After living with maladaptive daydreaming for over 7 months, I feel as if I understand it a lot better and see it for what it is. Maladaptive daydreaming is a coping mechanism, a form of escapism to help you feel safe, less stressed, less anxious. MD stops you from thinking about the issues that are making you feel low or anxious so in a way you could look at it as a gift. It’s keeping you safe. At the same time it’s masking the problems you’re facing, you’re not dealing with them, or trying to find out a way to solve or cure them, so as you know MD at the same time as being a blessing is also a curse.
Today I’m wondering and am beginning to seriously believe that Maladaptive daydreaming is like being an alcoholic. I’ve only managed to survive 2 days without Maladaptive daydreaming, just 48 hours. I thought I had magically managed to rid myself of MD by telling myself to keep living in the moment. Every time my mind would start to wonder, I would tell myself to focus as this daydream was not real and for two days this worked.
However as you know, boredom is a Massive trigger and on the third day, I had to do a 30 minute walk to get from A to B. And I thought to myself, what’s the harm, I have 30 minutes to kill, doing a spot of daydreaming when I don’t need to be productive or really be focused on a task won’t be a problem.
Boy was I wrong! I let myself go back to one of my favourite daydreams and I haven’t really been able to get out of it ever since.
Which begs the question: Is Maladaptive daydreaming like being an alcoholic?
An alcoholic can’t ever go back to having a drink again. As a maladaptive daydreamer if we let ourselves have a cheeky daydream, have we ruined our recovery?
I have seen this question asked on forums and I literally couldn’t believe it when I saw this question asked. To somebody who suffers from maladaptive daydreaming like I do, it’s the same as asking: ‘is the Earth really round’ or ‘Does the sun really rise in the East and set in the West?’ Er Yes of course it does. Let me tell you something, Maladaptive Daydreaming is very very real and it can be a complete and utter nightmare for people who suffer from it.
No we’re not just talking about a spot of daydreaming here and there like dreaming you’ve won the lottery or that you’re dating Brad Pitt. It’s not just a bit of fantasizing like imagining you were a supermodel or that you’re James Bond, it’s a constant fight to stay present.