About Maladaptive Daydreaming and Introduction of the Imaginary

I think everyone will ask themselves this at one point in their lives. Are you where you wish to be? Have you reached your full potential, have you become your best self.

For me, the answer is a big, juicy no. My personality is rusty, my words are crusty and my mind-set is upsetting. I wish I were someone else. Someone like Mathias or Cole or Gary, maybe.

Who are those people? They’re the ones who keep me company on lonely evenings.

I have maladaptive daydreaming. It’s not an official diagnosis in the current DSM or ICD, as it could also be an understudied symptom of another mental illness, but it’s very comforting to have a term we can all call it.

Daydreaming is not inherently bad, everybody does it, but when you start daydreaming eight hours a day, ‘miss’ classes and are more attached to fictional beings than your real friends, that’s when it becomes maladaptive.

As a little child, I told myself goodnight stories. I imagined things to soothe myself when my family was yelling, when my grandma was drunk, when my cousins molested me and when there was no one there to wipe my tears. My imaginary friends have been with me for a long, long time.

Of course, they changed throughout the years, just like people do, but their core has remained the same.

Mathias is the tougher—usually—drug addict that comes out to play when I’m in the mood for Marilyn Manson and some detective daydreaming. He has also been through a lot of abuse in his childhood,like all my other imaginaries, because I’d feel too jealous of them if they hadn’t.

Mathias usually makes me feel better about the fact that I was diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder). He raises my self esteem when he is in the mood for mending into my personality.

Then there’s Gary. Gary nr. 1 is the asshole-ish, grumpy and angsty side that was born way before Gary nr. 2.

Gary 2 is docile, passive and kind of anxious and has a nice music taste. He mends into my personality when I feel wrong. An example of feeling wrong would be when Mathias has mended into my personality for too long and it feels like I’ve messed up everything.

Cole also has two sides.

Cole 1 is much less present nowadays, and when he’s present it’s usually in daydreams, not mending into my personality.

Cole 2 is a lot more insecure than 1. He suffers from Complex-PTSD (a diagnosis which I also have but without the complex part. It’s not an official diagnosis in the current ICD). He’s also a character that has the function to make me feel better about myself, my disorders and my slightly manipulative nature.

I hate being manipulative. It makes me feel evil and cruel and unworthy. The Keeper needs to be selfless, completely selfless in a constant state of ego-death. That’s what I tell myself.

And now to return at the begining.

I’m not who I want to be, but strike me dead CatGod if I’m not going to do my best to become that.


The Horrible Plague of Crying Men

I’m a man. I cry a lot.

I cry at drama movies, I cry when my grandma tells me tragic stories of things that have happened in our home country, I cry thinking about things that have happened to me in the past and when I feel abandoned, mistreated or misunderstood.

Crying is liberating. It helps the people around me see that something is wrong, that my soul is yearning for something, that I’m hurt.

I remember one of the first times I’ve cried in public. I was at school and the person I hated most had been moved in front of me. I felt betrayed and hurt by my teacher and classmates, that allowed it to happen and I felt like my emotions were suffocating me, so I let the rivers flow.

The person looked behind and laughed at me. Rivers are now flowing more quickly, it has been raining a lot lately.

I’m not trying to desensitize people to crying, no one should be neutral to this ‘phenomenon’. What I’m trying to do is remove the stigma and shame around letting your emotions run free.

You are not weak for crying, wether woman, man or non-binary person. You are also not childish and should not be ashamed. Crying is healthy, and not only psychologically (the eyes like it too, it’s like spring cleaning for them).

You should not have to suffer a painful knot in your throat until you can find a secluded place where you can bawl.

Love yourself, have a good crying session.