Living in a Fantasy World

 

For the past week, I’ve been pretty distant from my blog. I’ve been debating about writing on a topic that I’ve wanted to share, but have not had the courage. It’s not anything negative. As a matter of fact, it’s something quite positive in my life, but it’s also something about which I feel quite ashamed and embarrassed. What I’m referring to is my fantasy world. I’m not really sure how to start this off or how to even explain it well, but I’m going to try my best to give an understandable description.

It’s More Than a Bedroom

When I go into my fantasy world, I’m somewhere that doesn’t exist. A place that somewhere may be real, but does not exist in the life that I live. However, it exists in my mind. When I enter my fantasy world, my mind takes real life experiences, and molds them into a brand new one. The people in my life become mere characters in my world, saying and doing what I want. Their personalities unfold into images in my mind that play before me like life itself. Everything that exists inside of them – their personalities, attitudes, and values – are laid out in my mind. I take all of that information, and create something new with it. I create a world where people know what I really am, and aren’t afraid of it. I live in that world and it feels good. It feels pleasurable and real. I know that doesn’t make sense to the average person, but it’s clear to me.

My bedroom is more than just a place for being alone; it’s a place for make-believe. It’s a world of its own that no one would ever know existed. To everyone else, it’s a bedroom, with all the makings of such an environment. But, oh what people don’t see. How can they not see it? How can all of that beauty, peace and enjoyment, escape their narrowed sight? For me, it’s not a bedroom. For me it is a salvation on this planet. I believe that there is an eternal salvation awaiting me when I die. But, as I live on this planet, in this life, my bedroom is an earthly salvation. It’s the place where I can enter the world that exists in my mind… the very mind that God has given me. Therefore, if God has given me this mind, which gave birth to my fantasy world, then it must be an earthly salvation. A place to which, for hours on end, I can escape from the invisible real-life force in my brain that continuously drags me down. Unless, I’m just crazier than I realize.

The Double Exposure

People just don’t understand. I’ve seen kids playing within their imaginations. They physically live in the world around them, but their minds are elsewhere. That’s what it means to be a kid. To often live in a make-believe world of your own, as you gain your bearings in the real one around you. But, then it’s supposed to end, right? The real world takes over and you’re left with just that… the real world. Our fantasy worlds disappear, along with the happiness and comfort that accompanied them throughout childhood. However, that doesn’t happen for everyone. I’m one of those people who has never lost my fantasy world. It’s in my mind, body and soul. It’s a part of who I am; yet no one ever sees it. Unlike creators of theater, movies, and music, my worlds are hidden from the rest of society. It is a shameful place. After all, I’m not a kid anymore… I shouldn’t still be living in my imagination. But, there’s a problem with that assessment, ‘cause well, I am living in my imagination during these times.

The average person might think I was completely out-of-touch with reality, if he or she caught me. That very moment when the world around me blends into another time and place is when I am most gone. Therefore, it’s also then that I’m most vulnerable. My physical self is present, but not my mind. My mind is somewhere far away. It’s what I call the double exposure moment… the point when the real world and fantasy world blend together to create a whole other time, place, and atmosphere. My bedroom is no longer my bedroom. It is a theater. The performance world is where my fantasies take me most often. Broadway musicals to be more exact. My full-sized bed suddenly becomes the orchestra, mezzanine and balcony seats that stretch to the back of a large theater, complete with lobby and entrance. The rest of my room becomes both the stage and the backstage, with my mind switching from one setting to the next without any hassle or second thought. I move from stage, to the seats, to the backstage, and into the lobby… all in the small vicinity of my bedroom. But size does not matter in my world. In my world, I can move about my small bedroom, with freedom. There are no obstacles, because my mind does not see them. Objects in my bedroom that should be obstacles instead become objects inside my fantasy world. The edge of my bed becomes the edge of a row of seats. I don’t see a bed. I see an aisle, and it’s clear as day.

