I have not been on these boards in quite some time and figured I would reintroduce myself. I have been DDing for probably 45 years (Im 52) and at times it would be often (all day if possible) and at other points I maybe went months if not longer- I can't recall. Usually when I had a roomate (in college) or traveling with a group, visiting family etc- it would stop, mainly due to the fact that I had no time alone. I thought there was something wrong with me for the longest time and then when I started reading about others, I felt better. As most of you are young, I will offer this:
Daydreaming (wether obsessively or infrequently) got me through some hard times and yet surprisingly during some really difficult times it didnt appear at all. After a suicide of a family member, one would've thought I would have retreated into this state- but no matter how hard I tried (as I really did not want to face what had just happened), I couldn't. Yet at other points in life when I am relaxed without a care in the world; a movie, a character in a book or someone I saw in a magazine could set it off.
I've had stories that have gone on for years with the characters and scenarios evolving or just repeating themselves with a twist. I also have sometimes tried to recall what kept me busy in my mind at a certain point, and I cant even remember.
When I am with university friends reminiscing about the good old days when a song comes on or some memory; when I am alone, I do the same with my "make believe" friends. At this age now, I find I will hear a song and think- oh this is a song i would listen to while being in such a such daydream scenario.
There are quite a few positives to MD- During this time of the pandemic, I have had to shelter in place alone. Many other people I know who are living alone were very worried about their mental well being during this time. I have to say that I have (and wondering if any of you have) done remarkably well during this pandemic -I think for several reasons. I realized that I am not alone. I have plenty of company- so during the times when not gathering outdoors at a distance, or doing zoom gatherings, i have my full cast of friends that join me on various adventures in my mind.
The other selfish benefit during this time also has been "time" - I lead a busy life between work, travel and social and sometimes I would get almost annoyed that I had not time to myself- for whatever I want- be it relax or go into a MD state. Now I have nothing but time all these months so this has been kind of a gift for myself.
To be honest, I am realizing that I am quite enjoying this.
The other thing is that I can go much longer if I have music on (mainly in headphones and loud)and doing some sort of movement. With that in mind, two years ago I walked 500miles thorugh France-Spain on the Camino. It was music and these daydreams that let me walk about 15-20miles a day and not focus on the hours. I also have used this with setting up a stationary bike at home during pandemic. At the gym, I may struggle through 30min spin class, but I put on tunes that take me into a MD state and I can go have a journey and various scenarios all while pedaling and to realize I have been on the bike almost 90min.
I used to worry that something was wrong with me because I spent so much time in my head- but I no longer feel that way, and actually as many of my friends in my age group are dealing with divorce, empty nest and this pandemic, and other mid life changes, I am seeing they are actually the ones struggling with invasive thoughts, while I can switch things off and go to Paris and have a great romance with whomever I conjured up for the moment-
Has anyone else found this time to be a positive for themselves?
For me it has been a bit of a mixed positive and negative experience. The isolation doesn't bother me at all as I already live quite an isolated life and daydreaming has always been my main way of coping with anything stressful, I have however found that without the activities I usually do and the social interactions I had prior to the pandemic my daydreaming has totally taken over and I worry that I'm not going to be able to cope returning to how we mixed before. I had a friend call this week and I couldn't wait to get him off of the phone so I could return to my daydreaming and I think this increase in daydreaming will make me struggle with future social interaction.
Personally, I haven't found the pandemic to be a particularly positive experience, though it did get all of my doctors to transfer to telemedicine appointments (something I've been wanting them to do for years because I have agoraphobia).
I can see why you, and potentially others, would find it to be positive though. And it's definitely good to be able to look at an experience such as this in a positive light!
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.