I Want to actually live in a fantasy world...

For as long as I can remember, I have lived (mentally) in some kind of fantasy world that mostly involved characters from anime or cartoons. In recent years it has gotten much more complex, consuming and addictive, developing into full blown MD (I didn't realize that there was a name for this until a few years ago). I fantasize about being an imaginary character who is basically who I wish I was in real life. I fantasize about going on fantasy quests and adventures with friends, achieving a high status in society and basically doing things for the greater good of humanity. Basically a superhero with a major influence on people. I have also built several other imaginary universes with different scenarios.

Sometimes I wish that I could actually live in one of those worlds. Like the world of the show Avatar: The Last Airbender, or Legend of Korra, which I'm currently obsessed with (I know. That sounds weird because I am 23 years old.....), and become friends with the characters, or just live in a world of my own where I can be free from the suffering of this world and start another life from scratch. I'm currently going through a lot of angst and turmoil IRL so maybe that's why my daydreaming has really started to consume me. I want to escape. I feel empowered, happy, loved and at peace only when I'm in my head daydreaming. It's my safe haven in a cruel, hostile, and unforgiving world. I cannot deal with my flaws anymore and I wish I could just run away from myself, but I can't. I have a responsibility to this world, but I feel alone and trapped, and daydreaming (or any kind of escapism for that matter) is the only thing that's keeping me sane.

Sorry about the overly negative post. I'm just not in a very good place right now :(

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Comment by Eretaia on September 9, 2012 at 9:45am

I understand. But it's also painfully logical for us not to have a defined identity, isn't it? We live dreams, not lives. All the personality traits, countless identities and values we created in our fantasies simply collapse in real world, so we end up being no one. However, your true emotions, your attention, your real self, your soul if you will - they are all directed towards your inner world. But an important thing to note is that they are not lost, they're just out of focus. Whenever you find yourself emotionally numb and indifferent to real people, or in real situations where you should care about something but you simply can't do it, just remember that you still have strong emotions and personality - they are just directed towards your dreamland. But as long as they exist, you can somehow reverse the situation and substitute your imaginary world for the real one. Of course, it will take months of hard work and severe psychoanalysis and you literally have wage wars against your unconscious and underlying issues. We have so much negative things to fight, from low self-esteem and worthlessness to loss of identity and emotional numbness, and I know we're getting instantly hopeless and depressed when considering all the negative traits we have to change, but we have to take a first step.

Same here. I desperately want a psychotherapist as well, but I'll be soon going to another country to study abroad where I don't have insurance that would cover it, so the idea is doomed to backfire, arghh. At least I hope to see a psychiatrist before leaving.

Glad you liked it. :) But keep in mind that in Evangelion 90% of events have a hidden psychological meaning. :)

Comment by LordXephere on September 8, 2012 at 2:47am

Sorry it took me so long to reply. I can relate strongly to both that clip in the anime and what you said. As a result of my MD I have had sort of a loss of identity.  It's caused me to feel like I don't exist or that I'm just invisible and have no personality or identity. Sometimes it's hard for me to even identify how I feel about something when I'm asked for an opinion. It's almost like I have no soul.

I really want to get a psychotherapist to talk to about everything, but unfortunately, I currently don't have a way of paying for one, so I have to figure that out. 

Thanks for posting the link to the anime. That clip of the show is so powerful, deep and poetic and I think the creator knows me. The boy in the show, like me, wanted to escape to a fantasy world because he struggled to find happiness in reality and wanted to escape to a fantasy world and use that as a substitute for the real world. I liked what was said about how our imagination is a great tool to change the world and create a better future but if we aren't using it in the real world, nothing changes. Everything in that clip just hit me so hard. Now I know that I HAVE to watch this series. 

Comment by Eretaia on August 31, 2012 at 3:56am

Not having confidence and having anxiety issues is something you can get over; but you have to take the initiative and you have to be willing to make changes. The problem of people like us, the loner types, is that we wait for people to find us rather than search for them. If you think that finding someone who'd offer you support is truly worthwhile and helpful, then that's excellent. So start searching. Don't wait for others to come to you - sometimes you have to be the first one to give, and soon after that, you'll be given something in return. I'm painfully aware of how goddamn cliche all of this sounds, haha, and I apologize for wording it this way, but it's the truth. Until we are willing to change or improve ourselves, then no one can help us. Also, why don't you try finding a good psychotherapist on your own? I know it's awkward talking about fantasies, but what the hell. Talking about your problems to someone who's experienced will definitely make you feel better. I already told my family about MD and that I want a good psychiatrist, and they're fine with it; I don't have time for psychotherapy now because I'm soon going abroad to study, but if I just had a change, I wouldn't refuse it for anything. Of course, we're the ones who'll have to find solutions should we want to stop living in a fantasy world, but talking to a professional, who has encountered similar problems, can give us a dose of objectivity and make us realize things we didn't know about ourselves. We're so self-absorbed that we really do lack objectivity.

