Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I have been there before. Where I'm in a perpetual state of fantasy only to guard me from reality. Most of you are there. Trapped in your minds, living out your daydreams, but feeling isolated and discontent with real life. Others of you are happy you don't have to live in the real world; after all, you created a fantasy world so that you could escape the harsh, cruel world.
I've felt all those things. I still do. I'm not the most introverted person in the world, but I'm definitely no social butterfly and struggle to do simple things like make small talk. I often have a hard time connecting with people long-term and don't understand why I don't easily fit in or make friends.
However, there was just one thing I wasn't going to tolerate: letting my characters have all the fun. After awhile, I got sick of being this talented, creative rock star only in my dreams. I'm acting out the very life of my main character, everything from his brilliant guitar work to his interactions with others. I'm living his life...just as he would. The troubled genius, the ease he navigates a conversation with, the seduction of his many sexual partners, the confidence bordering on cockiness held in check by his own compassion and love for others. You FEEL the lives of these characters, not just see it/act it out. You know what it's like to be them.
Then after getting all riled up emotionally from experiencing everything they experience, you walk out of your bedroom, and you're back in real life. You have unfinished work assignments, untouched school work, things you were going to start but didn't, things you should read, but haven't. I was always wishing, aspiring to, thinking, hoping. But never doing.
I started to change that. I knew I was talented at writing and that it's something I wanted to do. So I put my efforts into researching how to become a freelance writer--and I started getting clients! Meanwhile, I've been plugging away at my degree for about 7 years now. I've gone over numerous reasons with myself on why I want to and need to do it for my career. I've weasled my way of up the corporate ladder at various jobs. I work on amateur video editing/production using just my crappy webcam and windows live movie maker. I'm trying to learn Spanish. I look up interesting things to me, like cognitive behavior or interesting science facts. I write down the definitions of words I don't know.
I'm not going to let Alex and Jordan and all the rest of my characters have all the fun! I've been steadily working on various things in my life ever since I graduated high school. Things that I want to define me as a person. I'm not always perfect at it and I'm not the most dedicated (I take a LOT of breaks). But I got sick of not doing anything at all. It may be a slow journey, filled with lots of daydreams, but I'm doing it because I just can't have it any other way.
If you're struggling to break out of that mold and actually use your daydreams for inspiration, I feel you. This is in no way to preach at you or make you feel bad. Just sharing my experience. :)