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  #1  
Old 11th January 2017, 01:42
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Living in a fantasy land

Does anyone else find themselves dreaming/ fantasising about an alternative version of themselves? I'm an avoidant weirdo, but in my head I like to visualise myself as a well-liked person, someone with a decent career, and in a loving relationship. I suppose it's a coping mechanism, but it does my head in, because I have no motivation to push myself and so I clasp on to the fantasy. It just depresses me
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  #2  
Old 11th January 2017, 19:33
Spectrelight Spectrelight is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

That's been me for as long as I can remember. I just zone out and get lost in my own little world and for the most part I am the complete opposite of the person I am in real life. I think it's a way of escaping my life and it's problems for a while but it would be nice if had the motivation to try and turn fantasy into reality.
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  #3  
Old 11th January 2017, 19:38
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Definitely. I can't imagine being someone who doesn't imagine. Those are some brave soldiers that live in reality. I think that's why mindfulness doesn't work for me. I don't want to be in the moment because the moment is usually rubbish!
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Old 11th January 2017, 20:17
Aleks Aleks is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

I'm often in my fantasy world, where life is more bearable.
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  #5  
Old 11th January 2017, 20:29
Libbyjay Libbyjay is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Yep I do that. Fantasy is much better than reality
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  #6  
Old 11th January 2017, 21:07
cordyceps cordyceps is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

I do. But it can be depressing as you say so usually I just maladaptive-daydream about celebrities I would like to have sex with and fictional characters in their worlds

Its gr8 actually

Pretty lame when you come out of it though
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  #7  
Old 11th January 2017, 21:33
Utopia Utopia is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Unfortunately for me the complete opposite is true, and I just feel overly cynical and grounded (for the most part). Whats helping me atm is actually 'lying' to my self a bit, because I am often overly rational. You can influence and change your thinking, but not your emotions. You can't just decide to feel happy or confident, but the way you think about yourself can change. I need to imagine the positive senarios more...
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  #8  
Old 12th January 2017, 00:00
Damp_Squib Damp_Squib is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

I do the same, much better than reality!

Somehow the reality of my life doesn't quite sink in, and year after year I imagine all will turn out right in the end. As I lack motivation and have lost the ability to take social risks I'm not sure how it's going to happen, but it's a fantasy anyway!
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  #9  
Old 12th January 2017, 14:49
Finn2187 Finn2187 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

I love e dreaming, I just wish I could escape there forever.
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  #10  
Old 12th January 2017, 17:50
umm umm is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Totally. It bothered me immensely (when I wasn't in denial about it), until I realised I could use all that daydreaming and other useless info to write a book, which I did.

Not published yet though - one day, one day soon.
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  #11  
Old 12th January 2017, 17:56
lone*star lone*star is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clementine
Real life is sucky.
When you think about it though, what actually is 'real life'?

If you asked people to provide an explanation of what real life/reality means, you'd find that each individual would come up with their own personal interpretation of it, according to their unique perspective on life - no two answers would be exactly the same. So what does that say about reality? Which person's idea of 'real life' is the true one; the one the rest of us can all rely on to be accurate?

There isn't one of course! How can there be if everyone's viewpoint is different? But does that infer that there is no such thing then as reality? No, this is where a lot of people go wrong! Just because it's not possible to provide a universally acceptable 'standard definition' of reality (for the aforementioned reason), that doesn't mean that reality itself doesn't exist - those two statements have quite different implications.

So what is reality then? It's actually simplicity itself. It's so simple and mundane in fact that it normally gets completely overlooked during the course of our busy lives. Just as the reality of an oil painting is the canvas onto which the paint is brushed, and the reality of a letter is the paper onto which the words are typed, and the reality of a film is the screen onto which the images are projected, so the reality of our lives is simply the neutral open space in which everything we see and experience appears.

That's all there is to it. But with one, rather important, feature: It's not just any old empty, inert, uninteresting space - but rather it has an inherent intelligence all of its own. Yes, it's a knowing, perceiving and creative space! And everything we experience in our daily lives - including ourselves even - comes out of that intelligence.

I see some people (above) talk about fantasy being better than reality. But as you can see from what I've already said, there really isn't anything but reality, so how could anyone ever get out of it? Reality is so all-inclusive, so all-encompassing, so all-embracing, that it basically says "Yes" to everything! So even if you happen to find yourself daydreaming about your favourite fantasy world sometime, then that dream is your reality; at least while you're dreaming it. It is created by reality, appears in reality, is made from reality, and is perceived by reality. It could hardly be any more real in fact!

