Lately I've been falling back into my old habits with MD... I thought I had gotten over it, but the way school has going and the fact that I recently made some OCs that are always on my mind isn't exactly helping... I can't say for sure if it will be as bad as it as before (I can't remember large swathes of the period of time when my MD was at its worst) but I'd rather not return to it at all. I find myself zoning out in class into the new universe in my head, and my grades are suffering heavy because of it. I'm not really sure how to stop it. Any advice ? ;-;

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Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on May 5, 2021 at 5:27pm

Recently I watched Jurassic Park 1 and 2, so when I'm at work, I imagine that I'm sidekick character in a Jurassic Park TV Series. And I venture around with Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant, Hammond, Ian Malcolm. I have a crush on Goldblum, so I'm sort of his girlfriend. I guess because it's covid, I'm so bored and alone, so it's all I got to entertain myself when friends aren't there. 

Comment by Kalliope on May 3, 2021 at 5:22am

Hello Jenna,

I also quit half a year ago. A few weeks ago I wouldn't have said that I "quit", because I slipped up here and there, but now I could consistently keep away like you did.

I think what you can do, because you have these great OCs in your mind, that you might not easily let go, is that you write them down. I have found sentimentality a very difficult opponent when fighting MD. So if you struggle with the feeling of not wanting to let them go, try writing them down. There are several ways to do so.

First, write them down as summary. Three sentences, or so. So that you get rid of the idea in your head. Maybe, when you read what you wrote, the entire reason you created them comes more easily to you. Maybe you were lonely, stressed, overwhelmed, bored - and the OCs are there to alleviate that. Maybe writing them like this and looking at that is enough to get them out of your system.

Second, write them down as an analysis. Think hard about your OCs, about your new feelings, about your current every day life, since the OCs emerged and a week or two before that. What changed in your feelings, in your everyday life? What is the connection between the OCs? between the OCs and life? between your feelings and the OCs? Between events and your feelings? Write down everything you think when you analyze this. Even if it sounds stupid. I find the harder it is to write down, the more truth it contains, the more you need to go into that direction. The thing you cannot write down, no matter how much you sweat and try, and beat around the bush, that is the reason they appeared. Find that reason.

Third, if you're not the type to do that, or it doesn't work, then only MD when you can write down the story, in a way you would write a proper novel. Work hard at that novel. No "Character A does B in C". Proper suspension, choice of words, proper continuity, but NO planning. Planning a story and thinking it though before writing it down is MD. No, what you need to do is put shackles of reality on your MD. Write that story down. It is like looking in the mirror, looking at old stories. What you think is distorted from the real thing, even if the real thing you thought of is your MD character. So: Write what your MD character looks like, does, the universe, as a proper novel, at least 10 pages. Write it good so you may want to read it later on. It is so much work! It feels freeing. And this way, you have the new OCs, and they have a place they deserve, without being puppets to your every whim, only to be forgotten years later.

Fourth, don't paint your characters right now. I saw you have pretty, neat pictures. But somehow, writing a storyline for the OCs is a shackle for MD, but painting OCs is giving them wings and eating you up... I don't know why the difference is there, but it is there very very much. Don't paint, write (even if you suck at writing, no one but you gonna read it).

Fifth, I struggle with this, but, it is important, do awareness meditation. For a few minutes every day. This will be good for you to ground you and make you remember more.

With the way you say that you don't remember.. I wonder if another maladaptive aspect makes your main MD worse, such as dissociation, (depression, ADHD, or OCD)? You might want to feel into yourself how you feel right before you have that feeling of "I need to MD" - forlorn, sad? does it feel like you *need* to do it? lonely? Maybe you can fight against it here.

I'm rooting for you! Do tell how you're feeling and how it's going!! Gotta know : )

Comment by Valeria Franco on April 30, 2021 at 9:55am

It is pretty normal slipping bac, MD is a habit itself and habits are hard to defeat.

At least you have proven yourself that you can live without it, that is positive.

It's a good idea to cut it before it gains too much strength again.

In my university years, I quitted for one year and then I slipped back and in time it became that real big problem I am fighting for awareness.

Maybe if I had realized what it was, if I had stopped it when it was weak, it wouldn't have grown that much.

Advice? Stick on reality, and read or watch videos about dealing with bad habit and apply it to MD.

Comment by someone on April 29, 2021 at 8:05pm

I also have the same problem :(

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