Hey all. I am relatively new to this community but definitely not new to this condition. Only recently I have discovered maladaptive daydreaming is actually a thing that other people do and struggle with. I'm 40 years old and have realized that I've been doing this since at least grade 7, all because I couldn't cope with being myself. I had a very emotionally and physically abusive home life and was bullied a lot in school back before the Internet was a thing. So I began escaping into this fantasy world where I can control the outcomes and everything would be fine. The problem is I haven't stopped doing it and feel it consumes my life too much. I only do it when I am alone and I live alone with my cat. I want to figure out how to break this sucks and rediscover who I am. I don't think I can be happy u til I pick up these fragmented pieces of my identity that are the basis of these characters and pull them together in one identity. I think I've convinced myself I'm not worth it so that's why I turn to this world. Now that I have discovered that this is what I have, I need help on what to do next. Advice is greatly appreciated.

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Comment by Ulaan Gom on September 13, 2016 at 9:56pm

First off thank you so much for sharing your story! I would start off by forgiving yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and decisions that may have not served them to the fullest, but that's a part of life. Personally, I feel that beating myself up is often the greatest hinderance to my progress. At this point in your life, you have two choices: you can either continue down the path you've been taking with daydreaming, or step up and commit yourself to overcoming Maladaptive Daydreaming and make your real life meaningful and fulfilling. I know you have the strength and courage to face reality, even if it hurts beyond measure. When you take your first steps, don't expect yourself to be free from daydreaming, negative emotions, or depression immediately. Rather, take them as a sign that your making progress. As you work towards building a more meaningful real life, you will slowly start to notice that your desire to daydream will decrease and your overall levels of happiness will increase. However, I must emphasize that the progress is typically slow at first. Stick with it, because honestly you have so many good things going for you in your life, so many blessings waiting to be unfolded. I know you can do this, even if it's tough at times. Start off with very small goals in real life, like maybe walk the dog for five minutes or learn how to make a paper frog. Whenever you set these goals for yourself, keep up with your word, because in the process you'll be building a sense of self-trust. This self-trust will in turn build your self-esteem to the point where real life becomes more enjoyable than daydreaming. Then you'll realize how you have the power to make your real life whatever you want to make it. I wish you the best of luck, and please don't hesitate to reach out here. We're all wishing you the best, and know that we're here to support you.

Comment by Bee Anchor on September 12, 2016 at 4:59pm

Its hard to stop but when you do ..You realize that maybe you could have used your time better....But you cannot beat up on yourself -all you can do is your best. This is not a moral failing just a coping mechanism for dealing with reality which is often sordid.To be honest I think I was alot more happier and excited about life when I was DDing but now its gone and life is empty. You realise how people are hollow and maybe imaginary people were better afterall.

Comment by Camoran on September 6, 2016 at 10:35am

All I've been able to figure out is that it takes strength to get rid of it, although I'm not sure of what kind of strength. I think it's accurate enough to picture it as a spear stuck through your shoulder: as much as the spear hurts, it's even more painful to pull it out, even when it's clear that after that the pain would start to fade.

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