Letting go]

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Are you sort of saying then that the details of my DD world, such as the country they live in, are not something that is necessary to recreate in my real life in efforts to achieve wholeness? 

Because at least for the past 8 years, my two DD characters have not moved within fabricated adventure storylines, but more or less studied deeply, and processed, the real events of my life. One of the ONLY things that makes their life different from mine is that they live in the UK. One is English, and the other is Scottish. So basically any time I see or hear any tidbit of info about this area of the world, I see it as relevant dissociative material. I had a therapist that suggested taking a trip to London or Scotland AS MYSELF. So she seemed to think that this detail that turns my life events into an escapist Mike Leigh-like drama should not be dismissed as just a neutral theme of the content. You seem to be saying something different, which is change not the content of the real world, but the emotional texture underneath that gives it its "realness".

 
Eretaia said:

However, once you've resolved your conflicts and finally reconciled the two selves, there's a vaguely familiar sense of warmth that should greet you once you make your return to real life and that is neither new or foreign to you - because it's the same warmth that you once experienced in your daydreams, the same familiarity and the same feelings of purpose - just stronger and truer and not as pale since the split of selves is finally addressed at this point and you're whole. Your daydreams become reality, not content-wise of course but in terms of feelings, and this feels like finally being back home. 

Hey Jane. In short, yes, content is more or less irrelevant.

The question is: can you fully be yourself during this trip to London or Scotland? I think that no matter how hard you would be trying to be just Jane, somewhere at the back of your mind you'd always be seeing London through Grace and Briony's eyes. So instead of quenching your cravings, it'd probably spark them up even more. Living in the UK may only be an insignificant plot device for you or maybe it's your real projected desire - it doesn't matter - what matters is that as long as your daydream characters stand between you and your desires, you will never be able to benefit or draw satisfaction from fulfilling these desires. I'm pretty convinced that trying to introduce the content of your fantasies in your real life would be totally futile because the one who should witness the realization of these desires (the real Jane) is not there. You can physically be in the UK, you can force yourself to be mentally present as much as possible, but as long as Briony and Grace exist as separate constructs, a part of real Jane will always be missing. Just like Grace cannot exist without Briony witnessing her, your desires are insignificant without real Jane witnessing them. Your only task is to awaken true you - and this true Jane is Jane and Grace and Briony together as one entity. It's observer that's the problem, not the observed.

Oh well, I hope this made sense.

Tila said:

Are you sort of saying then that the details of my DD world, such as the country they live in, are not something that is necessary to recreate in my real life in efforts to achieve wholeness? 

Because at least for the past 8 years, my two DD characters have not moved within fabricated adventure storylines, but more or less studied deeply, and processed, the real events of my life. One of the ONLY things that makes their life different from mine is that they live in the UK. One is English, and the other is Scottish. So basically any time I see or hear any tidbit of info about this area of the world, I see it as relevant dissociative material. I had a therapist that suggested taking a trip to London or Scotland AS MYSELF. So she seemed to think that this detail that turns my life events into an escapist Mike Leigh-like drama should not be dismissed as just a neutral theme of the content. You seem to be saying something different, which is change not the content of the real world, but the emotional texture underneath that gives it its "realness".

 

Hi Eretaia. Yes, very helpful! I read your whole 3 part essay and took dozens of rainbow-colored notes in-between. Great. 

It is eerie to hear someone else talking about my characters. I think it does help to clarify who is observing all these people. That's why I have to call them by their names- reduce them to the projections that they are.

I just hope that one day I can reach a point where I am so lonely and depressed (due to having all my social connections cut off by my ability to get all my emotional fixes in my head)  that I decide to make a real, serious effort to see the world through Jane's eyes only. I honestly feel that I am nearing that point.

Just to give you some idea of how close I am to wanting to stop splitting, I have been taking steps to obtaining DMT. Salvia if I can't get the first. These are both hallucinogenic drugs. I am not speaking of a habit here, but more of a transitional  experience. I want to experience the reality, the horror of what I am doing to myself. Does that sound off-base or like an ok idea?

I have also been meditating on and off for the last 4 years. But I feel that mindfulness is too organic and gradual for the state I'm in. Organic is not always best. I want something to jolt me awake, out of this cruel, shitty dissociation. Meditation has made self-identifying easier, but I am now regressing bad, and have little patience to sit with my thoughts. 

