I know I'm stressed because I'm daydreaming lately. Daydreaming a lot. Daydreaming so much that I start acting out the dream. I start talking my part. I start making facial expressions (in real life) that the daydream "me" is making. Other people don't know I am daydreaming. They think I am talking to myself, acting crazy. This is something I do when stressed. It sneaks up on me, and all the sudden I realize I'm doing it. Once I realize it, I know I need to reduce my stress level, and confine my daydreaming to "at home" until I can do so.
This daydreaming is not healthy: It sucks up massive amounts of brainpower, which then leaves me useless for work or errands. It keeps me from getting proper rest, because these aren't "regular daydreams" or even "dreams." My mind is exhausted when I finish. And, finally, it makes me look crazy, thus opposing my goal of assimilating into the NT world until I can retire. I've often wondered if these daydreams are what professionals call "delusions," but I'm afraid to ask.
The daydreams entice me, though, because in them I'm beautiful, loved, desirable, and wealthy. In real life, I'm none of those things. And the daydreams feel so good.
A daydream snuck into my morning run. I joined a running group not long ago, and I have been forcing myself to interact with others, listening to them chat because it keeps me grounded. It keeps me experiencing the "Here and Now" instead of drifting off into a fake dream-world. But today I arrived late, and was on my own for 8 of the 10 miles. The daydreaming was so intense that at one point I ducked an imaginary fry thrown at me by a friend in the dream. And almost fell into members of my group who had hit the turn-around point and were running back towards me.
This is when I realized I need to stop daydreaming. I need to reduce the stress level. I need to figure out what I'm unhappy about and take steps to fix it, so that I won't be stressed.
I ran hard to catch up to a group of runners, and pushed it the last two miles, listening intently to their stories. I resisted the urge to drop back (and be "alone") so that I could daydream, but focused on remembering the details of their week's events- picturing them in my mind as vividly as the daydreams. It's not huge progress, but it's a step forward.
The "Here and Now" is not as much fun as the daydreams, but it's REAL. It's REAL people, REALLY running with me, REALLY inviting me to eat with them afterward, REALLY inviting me to XYZ event next week. The daydream world is more intense, more fun, more exciting- and there's no pain, no tears, and no one screaming at me "Why can't you just be normal?" But at the end of the day it's not REAL.
I'm curious as to whether anyone else out there has had experiences like this, and what you've done to overcome them?