I always wondered what went on in everyone else’s brain. Were they thinking the same thing as me or were they thinking the total opposite? Maybe they weren’t thinking anything at all. Which I find to be impossible. I used to think that I always thought so differently from others. Then slowly, I started to find my way into the writers community. People would say, and still say, that I am dramatic, overthinking it, or making it more complicated than it needed to be. But in my mind, I’m just making things interesting. Making the seemingly dull moments in life into a beautiful story. Just like many of you, I figure that I live to storytell.
It’s almost a disease. The ability to turn anything into a narrative. Even when I’m alone, I still can see so many different characters that I meet throughout the day. Maybe it’s the actress in a tv show I’m binging, or the noisy driver that passes by our driveway, or maybe the cat that finds comfort in the shade of my house’s roof. All of which play almost no significance in my life, if at all. Yet, I find a way to grow interested in their life, their upbringing, their personality, or how their day is coming along. I did the same thing when I was little. I would have toy cars and toy animals. And like any other 5-year old would do, I’d personify them and give them a life. Even the house would come alive. The floor wasn’t just the ground. It was a battlefield for the two rival groups to engage in war. But unlike other kids, I took it to another level.
It wasn’t until recently when I learned of the phrase “maladaptive daydreaming.” My sister brought it up when she remembered that I had once mentioned that I have adaptations of my current life constantly running through my mind like a television series. I thought I had only started doing this in my mid to late-teens. But after discussing it a little more, I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. As of the current medical climate, maladaptive daydreaming doesn’t have a separate diagnosis and isn’t seen as a mental disorder, so I think it’s okay for me to say that I deal with this even without a doctor’s opinion. Because honestly, I struggle to remember what I did as a kid, whether it be my bad memory or because of trauma blocking it out, but I do remember many of my daydreams. Now, if I talked to an expert, they might say that instead of maladaptive daydreaming, I might just be mind wandering. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily a hindrance to my life, but there are plenty of times where my daydreams slip into my everyday life, like when I’m writing, or reading, or even in a conversation. I’ll say something as if I’m the version of me in my daydreams unintentionally. I do my best to control this though so that it doesn’t become a problem. I don’t complain about it though, it helps me come up with new stories and realize how I’m feeling in life.
I thought maybe other writers, artists, or storytellers have similar experiences as me. Or you are all completely different. Either way, I’m sure there are many experiences we face in our everyday life that can be a constant reminder that we love stories.