So as you can see, like it or not, there is no escape from real life - no escape from this moment - because what ever is appearing for you in this moment is your reality; simple as that. But of course we tend to overlook the obvious, and take the map as being the territory. We tend to take our projections of ourselves and the world around us as being the reality in their own right. And then there's literally no limit to where our dreams - and nightmares - can take us!
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  #12  
Old 12th January 2017, 19:06
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ Well, I distinguish between 'reality' and 'fantasy,' because I know dreaming about spending time with someone I care about and ACTUALLY spending time with someone I care about are two very different experiences and the reality (for me) is preferable to the fantasy! I just need to find someone I care about who wants to spend time with me
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  #13  
Old 12th January 2017, 19:39
lone*star lone*star is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ Well, in those couple of lines, you have used the words "I" and "me" eight times in total. So if you're unhappy with your present situation in life, I would suggest it might be worth inquiring into the reality of who (or what) that "I" actually refers to [...which will take some time, effort and patience]. You might just find that the answer isn't as concrete as you currently seem to think!
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  #14  
Old 12th January 2017, 20:51
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ I don't really understand what you mean. It all sounds very deep and intellectual, but isn't going to help me feel happier with the 'reality' of my situation! Maybe you're saying that 'I' don't really exist; that none of us really exist and we're all hooked up to the Matrix?! Still doesn't help!
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  #15  
Old 12th January 2017, 21:07
lone*star lone*star is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ It won't help yet, because you haven't yet done the necessary self-inquiry that I mentioned earlier. As I said, it would require some time, effort and patience on your part - but of course, if you're not prepared to make that effort, then reality can't help you I'm afraid.

And forget about trying to 'understand' what I'm talking about. Reality can't be understood; it can only be experienced.
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  #16  
Old 12th January 2017, 21:39
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ So what you're saying is that social anxiety isn't real, because, after all, nothing is real? Everything is all in our imagination? My problem is avoidance. 'Pretending' that everything is okay doesn't make it so!
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  #17  
Old 12th January 2017, 21:55
cordyceps cordyceps is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle06
^ So what you're saying is that social anxiety isn't real, because, after all, nothing is real? Everything is all in our imagination? My problem is avoidance. 'Pretending' that everything is okay doesn't make it so!
If nothing is real, a post pointing out that nothing is real isn't real either, and we can all relax and have a glass of Baileys.
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  #18  
Old 12th January 2017, 22:15
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

My head hurts I just don't see the point in intellectualising the thread. For most of us, there is a distinction between reality and fantasy. Pretending they're one and the same won't make me feel better, that's for certain. It might work for some, though!
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  #19  
Old 12th January 2017, 22:17
Silent Ninja Silent Ninja is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

If nothing is real and we're all imagined I'd like to meet whoever's dreaming up me and my life and have a few words with them (of the angry variety).
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  #20  
Old 13th January 2017, 00:50
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

I'm sorry if I seemed at all aggressive in my posts. I think my trouble is I'm fantasising about a future with a particular person. In a way, it would be easier if he told me point blank he has no interest, but instead he kind of strings me along. So, yes, I'm living in a fantasy world where he actually wants to be with me. Obviously, we could get into a philosophical debate about what reality is, but that kind of stuff goes over my head, so I prefer to keep it simple
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  #21  
Old 13th January 2017, 01:00
jinny jinny is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Lone star Lone star..

all very philosophically true no doubt, but just like the 'reality' of an imaginary portion of chips & curry will do nothing for you if you're starving, then the 'reality' of imaginary love/company/rudey stuff isn't going to help much if you're lonely.

There's definitely a difference between the real & the imaginary, you're over thinking!
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  #22  
Old 13th January 2017, 10:24
Marco Marco is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by umm
Totally. It bothered me immensely (when I wasn't in denial about it), until I realised I could use all that daydreaming and other useless info to write a book, which I did.

Not published yet though - one day, one day soon.
Hey Umm, I think you and quite a few others on this forum have it in you to write good books or novels - so all the best with that!!
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  #23  
Old 13th January 2017, 15:53
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ Hear, hear, Jinny!
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  #24  
Old 13th January 2017, 19:32
lone*star lone*star is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinny
Lone star Lone star..

all very philosophically true no doubt, but just like the 'reality' of an imaginary portion of chips & curry will do nothing for you if you're starving, then the 'reality' of imaginary love/company/rudey stuff isn't going to help much if you're lonely.

There's definitely a difference between the real & the imaginary, you're over thinking!

Things become complex and difficult when we start trying to distinguish between real and imaginary, because there really is no dividing line!

In absolute terms, there is no difference at all - as I said, reality simply allows and embraces everything equally, because it doesn't discriminate.
But of course conceptually, yes, we humans make all kinds of distinctions in life, which in turn, very much help to shape our individually perceived realities.

