Did you know that there is a wrong way to cure maladaptive daydreaming?
These words may sound surprising to you, perhaps even counterintuitive. When we think of MD, it never occurs to us that there could ever be an incorrect way to handle it. Most of the time, we believe that the only wrong mistake we could make is to do nothing to change our situation.
But this outlook can be the exact reason why we fail to make any progress. That’s why I’m going to share with you the one critical mistake you might be making that is keeping you from succeeding. Plus, I’ll reveal a better way to work through your struggles with maladaptive daydreaming.
How We Usually Approach Maladaptive Daydreaming
From the time that we’re young, we’re taught that if we want a change in our lives, we must be the ones to make it happen. We’re encouraged to use every available resource to solve our problems.
If one solution fails, well, we just need to try another. As long as we’ve put in the effort to succeed – even if we’ve worked ourselves to the bone – then we’ve done something to be proud of. Even if we don’t triumph at the end, it is better than having done nothing.
We even apply this mindset to maladaptive daydreaming. Because we’re in such a rush to fix our MD, we scour online forums and blogs in search of solutions. We try every remedy we come across – medication, staying busy, hypnosis, and countless others.
For a while, these solutions seem to work. Yet somehow, our daydreaming always returns, and it feels like we’re back at square one. But at least we did something, right?
Believe it or not, taking action is not always the correct move, and not every solution is worth trying. Worse still, your choices may work against you, keeping you trapped in a cycle of addiction.
Which Path Are You On?
Some people might argue that there can be no such thing as the wrong way to cure MD because we are all individuals. Since we each have our unique needs, we need to explore our own paths to find the cure.
Indeed, there are many paths to overcoming MD – but not all are pleasant. Some paths are smooth and straight and get you to your destination straightaway. Others take longer, are harder to navigate, and leave you tired long before you reach the end of the journey.
The fact of the matter is, you have the power to choose your path. If you want to cure maladaptive daydreaming with the least amount of effort, you need to make sure that you’re on the right path. And to do that, you must know exactly what’s necessary to succeed.
Making the Wrong Moves
Imagine a scenario in which you are playing chess against a grandmaster. You’ve never played a game in your life, much less won one, but that doesn’t shake your confidence. You believe that with enough determination, you can do anything – even win at a difficult game of chess.
Even before the game begins you’re anxious to win. Once you get started, you don’t waste any time executing your plan – to win as fast as possible. Every move you make is done quickly, all with the intent of furthering this goal.
Once in a while, though, you notice your opponent making unusual moves. You don’t really understand them, so you take them for granted. At least, until most your pieces disappear from the board. A few minutes later, the grandmaster leaves you with one lonely king left. Checkmate.
How did you lose? After all, you were bold, proactive, and determined. You were everything that you believed was necessary to succeed. Yet you didn’t win. What happened?
The answer is, your opponent used two key principles that you did not: knowing the game and planning ahead.
Like chess, you won’t cure maladaptive daydreaming by charging in without a game plan. It’s important that you learn to think strategically.
With MD, you must understand what it is you’re facing and know the right way to respond. But in this scenario, what are we really facing? Who is our true opponent?
When we fight against the temptation to daydream, we’re not wrestling with some external entity we label “maladaptive daydreaming”. The battle comes from within.
We fight against a hidden part of ourselves that we aren’t even aware of. This other side of us has needs and desires that are opposite of our goal to stop daydreaming. We know this instinctually, which is why we experience such a strong internal struggle.
But the logic we tell ourselves is, if we can find some way to control this aspect of ourselves, we’ll be free at last.
Once in a while, we get lucky and manage to control our fantasies, but at a heavy cost. After a few days or weeks, we start feeling depressed and unfulfilled. We chalk it up to “daydreaming withdrawal”, but that brings us no comfort at all. We still long to return to our dream worlds.
Is this our idea of freedom? Quite honestly, it doesn’t sound liberating at all. And it’s no wonder – when we are suppressing a part of who we are, how can we say we are truly free?
Thankfully, we don’t have to choose between freedom and our happiness. It is possible to have both, but we must change our way of thinking first.
Cultivating the Right Mindset
Out of all the words of his famous 1858 speech, Abraham Lincoln is most remembered for this statement: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Lincoln drew inspiration from a biblical principle that demonstrated how a nation will fail if its people are not in agreement.
Interestingly, this message can also apply to us as individuals. We’ve all experienced times when our mind and heart do not agree. But the reality is, when you choose to fight against yourself, you become that divided house. When you spend more time policing your thoughts than you do working in harmony with them, you miss out on reaching your full potential.
But here’s the thing – maladaptive daydreaming doesn’t have to be a battle. The truth is, sometimes the person we believe to be our opponent is actually our teacher.
You might ask, how can MD be our teacher? It’s the one thing keeping us from living a normal life. Isn’t it just a crutch we use to hide from our problems? How can our fantasizing be anything more than an addiction?
What if I told you that nothing you do is by accident? If escaping to your daydreams fills you with pleasure, there’s a reason. If your fantasy world is on your mind first thing in the morning and well into the night, there’s a reason. If the thought of having to let go of your beloved characters breaks your heart, there’s a reason.
Your mission is not to be in denial of this, but to uncover these reasons.
Yet your answers won’t come just from reading an article online. Just as your struggle comes from within, so does your solution. The cure is inside of you, waiting for you to discover it.
But first, you must be willing to face the part of yourself that you’ve been fighting with for so long.
You must make the journey to a special place inside of you. It’s a place where you’ll discover your hidden thoughts, feelings, hopes, and wishes. There, you can connect with your heart, speak with it on its own terms, and then receive its wisdom.
Your heart has the answers you’re looking for, but it won’t speak to you with words. Instead, it communicates through symbols and pictures – through your dreams.
The roadmap to success lies in your daydreams. Inside each one of them is a message that can help you figure out why you struggle so much with MD.
This means that if you want to control your daydreams, you must uncover their meanings. Over time, this website will teach you how to do just that, but first you must accept that your daydreaming can be an ally instead of an enemy.
Let Your Daydreams Guide You
The idea of using your daydreams to cure maladaptive daydreaming seems like a paradox. After all, won’t this just make our problem worse? Not necessarily.
Keep in mind that your daydreams are an intimate part of you. They represent the things most closest to your heart. Quite often we use MD to cope with an emotional issue, whether it be small or large. This means that we need to explore the areas of our heart that are the source of the problem. One of the easiest ways to do this is through our fantasies.
At the end of the day, this journey is not about conquering our daydreaming. It’s about building a healthy relationship with it. This is the ultimate goal of The Dreaming Place: to help you relate to your daydreams in a way that is constructive, not destructive.
It won’t always be easy. Sometimes dreams hold secrets about ourselves that are both beautiful and terrible. Sacred and profane. But facing them is a necessary part in moving forward.
When we understand what daydreaming is, how it fits into our lives, and what it’s trying to tell us, we can use that knowledge to create powerful changes that will last a lifetime. We just have to be willing to make the right moves.
What mistakes have you made on your journey through maladaptive daydreaming?