I know that you said you were in deep like me 2 years ago. Was there a time where you said "ENOUGH!" or did it fade away slowly once you decided to stick with better habits?

Yep, there indeed was a time when I said enough. It happened out of the blue since I was pretty much a heavy daydream addict in denial and had no intention of stopping until reality slapped me right in the face. All it took for me to finally 'open' my eyes was being prevented by circumstances to daydream for just 10 days. I went on a trip with my family, had no time to daydream, had no access to music, internet or any other form of escapism. I felt huge irritability and tension grow in me with each day and finally on 10th day, I fell apart. An episode of severe depression hit me and it felt like filters from my eyes were finally removed.

Do you know what was the first feeling to come back to me after years of numbness? Guilt. Crippling guilt. For not being emotionally present for people who needed me. Then came cosmic meaninglessness. Fears I didn't even know existed. And for the first time in my life, I felt lonely. I've been alone all my life but I never felt it until that day. I felt tired, so tired of myself, of life, of everything but I decided to keep pushing forward. Not because I had hope. I didn't. I wanted to endure the pain because it was my way of punishing myself for being so goddamn blind all those years. So instead of running away, I just surrendered to all these invading emotions and after some time I noticed that the more I surrendered, the more I felt an odd sense of liberation and triumph over all these bad things. These moments were extremely short in the beginning but it was the first time I felt I was connecting with reality - or rather, myself - and it's when I truly decided that I'm going to try to win this battle.

So yeah, I understand perfectly that you want to experience the horror of what you're doing to yourself. But when it comes to psychedelics, especially strong ones, it's a gamble. A dangerous one at that. While I do think that psychedelics can have therapeutic effects in controlled conditions, I would strongly advise against. For someone who doesn't have a reality in the first place to return to, it can be too destructive. But then again, I'm not an expert and I've never done any types of drugs, so I can't give you a valid opinion. What I can tell you though is that an acute withdrawal from MD alone is one hell of a destructive experience that is more than enough to jolt you out of dissociation. (I had incredibly trippy and disturbing nightmares when I first quit daydreaming. :p)

One thing to keep in mind is that breaking away from MD is a journey to the end of the world and back. While finally feeling depression and loneliness can be your end of the world, it's going back that's tricky and takes time. Your world falling apart means waking up and rebuilding yourself means awakening.

Hi Eurataia, 

Whew! So here are a few insights I had after a very intense day of trying to stop all DD-thoughts. Since 10:30 am, I have been tallying how many times I identify arising thought-streams with my weird co-dependent people. It is now 7:45 and I have counted 156 times. This is about 22 arising DD thoughts per hour. 

I am also aware of all the emotional stimuli of my DD sphere that is sort of breathing in the background even as I don’t identify, like a sickly warm, murmuring radio. I would also describe it’s remaining presence to a marathon runner as seen in a strobe light- I observe it’s plot lines picking up speed even when I stop all the thoughts. It is still there, just in passing frames now. But I get the sense that it sort of spins its yarns without my having to witness it. 

How old were you when you were forced into facing how blind you have been in your life? I just turned 25 and have been daydreaming since preschool. Not that my life has been void of meaning. But I am too bothered by whether or not I am putting real honest effort into my real pursuits (the big ones are music and relationships )-- and I know that I can't be. 

I want to know what is waiting for me on the other side of militantly rejecting THIS. 

I think I know what you mean about not having a reality to go back to-- I do have a reality, but I am still learning how to properly interact with it. 

You say you have not touched drugs much- maybe this statement comes out of not understanding just how actualizing an experience these drugs can be. The word used most often is “lucid”. Typically there will not be a shred of ego left once the 15 min trip starts. You will see many of your lifetimes sped-up in front of you. Who wouldn’t want to see that? ;) 

I think that people at transitional points would all benefit by them. It is impossible to do them and not have your view of reality challenged. It could be the experience that gives me hope- especially if I go in with the intention that it will help me no matter what it reveals. 

What I don’t quite understand is how you managed to withhold from all DD thoughts, even without your usual media feed. I am guessing it was because you had to be you with your family members. They pulled you into the present.

--Jane

I should add that people with underlying mental conditions (even depression and anxiety) should not touch anything that makes you hallucinate. So you are probably doing being smart there. :)

I have been following this very helpful thread, and wanted to respond to Tila's comment above: It is now 7:45 and I have counted 156 times. This is about 22 arising DD thoughts per hour.