Anyways, I mentioned Neon Genesis Evangelion because I felt that you really have to watch it. To sum up, it's an anime about escapism, fantasies, wanting to reconstruct a better world where there's no pain, inner conflicts and despair caused by differences between your perfect world, your own truth and the real word, wanting to be loved and respected by everyone but feeling miserable, loss of identity, loneliness and anxiety as a result of all those factors. Sounds familiar? :) Haha, the similarities are actually hilarious. The anime is a product of its creator's personal struggles and certain psychological problems, including depression; the plot is one enormous mind-fuckery but themes are all autobiographical and the main theme is: reconstructing the world the way we'd like it to be. I don't say the anime is about MD, although I don't exclude the possibility and it could very possibly be, but it surely is about giving in to fantasies. You have to watch it. I'll give you the link of the movie which is a sequel to the anime,  so that you can see one scene. Skip to 01:13:30 and see if the dialogue stirs your attention for the following few minutes:


Like I said, I don't know if it's about MD, but its creator had identical problems - and what's important, he did find his answers. The anime is sometimes vague, perplexing and highly complex but you'll be able to find some answers. We suffer from the same problems after all.

You're welcome. :)

Comment by LordXephere on August 30, 2012 at 2:06am

I understand what you mean Eretaia. I know that I've gotten to a pretty low point in my life and I've always had a lack of motivation for things I should have motivation for in life. Mostly because I have anxiety issues when it comes to functioning in society and, working, or driving. I don't have much confidence in myself and just don't think I'm capable of living a normal life and taking care of myself without screwing up and getting into embarrassing situations. It's even worse that I'm alone and don't have much social support and that's what fuels my daydreams. I always fantasize about being liked by everyone and having people to talk to and spend time with. 

I think if I had one person that I could talk to about this who would actually understand me, I would feel much better about things and probably more motivated to do something about this too. It would show me that I'm not alone and there are kind and understanding people in the world and that I don't have to be afraid or hide anymore. If someone showed a positive attitude towards me we could connect on a deep level, it would definitely give me hope just like you were saying.

I feel so misunderstood in general, even by my family. I'm so out in left field and out of touch which frustrates my family sometimes, especially my younger brother. Everything I have an interest in like anime or cartoons, female fronted metal bands, lucid dreaming, and anything fantasy related, they just don't get it. I got made fun of for watching Avatar: The Last Airbender because "it's a kid's show and it's disgusting and weird because your too old". Everyone wants me to be cool and trendy and that's not me. I just wish that someone would just accept me for who I am and not complain about me or want to change me.  Sometimes I'm just so sick of society and this in crowd mentality and how we all have to be the same. I was feeling rejected and alone throughout my life and this is a big reason why I have MD. This caused me to feel that my inner fantasy realm was the only safe place for me to go and it became the only thing I connected with emotionally.

But you're right. I have to just ignore them and just live my life the way I want. I'm taking steps towards getting a drivers license and a car, which I've put off for years. That way I'll have the freedom I want, which would make it easier for me to get out and meet people and I think that would really help my MD.

You asked about Neon Genesis Evangelion? I actually haven't seen it. I like to watch anime, but I haven't had much of a chance to really watch much. There's a ton of anime  haven't seen yet. I heard it was one of the greatest shows ever. Definitely on my watch list. From what I've heard it's very psychological and deals with loneliness which I could really relate to.

Thanks for the helpful post :)

Comment by Eretaia on August 28, 2012 at 3:10pm

Then screw them. Screw all the expectations. You already have to deal with being someone else in your own head and the last thing you need is to measure up to someone's expectations and be someone that you're not for the second time. Now I'm stating the obvious, but speaking of humiliation and judging, isn't humiliating another also a defense mechanism? Those who humiliate and judge and bully are subconsciously unsatisfied because of some aspect of their life and they vent out all the negative energy at you. And their words should unsettle you? They are as unstable as we are. They are escapists in their own way but they are escapists just as much as we are. So screw them. The world is bunch of cruel bastards but there are always those who stand out and who'll welcome you as you are so focus on them. Sometimes a bit of kindness is what pulls you out. Just for a moment, try to be your real self - try to return to who you were just for a mere moment, remember times when you were happy and your fantasy wasn't a reason for it. I know it's goddamn hard, because our identities are messed up and we literally forgot who we once were, but just coming to terms with the fact that we are alone and hopeless at the moment is a huge step. Because from that point, you will turn to other people for understanding and help and when you do get understanding, hope will return.

