Maladaptive Daydreaming: Creating A Utopia Equivalent To A Bottomless Pit

Maladaptive Daydreaming: Creating A Utopia Equivalent To A Bottomless Pit
You're not stuck. You're just committed to certain patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past. Now those behaviors have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can't move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level of life. Change the formula to get a different result. - Emily Maroutian 

As long as Samira can remember, she was really quiet. But she also had a goofy and imaginative side just like any other children. Because of her shyness and passive nature, she had trouble making friends. Her parents had high hopes for her and made sure she did well in academics. However, her passive nature was always taken advantage by her peers. It got so worse to the point she got accused of things she didn't even do.  

But deep down, Samira wanted to have friends. It was also at this time that she fell in love with animations and cartoons. When she didn't have friends at school, she would compensate through these animated characters by living through them in her imaginary world.

One day, Samira fractured her leg and was slowly recovering from it. When she came back, her peers didn't care about her wellbeing and only made her do more chores than usual. Her leg ached so much that day. Her mother scolded her for being such a people pleaser and compared her to another popular classmate who once sprained her arm but was helped by many other classmates. This realization broke Samira...

" No one cares about me. No one loves me. No one wants to be friends with me. No matter what I do, I'll never be good enough. I don't know what I've done wrong. "

Samira felt like the odd one out even in her family. She didn't feel like doing anything anymore as she felt like it was pointless. She started to hate herself more. She hated looking at her face in the mirror. Then suddenly, a new door opened for her. For the first time in her life, she felt like she discovered a new continent. The continent of anime and music. Anime showed her a beautiful world she never saw or experienced before. Music sounded more enchanting than ever before. It felt like this world provided her everything she ever wanted and everything she never got before. She started to make friends.

That's right. She started to "MAKE" friends.

She loved this world so much that she craved for it more and more again. She started to become desperate. She clinged onto the world that gave her so much comfort. Music made her teleport herself into a story and she lived through the characters she created. She didn't feel like going back to her dull greyish life where no one wanted her.

Daydreaming is normal. It can be used as an escapism for a short period of time. It is also good for boosting your creativity and imagination. But in life, too much of anything is not good. Samira started to crave for daydreams more than a normal person did.

She was so blinded by her loneliness that she started to hate everything and everyone around her. She pushed away the people who actually did care for her. To keep her fictional world stable, she isolated herself in her room. She would jump and dance around in her room and sometimes even hit the walls to "enter" her world.

Her parents started to get concerned for her as she deviated from doing her tasks and even academics -something she was actually really good at. She only got worse day by day. She tried her best to hide this from everyone else. She started to get more anxious. Her body language completely changed.

This got incorporated into her daily routine. She lost track of time. What she thought were minutes became hours. Whenever Samira faced a problem, she would immediately run away from it and use her world as a shield. And when she came back , the problem only got more difficult for her to solve and she would abandon it completely.

Things became more difficult for her especially when it came to socialising. Peers who once took advantage of her ridiculed her more. Her existence was barely acknowledged even when she was right next to them. Everyone viewed her as the "weird" child. She eventually became forgetful to everyone around her.

Deep down, Samira wished and prayed that someone would save her from the mess she had created. What was once that gave her comfort became her pit. A tangled mess. This became an endless loop for her. No matter what she did, she felt like she couldn't change for the better. What she experienced back then wasn't happiness rather pure euphoria.

Years passed, Samira's situation grew even worse. She now entered college. Her anxiety skyrocketed and her procrastination increased. She felt helpless until she found a friend. A real friend. With the help of her friend, she realized that she had something called Maladaptive Daydreaming. She now had the support of her friend and seeked for professional help. She began to appreciate the real world more and started her journey of self-recovery.

Samira may have lost a lot of opportunities and missed a lot of things in her past which may never come back. But that doesn't mean she can't have a bright future ahead. Sometimes you need fantasy to survive reality. But never use fantasy as an only fuel for survival. Be open to change and accept it with open arms.