That is one of the biggest issues with quitting DD'ing.  I have just relapsed after two months free of them.  The almost non-stop cues to start again.  All it needs is an insecure, worried or tired moment and I am off again.  In this case a family function that had me stressed.

Jane, I was with my family non-stop, I didn't have a single spare moment for myself and, (un)fortunately, my family is pretty pessimistic so being continually in their company drained me instead of keeping me entertained and distracted from my problems. I was bored and irritable and with the lack of positive energy around me, I just broke. I was 20 at that time.

Give it a few days. MD is a stimulant. All you have to do is run out of it before negative issues start welling up. The cravings are terrible in the beginning and triggers are everywhere but after a few days of continually avoiding them, reality will start to grow more dominant. And it won't be pleasant so don't give in. 

I know full well how DMT works. I'm not questioning the extreme levels of neuroplasticity it can trigger or how powerful (both positively and negatively) it can be. I haven't done any drugs but I had intense experiences from meditation and lucid dreaming which are far milder (or rather, not as violent) altered states of consciousness but not any less powerful when it comes to tackling traumatic events or feelings at core levels. The problem with DMT is how much repressed is released at once and whether you can stomach it. We aren't people with ordinary lives; our self-hatred was so strong that it eventually sent the self into exile. Second, it doesn't crush just your reality, it crushes your objective concept of reality which can either set you free or completely fuck you up. As for not having a shred of your ego left, I guess that would depend of dosage, luck and how ready you are to let go. Anyway, the reason why I'm saying all this is because my depression, which was brought on by merely facing reality which is petty compared to a reality you'll face if your issues well up at once with help of a psychedelic, was so strong that I was figuratively somewhere between life and death. It was mentally overwhelming. It took me 3 months to pick the pieces of my sanity back and decide that I should try to stand up again. These things are intense and must be dealt with really carefully.

Alta Morden, when I first stopped daydreaming, I think I was so stressed, tired and mentally exhausted that even engaging in my addictive behavior felt too demanding. Then came depression and anxiety and all my fears and hopelessness were so strong that there simply wasn't a possibility of running away anymore. It's when reality slapped me in the face. And it's the moment when you have to fight back.

The only way for an addict to stop is to run out of drug and hit the bottom. So, ignore your cues and triggers. Let them drive you insane. Ignore them until the pressure becomes so strong that you'll want to explode. Eventually, you'll break. When you do break, addiction breaks too. Everything you've been running away from will resurface and no drug will be able to suppress it. Problem with us addicts is that we fall and fall and fall but we never let ourselves fall low enough to hit the bottom. Only when you hit the bottom can you stand up. Otherwise, you'll just continue falling.


Alta Morden said:

I have been following this very helpful thread, and wanted to respond to Tila's comment above: It is now 7:45 and I have counted 156 times. This is about 22 arising DD thoughts per hour.

That is one of the biggest issues with quitting DD'ing.  I have just relapsed after two months free of them.  The almost non-stop cues to start again.  All it needs is an insecure, worried or tired moment and I am off again.  In this case a family function that had me stressed.

Yes, that makes sense.  Thank you.  I can hardly begin to say, not being that verbally expressive, how much this thread has helped me.

Oh, thank you. I'm really glad. :)

Alta Morden said:

Yes, that makes sense.  Thank you.  I can hardly begin to say, not being that verbally expressive, how much this thread has helped me.

On Day 3 of tracking all DD thoughts. Now I am also taking note of the content of each thought that arises. I plan to journal all of these, so I can get a clear picture of what my madness looks like. At least, what it might look like to an outsider. 

I have to say that this feels almost like climbing a vertical wall. It feels nearly impossible to be myself. You mentioned that in dealing with life as yourself at first, you would be stone cold, numb. That is exactly what is happening to me.

I also feel overwhelmed by every social interaction I have -now that I can't transfer all those feelings inwardly into DD bs. Even a two minute conversation on Facebook can fill me with excited-nervous stimulation. I have to get up and do the little MD dance. I am shocked at how sensitive I am. I realized that all these emotions burn through me so fast that I can't release them in any coherent or controlled way. So I repress, push them down and down, and they become my storylines. Christ!

But I do think that if I keep on journaling and routinely noting every bit of content, I will grow wiser to how to accept my true emotional weather. How to not be afraid to check my pulse every step of the way.

I gotta say that I do feel the split identities coming apart most intensely when I track my thoughts in a journal. I recommend that everyone trying to quit DD cold turkey do this! 

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