Also, MD probably cannot be stopped just by trying to ignore it. However, when pleasure in your real life increases, MD weakens. So, if your daydreams are too strong, if you feel you can't control them, then let them be - but in the meantime, work on improving your real life, your real self, and work hard - and each success, each personal battle won, will decrease your urge to daydream.

Anyways, as for my personal situation, the world now isn't hostile to me at all; in fact, there are actually a lot of people who are really nice to me yet I still don't feel any connections and I feel like an ingrate who cannot appreciate anything. So I can only try to guess how you feel, but I do think, though I might be wrong, that our connection with the outer world is shaped by MD, regardless of how the world is to you. I also feel numb as well, nothing excites me and I am in a way dissociated, at least in an emotional aspect. But lately, though, I've been trying to reawaken my feelings toward real world and sometimes emotions I though were dead actually do return to me. In other words, there's hope, there really is. Anyways, now I want to ask you this: if there was a person in real life who would truly try to understand you, offer you support, would it change something? Would you feel more motivated to try and fight this? To me, this actually helped a lot.

Ah, then we are the same when it comes to emotional attachment to characters, haha. I actually love mine to insanity, in a non-romantic sort of way, and I admire them so goddamn much that quitting MD feels like a betrayal to them but it's something I have to do. Because if I keep MD, I'd be betraying real people which is by far worse.

Also, speaking of anime, have you watched Neon Genesis Evangelion? 

Comment by LordXephere on August 27, 2012 at 7:34pm

Eretaia, I understand what you mean. I feel the same way you did. Just like you I feel absolutely no connection to the outer world. The people are hostile, I'm always judged or humiliated in some way, or I can't measure up to expectations. Every time I think about the outer world, I feel alone, lost, misunderstood and out of place. It's like I don't belong anywhere. It actually does feel like my emotions are blocked sometimes, even though I do have empathy when it comes to people. It's just that nothing really excites me and I just feel numb or dissociated. 

I understand that I probably shouldn't just escape my problems as that's never good to do, but I just feel like everything gets to be too much for me. Sometimes I do think that the MD has actually ruined me but I can't bring myself to quit. It's like the thing that is keeping me sane through my life, is the same thing that is destroying me. I'm so into my daydream world that it's difficult for me to cope with the real world. I think this is what makes me want to live inside of a daydream. It's like being addicted to some drug. You want to quit, but at the same time, you can't imagine your life without it.

About your question about my daydreams, I have always had deep emotional, and sometimes even romantic, attachments to my characters. I did this mostly in junior high and high school, when I was severely bullied and had no friends. I would fantasize about being friends with anime characters. In high school, I felt lonely and depressed and I wanted to experience love and have a girlfriend. I was a geek and no one liked me so it was impossible for me to get a date. I had these cartoon characters that I had crushes on and I would fantasize about being in a relationship with them. Around my late teens I started creating my own original characters and was deeply attached to them as well. 

Even though I actually love my characters I also like the sense of control and power daydreaming gives me. I actually feel like I'm someone important. I have led revolutions and have been an influential figure in my daydreams so I guess that kind of power, otherwise I'm not into being a tyrannical ruler or anything like that. I daydream about being the idealistic, smart, wise, compassionate, sensitive, mysterious knight or hero who fights for the greater good.

Comment by LordXephere on August 26, 2012 at 11:05pm

Ashlee, lucid dreaming is actually one of my obsessions right now. The thought of actually being able to control your dreams and experience a fantasy world of your choice is awesome. You can do anything, be anyone and go anywhere you imagine. I would love to have supernatural powers or just go flying around random places. 

The thing that makes this so appealing to me is that supposedly lucid dreams are just as realistic as waking life, so you would actually feel like you're really there while knowing that it's all your imagination. I guess that's the closest you can get to actually living in a fantasy world. It's amazing and I've always wanted to have one since I first read about it. I started trying to have them, but no luck yet.

Comment by ashlee on August 26, 2012 at 8:23pm

same....living in my daydream would be so much nicer than the real world.

thats why i want to learn to lucid dream, because when you get the hang of it you can dream whatever you want it feels really really real. ill get the hang of it one day-i hope.

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