Where wild minds come to rest
I have this odd relationship with my daydreams. Since I found out that I'm not the only person out there who does this, and since I examined the ways my daydreaming has negatively affected my real life, I've tried to daydream less. I'd always assumed that some day, when I fall in love and have kids and a house and a family, I would stop daydreaming. For years I thought I was just kind of playing, even as a teenager, and that I would eventually grow out of it. But I have realized that if I want to stop, I'm going to have to actively try to stop. And I'm having so much trouble with that thought.
I'm graduating college soon, and hopefully will be starting a full time job in June. I have a large family who love and support me, and a lot of great friends who are there for me whenever I need them. I struggle a lot with my mental health, but I have an amazing support system and a lot of resources at my disposal. And I know a lot of people who struggle with MDD do so precisely because they don't have these relationships and resources. I don't know why I do it if I have love and support in my real life.
The one thing I've never told anyone - not my family, friends, not even my therapist - is about my maladaptive daydreaming. I'm too embarrassed, that's true, but if I'm being honest with myself, that's not the biggest reason I keep this to myself. The biggest reason is that I know that if I talk about it to someone, it would mean admitting that it's a problem. And it would mean working to try and stop. I feel so ashamed to admit it, but I am so attached to my daydreams. They feel like a part of me. They make me feel safe, and loved, and I honestly can't fathom what life without them would be like. I know they're in my head, and that the people in them aren't real, but I feel like if I make efforts to stop daydreaming and I succeed, I'll just feel so empty. I don't daydream as often as I used to when I was younger - I used to spend at a minimum four hours a day, every day, daydreaming, and now I do it maybe once or twice a week. So I know I've improved. But I still daydream when I'm overwhelmed or stressed, and I think my attempts to stop daydreaming have led to me just shutting down emotionally, which I don't like at all.
I feel like I don't know who I am without these worlds inside me. I don't know how to handle things without them. I know that it's not healthy and it's caused so many problems in my life. But I don't want to stop. I'm terrified to stop. I don't understand why I'm like this - why I'm so attached to these fictional friends when I have many wonderful friendships, why I can't stop craving affection from fictional people even though I get a ton of affection from all the people around me. I don't know why I feel like I'll lose so much of myself if I stop daydreaming. I don't know how to feel any other way.
I've never posted on Wild Minds before. Even sharing here feels like a huge risk, and I don't quite get why. I think that maybe my daydreams are so precious to me that I'm petrified to talk about them, as if they'll disappear the second I bring them into the world outside my head. I'm not ready to talk to my loved ones about this, and I don't know if I ever will be. I guess I'll talk here until that day comes.
I know this may not have made much sense, but if you read it, I appreciate you taking the time. If anyone has any thoughts, please share - I would love to hear them.