How Can No One Else See It?

It’s so real. It’s so amazingly exciting. The audience. The voices of all the men, women and children resonate across the theater, as they sit in anticipation for the musical to begin. My family and friends are sitting front and center, eagerly chatting amongst themselves as they await the rising of the curtain. I see my family talking with my friends. They are discussing how exciting it is that I will be onstage. My family whispers to themselves how they cannot believe, “Summer, of all people, is going to be performing onstage.” I look out from backstage, anxious and excited to show them all that I can do. I look at the strangers, whom I’ve never met, yet whose faces are clear and detailed. I wonder what they will think of me. The theater lights start to dim, bringing a hush over the crowd. A friendly voice speaks to the crowd from beyond their sight, informing them of the final theater rules about phones and cameras. The orchestra then begins to play the overture. The show is about to begin.

The curtain rises, and the cheers rise with it. “That’s Summer! That’s Summer!” My family and friends whisper in excitement. My heart quickly races. It’s so real. It’s so very real. I can actually feel the nervousness. I feel the bright lights beating down on me. I look out at the sea of faces staring back at me, with eyes filled with hope that they will be entertained. And then, it is show time. My cast-mates and I begin, and that whole world of auditions, rehearsals, the make-up, the wardrobe… now all of it comes together. The show is now underway.

Yet, no one else sees it. It does not exist for anyone, but me. It causes me such pleasure, happiness, and relaxation, though. I feel good about myself. I actually am someone in my world. I’m not a loser. I’m not a pathetic waste of space. I’m not alone in my world. In the real world, I’m alone. I’m not alone physically, but mentally, I’m all by myself. But, in my fantasy world, I am not alone. I am someone with a purpose, with a meaning, and with something to show for myself. I’m more real in my fantasy world, than in the life that exists outside. My post on How Gaming Saved My Life discussed how gaming gave me a purpose and a place where I could belong. Well, my fantasy world is my own “gaming” world that I create in my head. However, it isn’t a game. It’s very real. It’s more like an alternate universe of living.

For this reason, it’s jarring to be suddenly removed from that fantasy world. It feels like someone is physically yanking me out of my world and into his or her own. They are forcing me to leave the world where I exist, and live in the world in which they are able to successfully survive. But, they don’t care. They don’t care, ‘cause they don’t know. They can’t know. Even if I tell someone I know what I see, that person still cannot know. It is impossible for that person to understand, because he or she cannot see it with his or her own eyes. Therefore, I would purely be seen as “crazy”, if I told someone.

 

What Does It Feel Like?

I wish there was an easy way to explain it. I wish I could find that perfect combination of words and phrases that can describe what it’s like to exist in a world that’s not real. Even more so, I wish I could find that perfect way to describe how it feels to want to go there, and never leave.

The best that I can do is to compare it to being a child who knows he or she is about to head to an amusement park. That feeling of excitement knowing that the day is going to be filled with fun and thrills. The enjoyment the child feels as he flies through the air on roller coasters, or the smile that’s glued to his face after winning a stuffed animal. The feeling of accomplishment for finally daring to get on that ride that his big brother always teased him about. It’s a sign that he’s growing up. He sees himself as finally stepping up that ladder in life. He’s no longer a little boy… he’s getting older, and has taken that next step toward becoming a full-functioning member of society, by denying his fears and taking a chance. He’s someone special in that park. Every so often, as he defies gravity soaring high over the park on rides, he catches a glimpse of the real world continuing beyond its walls. He doesn’t look, though. He turns his eyes away, because that world is not his. That world is unwanted and needs to stay as far away from his mind as possible. He manages to keep it at bay.

But, then it’s time to leave.

