How many of you daydream on a day to day basis?
If you are like most, you probably find yourself doing so during very short periods of the day. Fantasizing about ideas that are random with almost no sort of realistic connection.
Well what would your response be if you heard that someone you knew spent up to 50% of their time daydreaming?
Would you be surprised if I told you I was one of them?
My Story with Maladaptive Daydreaming
During my younger years, I spent a lot of time day-dreaming (excessively). What started off as innocently dreaming at age 7 became an everyday routine. As a way to cope with my anxiety and depression, I spent hours (almost my entire day sometimes) escaping into this fantasty realm. While most people encountered “normal and brief escapes”, mine went on for almost my entire day.
My daydreams felt like an ongoing tv show (you know, the one with the really interesting script that you can’t seem to get enough of). For hours, I’d envision an alternative version of my life. This girl I created, she became my escape. She was everything I felt I didn’t have. Looks, money, popularity, friends, the world was in the palm of her hands. Living this double life was addictive, she became a part of me (tapping in and out of reality at any given point).
Wasn’t until years later I’d come to find out I was suffering from maladaptive daydreaming disorder. Now this is something for so long I kept to myself, with the exception of telling two people, for a number of reasons.
- I didn’t know anyone who’s ever had this happen to them.
- I was scared to tell my loved ones in fear that I’d be made fun of.
- I felt quite comfortable with this being my hidden little secret.
She stayed with me during my high school and beginning college years. It was hard to shake this off for a really long time. And after doing some research and watching a couple of YouTube videos, I realized more people suffered from this than I had thought.
Finding a name for this thing felt good, but as I had gotten older, I strongly desired to get rid of this all together (eliminating this all together). To my surprise, this became really tough.
Fast Forward to My Present Day
I found the more I stared to invest in myself, the less desirable tapping into these daydreams became.
Around the time I started my journey with God was when the episodes occurred significantly less. Devoting my day and trust in Him allowed for me to become more interested in my actual self and (real) life (and less interested with this made up version).
Now a days, my mind barely even travels that far with all the stuff I have going on now! Falling in love with myself and just understanding the purpose of my life has made it so much easier to say “no” to this mental addiction and “yes” to enjoying where I am now.
Why I am sharing this with you is because I know there’s someone out there who feels they can’t relate with the rest of society. Knowing that feeling, and remembering how scared I was to even tell the few people I did, I never want anyone to ever feel they should suffer alone (and in silence).
While I’m not too sure what the cause is for maladaptive daydreaming (in terms of whether its environmental, psychological or a combination of both) I do know it’s commonly tied to individuals also suffering from ADHD, depression and OCD.
I am no expert but I do strongly believe that the way to fight this isn’t with medication but through an improved lifestyle. So whether it be chronic daydreaming, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, I need you to understand that you have more strength than you give yourself credit for. Your choice in how you live may very well be the game changer to rescue yourself.
Maybe you feel like you haven’t accomplished enough? Or maybe you feel that you will never be in a position to do so.
I am here to remind you that these thoughts and beliefs are false. Do learn to resist fear and to clap back against your doubts. Do seize the opportunity you have from the moment you wake up to start living!
Your life isn’t meant to be dreadful, it’s meant to be impactful.
Everyone has to go through life’s long journey, and we all got to start somewhere! If you don’t know where to start or how to go about your life, your greatest bet is Jesus! Take a chance with Christ and trust Him to see the path your life is meant to turn.
If you suffer severely from mental illness, remember that prayer is powerful. Seek the Lord during your quiet time, using your mouth to release unto God your hearts desire for change. Believe in what you are asking for, and have faith knowing He will get you through this.
Don’t be afraid to share what you are going through. I find that the sooner you confess your struggles, the sooner you find your freedom. Confide in a love one (whom you can trust), seek a therapist, do whatever it is needed to ensure your mental health is okay. If you feel you have no one, remember God is with you always.
**Memory verse: “Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].” (Isaiah 41:10, AMP)**
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