Added: Braxton Ortis - Date: 16.04.2022 02:57 - Views: 13656 - Clicks: 3853
Two years ago when I ed this community, I think I was more dead than alive. I've been waging quite a brutal war with maladaptive dreaming and the array of issues that underlie it ever since then and I'm on my way out of this prison. I wanted to do something for you guys so here is a little essay with insights on MD and what you can do to understand better and finally tame this beast. Hopefully, someone will find it useful. Do you think the vague feeling of being split in two and existing between two worlds but belonging to none is exclusive to maladaptive daydreamers?
I pretend to listen and you really think I do but my mind is somewhere else, thinking about it. Every time I try to stop doing it, I genuinely feel as if a part of me has been torn off and a deep sense of personal loss ensues. This is what a recovering heroin addict once told me. Heroin addict. Maladaptive daydreaming is, among other things, a typical psychological addiction. Most of the negative issues associated with maladaptive daydreaming come from the fact that it is an addictive coping mechanism and not some unique disorder with specific symptoms just recently discovered.
Drugs usually invade your sense of self — they fuse with it and by giving up the drug, you feel as though you are giving up a dear part of yourself. Addiction is addiction but different types of drugs and addictive behaviors tell you different things about their users. So what does fantasy reveal about you? MD is like a guardian angel that tries to protect you too much and eventually causes more harm than good.
To realize and accept what you are trying to run away from is your first step towards recovery. This would be parallel to a so-called flow state, which is characterized by immersing intensely in an activity to the point of losing the sense of self. Which means, whatever happens in fantasy, happens, but not to you.
It is a selfless experience, never integrated into what you call yourself, into sense of identity, into what makes you you. It exists as a detached, ecstatic, fleeting moment that slips through the fingers the moment you try to make sense out of it and process it as your own experience. You witness traces of happiness but the happiness is never yours.
Fantasy is an egoless state of mind where we are not ourselves. Everything bad is just cut off from your perception. The part of your brain that defines your sense of self, along with all the negative things and mental illnesses attached to it, is turned off. They are not attached to your conscious sense of self. All those dreams and false memories you made — you made them in an egoless state of mind. It is the fact that your subconscious feelings, fantasies and desires do not connect to your sense of self.
Everything else is irrelevant. Will a part of you be taken away as you give up your daydreams? To give up the feelings you experience in your daydreams is self-mutilation. As strange or silly as they are, they still represent a censored part of your subconscious; maybe they are an epitome of your loneliness or your sadness.
It is that one place where your life flame still burns while you may be dead in all other planes of existence. Maybe your real life is all emptiness and void but what you do in your daydreams — you do it with passion. It exists in a wrong place but it exists nonetheless. So what you want to do is focus on healing the self. What you do have to give up is the false sense of comfort your daydreams give you.
Try giving up the temporal fix when you feel miserable. Something will awake. If you acknowledge it, analyze it, this is what breaks the cycle of addiction. In other words, the imperative is not to block the pain and negative feelings. If a sudden sense of self-disgust or low self-esteem suddenly hits you, welcome it.
The more you let yourself feel and process the negative feelings without censorship, the more will the urge to daydream weaken and the less you will run away. Depression that underlies MD, however, takes a different route. Because of this, most of us fail to realize where depression or anxiety or any other kind of chronic mental illness ends and where we begin.
Let me make a digression here. Mental illnesses are like lenses which distort your perception. Everything you see appears more tragic, senseless or uglier than it really is. And your both eyes are infected with these lenses. But none of this is your fault — this is a war between mental illness, the attacker, and your subconscious, which is your protector, and you are their battlefield. So if you ever blamed yourself for being too weak to make a decision to cease this addiction, stop it. Then we have this other real-life you imbued with low self-esteem and negative thoughts that seem to go on a loop forever.
Can you remember your sense of identity when you were free of MD? Try conjuring up all those times when you knew how to live in the present. Just try to pinpoint all those moments and try to remember the feeling of being in the now. I always joke that music is a drug that takes you on a trip down a memory lane. It transports you emotionally back in time, to another place, another reality, to wherever you wish.
Maladaptive daydreamers often use music to help them imagine an alternate setting — but what if you used music to transport yourself to the past when you had neither depression nor anxiety or MD or whatever is bothering you? Try to capture this feeling and then try to reenact it. You all know what fight or flight mode is. What you also probably know is that most people with PTSD or chronic anxiety are stuck in a constant state of fight or flight. Spending too much time in this state eventually le to a burnout and is a sure ticket to depression since you go from fight and flight into freeze mode where all your functions are off and you feel like an emotionless zombie.
In order to feel normal and alive again, you usually need a fix so strong which will set your body back on fire. Someone or something has to attack you so fiercely in order for you to rethink your existence and regain your instincts and the will to fight back. This is what happened to me. When one of my daydreams violently crumbled some time ago, I got so ridiculously pissed off that for the first time after several years spent in freeze mode, I felt genuinely alive. I was me. The anger acted like a stimulant and the state lasted for 15 minutes until the anger wore off. But hell, during those 15 minutes, I was me.
I was so mad but I was also indescribably happy. I could feel. I could let go. I was defeated but I also won. The thirst, the cravings, the split, this strange nostalgia for my daydreams all dissolved. But instead of just disappearing, every positive feeling that was limited to the daydream world only, such as sense of purpose, motivation and normal self-esteem, flew back into me. What took for me to awake was extreme anger, being defeated, my world crumbing to pieces.
The moment I genuinely accepted that my dream world crushed, the moment I let go of all attachments holding me back for years, I was reborn. The anger, which is a natural stimulant, made something in me click. But note: this feeling of finally being alive and the desire to fight back woke up in me once my daydreams were in danger, not me.
But for this change to occur, before you can be reborn and whole again, you have to self-destruct, you have to let go. If you made it until the end, thank you. I hope you found it at least a little bit useful. This is just a part, you can read the rest here: Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Share Tweet Facebook.
Views: I have always resisted labeling MDD an addiction, believing that this was essentially a quirk of personality, but in retrospect and in light of everything you just said, I have to agree with you. This is a behavior aimed essentially at dissociating oneself from the present.Tuesday day dreaming chat
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Yes, you can cure Maladaptive Daydreaming