I would never give this up. Although there were a few times that I wanted to really badly. The first time I wanted it to go away, I wasn't even sure what it was, but I knew my thoughts and feelings weren't normal. I've always struggled with this double identity. There has always been this part of me that wanted to live a 'normal' life where I get an education, have a successful job, get married, have children, buy a house, save for retirement, have a merry life with lots of friends... and then there is this part that wants the complete opposite. The more I've thought about it, the more I believe that my early fantasy world was the one in which everyone else wanted me to have and my struggle has arisen with the powerful desire I have to create my own world.

I left home once when I was 19. I didn't tell anyone I was leaving because I didn't think they would understand what I was thinking (and low and behold they still don't). I wanted to walk around the world. I didn't make it very far though. It wasn't because I couldn't do it though. I walked 15 miles in one day enjoying every moment of it. (I think I daydream the most when I walk.) As dusk came about I snuck into somebody's woods and built a lean-to teepee. The darkness doesn't scare me. I find I'm most comfortable in it because I am alone and I have the world all to myself. I couldn't go through with it though because my ties to home were too great and the thought that I might actually be crazy kept getting to me. That was my struggle, between 'normal' and me.

Later on I would be telling this to my therapist who would diagnose me with depression (I can't remember the name of it, but the one that comes and goes on a regular basis). I was told I had this because between the time I graduated high school and the present (last year) I kept going through the same cycle each year. Starting in the autumn, I would be motivated to start school and I would do okay through the fall semester. Though as interesting as I found many of my classes, I never took the whole school thing too seriously. My thoughts were focused somewhere else. Yes, I lived in my alternate realities, paralleling my own, but I also desired to be somewhere else. By the middle of to end of spring semester my mind was made up that I would not be continuing school. I would be going for my walk. Then as the summers came along, I got into this habit of flying out to my brother's in Portland to do work on his house. He is that 'ideal' person the has that 'normal' life I described above. Him and his wife would heavily persuade me that I was crazy for leaving school and with my insecurities, he would have me signed up for classes before August.

This continued for a number of years until I finally snapped and everything fell apart. It was so extensive that my imagination completely left me. I called it chronic bordom and I was afraid it would never go away. When I lost my imaginative world I felt like I had died and I refer to that point in my life as being dead. I had only a few friends to hang out with and as much as I absolutely loved going home every weekend, I was constantly bored. So I slept most of the time. It was weird because I was so used to spending so much time by myself that without my imagination, I was desperate for constant attention, yet I didn't really know how to make friends so I was really lost. I desperately looked forward to seeing my therapist each week just so I could talk to someone...

Whether it was depression or my struggle with reality identity, the conclusion is I finlly got the courage to break the cycle. I told my brother that I wouldn't be returning to school and from that my state of mind has shifted. My imagination is back, I have a more comfortable outlook of reality and I'm managing to live in both worlds, even bridging them together in some areas.

Reflection
I haven't really reflected on any of this until now. It's nice to know there are others with this familiar 'condition' and I feel completely comfortable writing all of this to share with you. Anywhere else and, to say the least, people would not understand, let along be afraid or something. I feel my case may be a bit on the extreme end. My thoughts tend to be a little more intense than some, but I'm also very comfortable with them now.

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Comment by Heinriech Heisner on December 21, 2010 at 9:47pm
Sorry Kathleen, I guess I never responded to your questions. My wild imagination is very good for creating. It's the other part of it, the detachment from the excessive dreaming and the actual doing the creating is what has held me back for so long. That's changing now, but I'm still held back a bit.
Comment by kathleen on April 8, 2010 at 8:54am
did creating art help? does your imagination or "condition" get in the way of creating?

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