You are here

The Fantasy World That I Had To Give Up

For most of my life I made it possible for myself to pay attention to what was happening in front of me but also be in this well designed, heavenly, whirl-wind sort of fantasy world that I had created to save me from myself. Of course I did not realize this until recently but I think it is important to write about the unimaginable because these things happen to people and they are embarrassing but they sometimes have a purpose. I realized we have to recognize when this purpose has passed and when we have to move on without things that create a comfort zone. 

My fantasy world was my security blanket. I was married to it and it was the only thing that I could go to, even while I was in therapy and treatment that made me feel like medication was working faster than it really was or that my diagnosis wasn't my fault.

I lied a lot during my worst episodes undiagnosed because I was able to imagine situations like going to the University of Cambridge or being madly in love with a so called boyfriend. It is hard to describe but everything in my mind seemed real in which I lied about. I could feel touch, hear things, and envision things and I was able to do this while I was in class, driving, or talking to people.

It is embarrassing to confess to what I did on the internet, the lying, and the fantasy world that I invented but I know this happens to other people and I know that I did it for a reason.

At its undiagnosed worst I would make myself believe someone that I loved had died so the unexplained sadness and depression that I was feeling would be defined. I would imagine these grandiose thoughts of making it into the University of Cambridge, having the best boyfriend that I have never had and getting proposed to, or traveling to some island that I have always wanted to go to and from there traveling the world until I wanted to stop.

For the first time in one therapy session I realized that if I really wanted to experience life I had to drop my fantasy world that I thought was saving me. It had saved me up until I was diagnosed but life had given me my life back without me even recognizing it. Life gave me the doctors, the support, and the medication that I needed that was going to give my life back but I had to do the work too. I would have to give up what was making me feel like I could survive in the world and be okay with hurting a little more.

Sometimes we have to make ourselves take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, harder and harder each day and truly ask ourselves if we are going down a road that will make us live a life that we want to live. I was forever in an intense day dream and that was okay with me. As long as I had a way of ignoring how much I was hurting and how helpless I was I was okay. I struggled with my intense unexplained mood swings from age 13-I never once thought about getting help. It was too scary. I was willing to lose my sense of reality until I died rather than confront my problems. I wanted to think everyone else was the problem preventing me from getting better, but as I progressed and went through more therapy I began to see that I was at fault. To get better I had to give up things that were making me feel good. I was giving up things that were making me feel good that were getting me nowhere.

We have all heard that we have to face our fears. I thought for the longest time that my therapists, my parents, my family, and the few friends that I had would help me get better by accepting that I simply lied to survive, and that I was frail and would need to be babied until I eventually improved. If they had done that I most likely would still be severely suicidal and possibly off and on in hospital half day therapy programs.

It is legitimate to be scared of the stigma that we all have or will experience. It is hard to feel alone but I think we all have more control of the state of our mind and life than we may think or perceive.

Comments

I very recently reconnected with a friend who lies constantly. It is very much what you are describing. Recounting events, for instance, where it appears that she saved the day when she wasn't there. This used to hurt me a lot, but I know that she is only doing it because she hurts. However, I can also see that it is not helping her because it pushes everyone away. Ten years later, I'd like to be friends with this person, but after one conversation it appears to be the same. How do you connect and aid someone that you know is living in a fantasy world? Great post!

When I wrote this post thinking about how to aid someone that I knew with a fantasy world came up. Fantasy worlds don't go away. I still have mine, and I would be lying if I said I didn't still lie, but I am conscious when I lie and you can ask my family, I am pretty good at apologizing and fessing up to them.

To aid one, overall with a mental health condition is tough. There's no one recipe and for a fantasy world that most likely has been their security blanket- it will even be more difficult. I don't even know where to tell you to start because many people are defensive. I was defensive and people put me over the edge so much I was very depressed. I would say maybe telling her/he in a letter or verbally that you notice a few things, or that you know she/he is lying about a few things but that you don't put it against her/him and that you are here for her/him but that she/he needs to understand the repercussions this fantasy world has. You can say something about knowing others experience it and have had problems but have been able to live without it being a part of their immediate life :)

I can relate to all of that - well done for putting it in words!

Susan, thank you for being willing to share this with us! It took a lot of courage to do that.

Thanks for this post. I have bipolar and have done the same from an early age. Anyway, this helped me see I'm not the only one. Thanks.

Been diagnosed with bp2 6 months now and i think i had it as a late teen. At 7 or 8 used to pretend we were all ghoasts floating around. Very good at doing everything while fantasizing about sex, being a rock and roll star, whatever it was that made me happy. Also love to rock in a rocking chair for hours and jamming to radio. Anyone else? Its like im addicted to serotonin. I never had the deppression till the last 10 years and i thought it was a seasonal deppression as oneday in the spring is wake up and say omg the deppression is over. Then go shopping spending hundreds on cleaning supplie cause i neglected eveerything. I spend a couple hundred on food cause hell we got to eat. Come home and 3 days later id be back in the reclyner while tbe food rotted away in tbe fridge and those cleaning supple and house goods still on the floor in the bags.i see this never gets better and no cure. Maybe i was better off not knowing idk.

I hope you're better. Nowadays is definetelly better to know. There are many treament courses available. I know how my medication has helped. It's expensive and I wish I could have the money for myself but I know those pills save me everyday.

Add new comment

PLEASE POST COMMENTS ONLY. If you are in need of an IBPF resource, please contact Aubrey @ agood@ibpf.org. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.