But as long as you're happy living in your own conceptual world, you're not harming anyone else, and you don't feel like there's anything of great importance missing from your life, then by all means carry on as you are, and enjoy it!
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  #25  
Old 13th January 2017, 20:01
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ The thing is, most of the people who've mentioned living in a fantasy land also mention being dissatisfied with other areas of their life. Because everything is perfect in fantasy land, it just makes you more aware of how imperfect areas of your 'real' life are.
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  #26  
Old 13th January 2017, 20:40
lone*star lone*star is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ Yes, I can see how that could be a problem. Maybe creating this new 'fantasy land' isn't the best answer then after all?
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  #27  
Old 14th January 2017, 01:19
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle06
The thing is, most of the people who've mentioned living in a fantasy land also mention being dissatisfied with other areas of their life. Because everything is perfect in fantasy land, it just makes you more aware of how imperfect areas of your 'real' life are.
I think most people fantasise to an extent. That's not really a problem in itself. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable. I suppose it only becomes a problem when we'd rather be in fantasy land than in our real lives.

When I was deeply dissatisfied with my life I fantasised rather a lot. Like you mentioned in your OP, it's a form or both escapism and avoidance of the painful realities of our daily existance. A coping mechanism, as you said. But, as you've highlighted here, it also throws into focus the distance between our current circumstances and our preferred circumstances. So, in essence, the coping mechanism becomes part of the problem.

I suppose the bottom line is that avoidance doesn't work. It may protect us from pain in one way, but it increases it in another. Personally, I think the only workable way forward is to do whatever we can to narrow the gap between our current circumstances and our preferred circumstances. But yes, I know that is tough and can be painful, and that's why we often take the avoidant route instead.

Dream, visualise, fantasise etc. It's all fun, but try not to let it become your life.
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  #28  
Old 14th January 2017, 01:28
michelle06 michelle06 is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

^ Thank you for understanding. It's a shame that avoidance is the easy option, when it leaves me (and presumably quite a few of us on here) so unhappy
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  #29  
Old 14th January 2017, 02:13
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle06
^ Thank you for understanding. It's a shame that avoidance is the easy option, when it leaves me (and presumably quite a few of us on here) so unhappy
You're welcome.

I think most of us have been there, haven't we? When I say ''been there'' I mean did our best to step out of the reality of our daily lives because aspects of them as so painful and/or induce fear and anxiety. I think it's quite natural to do this. Maybe even healthy because it can give us breathing space in order to process things. I suppose it only really gets unhealthy if we reside there too long and procrastinate over doing what we ultimately know we have to do in order to move forward.

Avoidance is quite a clever thing. It pretends to be our friend, and when we do avoid something emotionally painful we get that instant pay-off of relief. Avoidance appears to be a workable solution. Thing is though, and as we are usually well aware but in denial of; in the longer term, avoidance comes with a heavy price tag. It's not really the friend it pretends to be. As I said earlier, avoidance is actually part of the problem rather than the solution.

I used to be extremely avoidant. I mean desperately so. But one question I'd ask anyone who also employs it heavily is to really think about what avoidance is ultimately costing them? Another question would be to honestly answer whether the pain of staying the same is actually greater than the pain of trying to live our life more in the way we'd really like to? Both options will include pain and anxiety, of course. For me at least, I finally decided that the pain of moving forward was less than the pain of being stuck in the malaise of avoidance.

Anyway, I sincerely hope you get to where you want to be in your life.
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Old 15th January 2017, 15:11
lone*star lone*star is offline
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Default Re: Living in a fantasy land

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajax Amsterdam
I suppose the bottom line is that avoidance doesn't work. It may protect us from pain in one way, but it increases it in another. Personally, I think the only workable way forward is to do whatever we can to narrow the gap between our current circumstances and our preferred circumstances. But yes, I know that is tough and can be painful, and that's why we often take the avoidant route instead.
And most people would probably agree with you. And therefore, isn't that what most people are already doing in life anyway? And the result? Just look around you - a harsh, competitive, dog-eat-dog world, where most people couldn't really care less about anyone else other than themselves and maybe their own immediate family. Wonderful!
And yet that is what you (no doubt unwittingly) are promoting with your 'workable solutions' - just more of the same.

No, I'm afraid humanity needs something altogether more radical than that if we are to ever reach our true potential in life, both individually and collectively.


Quote:
Dream, visualise, fantasise etc. It's all fun, but try not to let it become your life.
On the contrary, I would say go ahead - dream, visualise and fantasize all you like - otherwise you might not get a life at all! But dream big. Don't allow even your dreams to be limited by what you and everyone else currently perceives to be reality. Because most people's current idea of 'real life' is simply not even worth thinking about!
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