Hi, everyone! I'm Isabela but I often use the name 'April' on the internet - and on my daydreams - because it's kind of like an alter ego or something, I don't know but hence why my username is aprilshowers. I'm twenty-one years old and I'll be turning twenty-two soon. I found about Maladaptive Daydreaming in the last hour, actually. I went on YouTube and tried to look up: how to stop daydreaming. Most of the videos that popped up were about MD and I decided to take a look, just to see what it is. And damn, did it hit home.
I feel like I have been a daydreamer pretty much ever since I was a kid but the amount of hours I spent at it increased as I grew older and now, at twenty-one it has reached quite a peak. When I felt difficulty at things that most people feel difficulty over such as studying or doing some kind of mental work, I thought it was normal that I'd daydream because it is very common for our brains to refuse to do something that will demand work.
However, after the pandemic and the lockdown, it seems like I've gotten worse. A lot worse. To the point where I can't seem to focus on things that I do enjoy like watching movies or reading books because I'll end up in a daydream. The only times I seem to be able to focus are when I'm doing things that encompass my whole body and my whole surrounding, such as going to the movie theater or an amusement park, where there's so much stimuli around me that I can't slip away.
Usually, my plotted daydreams will be focused on a particular celebrity or fictional character and I'll become obsessed with them for periods of time then I'll quickly create plots for my daydreams around them. I will also picture myself having a conversation with this person when I'm talking to myself. Like when I'm trying to figure something out, I'll imagine them talking to me, or better yet, listening to me. Understanding me. Up until now, I thought that I had just grown up around a lot of fanfiction (which I still read but due to MD I can only read one-shots because they're shorter and so I can finish them). I can also daydream about real people in my life, especially if I have a crush on them, but it's usually celebrities and fictional characters.
When I first started, I'd put my headphones on, put on some music that I thought fit with the "concept" of the daydream and jump up and down in my bedroom because I'd feel this surge of energy. A lot of people in my family knew I did that and thought I was quite weird. But I didn't care because when I'd do that I would sort of leave the real world behind and just live in this place in my mind. I still do that but not that often, since I have gone back to sharing a room with my sister and I don't feel comfortable doing that with someone present. I still do it in the shower and I still have those bursts of energy during a daydream. When it is too strong, I go to the shower just so that I can jump up and down, listen to music and draw this energy out of me.
Oddly enough, I want to get better at managing my daydreams, however, they are so enjoyable that the thought of diminishing my time with them makes me and I don't want to do it. But I know that I have to, otherwise, it could be potentially damaging to my school work and just my life in general. I mean, I have often turned down invitations to be with friends and colleagues in a fun environment just so that I could stay home and be free to daydream if I wanted to. Not that I don't do it when I'm with other people but it is more diffcult.
I have never joined an online forum before but when I found out about MD and that other people had it and that there were forums for it, I knew I had to reach out because I have felt like such a weird person for a really long time. I feel like no one can really understand this condition (is that the right term for it?) unless you're actually experiencing and it feels nice to be understood.