I just found out the other day that there is a name for what I have been doing for the last two decades of my life. I found out by accident and it changed my life.

I started imaging I was someone else when I was a child maybe around 11 years old. I would see a pretty girl or actress or singer and imagine what it would be like to be them. I would watching every movie or show they were in and listen to their music and imagine I was them. I created elaborate story lines in my head with a full cast of characters some of them real life people and some I had made up. I sometimes imagined myself as a new fresh person with a name, history and appearance that I in my mind was perfect.

This continued for years until I went to college. I lost a lot of weight and became the person I wanted to be physically. But the imagining did not stop, this time I would be myself in my daydreams. I would imagine that I had this person as my boyfriend or that this person was in my life etc. Then I started to imagine that I was famous and had my own TV show. So I would have two story lines going on at once, one about my TV show script and one of my "real" life. This went on for almost 10 years. I would space out in class, at work whenever and wherever.

I have had a very loving boyfriend for the last 8 years. He loves me so much but I always felt like there was something better out there for me. I think this was due to my maladaptive daydreaming because life is always perfect when I was calling the shots.

Last year after a wonderful trip on the west coast I decided to change my life and make my dreams come true by moving to a place I had always wanted to move to. My daydreaming became more "realistic" meaning I would daydream about what I would do out there and what my life would be like. But once again I started inventing people and inventing a life I probably will never have.

I was watching an episode of Hoarders on Monday and one of the psychologists used the term "maladaptive" so I googled it. The first suggestion was maladaptive daydreaming and I knew immediately what it was even though I had never heard of it. I read other people's stories and was shocked that this is a real thing and real people are doing what I had done for so long. I just thought I was crazy.

Since Monday I have made a very conscience effort not to daydream about anything that I knew was never going to happen. I feel like I have been doing pretty well considering I just found out this exists and that it is a problem in my life that is holding me back from loving my life.

It may not be as easy for others as it is me for me to just change like that, but I do want to offer up some wisdom. Make your fantasy your real life. If you imagine yourself being a rock star, start a band, take singing lessons, guitar lessons etc. If you always wanted to live somewhere or do something do it. No one is stopping you but you. I speak from experience, I went from a C student to an A student in middle school. I lost 60lbs in college. And I am moving across the country in 4 months to get the life I could have only imagined (and did imagine countless times) having years ago. For those of you that have more unrealistic fantasies like Harry Potter type stuff-get out a pen and paper and draw, write, create whatever you have been thinking. Let it play out on paper instead of just in your beautiful mind.

We can have the lives we imagine. They wont always be as pretty and perfect but they will be better because they are real. I hope no one takes offense to this post, I do understand that for some people this is really affecting their lives and it will never be as easy to just shut it down, but I just want everyone to feel hope. You can change your life and your fantasy can be your reality but that cant happen without real life action. I wanted to share my story because I can relate so much to the appeal of daydreaming a perfect life, but I also see the appeal in making my real life as close to my daydreams as humanly possible. Stay positive.
lifesnotarace lifesnotarace
31-35, F
1 Response Aug 22, 2014

I'm trying to live my daydreams, too :) Before, I was out of shape and always wore casual clothes, but in my head, I am fit and fashionable. Since spring, I have been buying cute jewelry and clothes, and I've been exercising since June (and lost a lot of fat). This way, I don't daydream so much because I am already living apiece of it! Your experience is very motivating!

That is awesome! Keep up the hard work and you will be exactly who you want to be. You're so young and this world truly is yours.