I've had maladaptive daydreaming for as long as I can remember. At first, I thought it was just a creative imagination, but as the years have gone by, I have realized how it is sucking the life out of me. I feel so disengaged with the real world, as I can easily spend hours each day daydreaming my stories. My characters that I have made up have more life than me! I've spent all this time developing these characters, that I feel that I haven't fully developed myself. It's like my life is centered around daydreaming, and it feels so pointless! I've always had trouble making friends, and I have generalized anxiety disorder, along with social anxiety, which doesn't help things either. I'm currently in college, and it hurts so much that I have nobody to talk to. I have a few acquaintances, but no real friendships. And this makes me feel even worse, so I withdraw from the world even more and daydream. While the stories and characters have changed over the years, I've noticed that a common theme that I typically have is about friendship, and just having someone real close to you to help you deal with life and overcome adverse situations. I feel this is because this is what I really truly desire. But I can never connect with people. And I think a big reason is that I haven't really connected with myself fully. I feel as if I'm living life on autopilot. I wake up, do my college work and go to class (while my daydreaming has affected my focus and concentration, my anxiety and need to not fail really drives me to get all my work done and get good grades), eat, daydream, repeat. So you see, this makes me feel immensely lonely and sorrowful, which makes me daydream even more, because it's an escape for me. It's an addiction. I want to stop. But every time I try, it's so hard, because it makes me realize how empty my life is. I want to live my life. I want to travel the world when I get older. I want to fall in love with someone, raise a family. I want some close friends. It doesn't need to be a lot. Honestly, I'd be fine with 1-2 really close friends, people who I can count on, and they can count on me. But that reality seems more unrealistic than the ones that my characters experience in their worlds. I feel so disconnected from myself, so why would anyone want to be friends with me? Sometimes I even wonder, do I even like myself? If I can't even like myself, then why would anyone else? Because if I really do like myself, then how come I'm always daydreaming about these other characters? How come I'm invested in their lives more than my own?
Sorry, I know this is very long. But I just needed to get my thoughts out. I've told nobody else about my daydreaming, except my cousin some years back when we were in high school. She was my best friend at the time. She was the only person I feel like I could talk to. And it turned out that she has maladaptive daydreaming too. But due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control, we don't talk anymore.
I can relate. I have fallen in love, have children, have 1-2 close friends, but whenever life is tough, I still fall into this trap. It is so hard to stop. It's a catch 22. You fall into the world bc you are lonely, but the world you created keeps you out of this world. It is so very hard.
hey, I'm in college too, and also suffer from anxiety and the whole "failure is not an option" mindset. i don't know if i can say much to encourage you or tell you it gets better, but I hope you know there's someone here who understands you.
I want to learn but there are some things I don't want to know.