Disclaimer: Maladaptive daydreaming is a disorder not recognized in any official diagnostic manual for psychiatry. Still, it is a serious condition, which often comes along with depression and other mental illnesses (according to my psychologist). If you are interested in the topic or feel like you can relate to what I write, do your own research or ask a professional. Maladaptive Daydreaming can feel different for everyone, this is simply a description of why I struggle with it.
If you struggle with any kind of mental illness, don't be afraid of getting professional help

I have lived a thousand lives and not a single one, all at the same time.
I have been a lonely journalist lighting their last cigarette in Brooklyn, an author staring into the candlelight in a stormy Irish winter, and a society-changing activist liberating the marginalized.
But I have also been a depressed soul who made all those identities up in my head.
See, I have been all the best versions of myself that a creative mind can come up with.
But not once did I leave the deep cliffs of my bed while doing so.

I am trapped in the deadly caves of my mind,
I’ve been lurking in the shadows of my real potential,
All in the name of escapism.
Everything to run from my real self, and the ugly reality that comes with it.
At this point, I am more alive in my imaginative futures than in reality.
All that, even though I have plans and dreams in real life, too.

From an outside perspective, it looks like I am an ambitious young Person, chasing their dreams.
But the truth that is hidden behind this facade is mental illness. Hatred for myself. Fear of the future. Nostalgia for a simpler past.
Is it really hidden, or are people naively blind, because it’s easier to ignore all those things?
In the end, it doesn’t matter.

They can’t calm the storm of thoughts in my mind,
They can’t stop my anxiety from making me shake uncontrollably,
They can’t stop my depression from taking its toll,
They can’t stop me from destructing myself.
No matter what, I will go back to my fictional world,
The tiny paradise I have created in my mind.

The only thing that keeps breaking me is the moments in which I wake up from this peaceful slumber.
The moment I realize nothing is real but the part I hate most about myself. It is destroying the last bits of dignity I have left.
I am desperately waiting for the day where my longing for a non-existent world is cutting the last ties linking me to reality.
It won’t be long, for the threat I am hanging on is thinning out every time my body and mind fall into a dissociative state.
The days are blurring into one another and I feel reality slipping from my grasp.
I won’t miss it, anyway.

accurate, daydreaming, and Dream image atticus, book, and daydreaming image