It’s that time when the day has come to an end. He’s not ready for it to be over. He wants to stay. The walk back to the car is the worst. The real world is becoming ever more present, as the laughter and screams of those still on the rides pierce the night’s sky from behind. The boy turns around. He looks at the lights that illuminate the park in the evening, and he wishes he were one of those people still enjoying his time. He turns back around, continuing his walk to the car with his family, who seem to enjoy the fact that the long day is over. The real world awaits them, and they’re content and at ease with that. Even his older brother can’t wait to go home. But, not the young boy, he wants to stay. He listens as the park’s sounds grow ever so distant behind him, and as the quiet suddenly engulfs his head when the car doors slam shut.

His parents are talking softly, and his older brother is just checking his phone. But, not the young boy… he continues to yearn for the clock to turn back to when he and his family first arrived at the park. The car pulls out and makes its way out of the parking lot, while the whole time, the young boy’s head is turned in the direction of the lights and high roller coasters that reach far above the walls surrounding them. He struggles to keep any sight that he can in his view. He holds onto each and every image that remains in his vision as the car moves farther and farther away. He must watch it. He must keep it in his grasp as long as possible. But, unfortunately, he can’t hold onto it forever. Against his will, his family’s car passes that final landmark in the city that obscures what’s left of his day. The park is gone, and the boy is now thrust back into the real world.

Sadly, the car ride away from the park becomes my reality each time I exit my fantasy world, and it’s difficult and jarring each time. However, it’s not for the reasons that one might think.

That young boy isn’t sad ‘cause the fun and games are over. He’s sad ‘cause the world that existed behind those walls is no longer his reality. The emotions attached to all of his day’s experiences have now been taken from him once again. To his mother, father and older brother, they will regain that feeling elsewhere. Something at home, in the real world, is going to provide them with that pleasure once again. But, for the young boy, his pleasure is gone, until he can once again return to the park. Unlike his parents and brother, it’s more difficult for the young boy to reincorporate his body and mind back into the real world, because that world is foreign to him. There is no success, pleasure, or understanding out in the real world. Out there, he’s alone, as no one understands his thoughts, feelings, or actions. He’s an outcast in the real world, but in that amusement park he is a star. He’s brave, a winner, and a functioning member of society. He’s more real within those walls, than beyond them.

I was that young child. Each time we’d leave an amusement park, I would hang onto it as long as it remained in my sight. I would not look away, until I could no longer see some piece of that park’s existence.

It’s Just So Real

It’s a sad realization when the fantasy world you’re living provides more happiness and contentment than the real one that everyone else is living. It’s a lonely and confusing feeling. It’s not supposed to be like that, and you can’t understand why on earth those around you don’t feel the same way. How can they not feel the same way? They just can’t see it. They can’t see what I see. They can’t feel what I feel. They can’t understand what does not exist before them. So, once again, I’m left alone if I stay in the real world, rather than just move to my fantasy world where everyone whom I care about surrounds me. They appreciate me for who I am, and don’t look down on me. I am someone of whom they are proud, and not the failure that their real life counterparts see. I have that smile of winning a stuffed animal, each time I stand on that stage. The feeling of accomplishing the terrifying ride hits me each time I hear the applause in my head. And, that next step up the ladder of life seems to be not so difficult.

Most people will never get it. They think it’s merely daydreaming. But, it’s not. A fantasy goes beyond the realm of daydreams, the moment it becomes so real that you can see it, touch it, smell it, and feel it. The moment you can physically walk from one end of a bedroom to the next, and never see the bed or desk in your path, is the moment that a fantasy becomes more than just a daydream… it becomes a world of its own.

So many people in this world think that they know what goes on in other peoples’ heads. These individuals think that others have to see the world in a specific way… right down to imagination. We should be able to snap out of imagination as adults, ‘cause that’s what all other adults have done. Those individuals cannot fathom what it must be like to live in a world that doesn’t exist, because the world in which they live is physically and tangibly real. What these individuals can’t understand, is that my fantasy world is just as real to me. It is physically and tangibly real to me. When I touch that bed, I’m touching a front row orchestra seat. It’s real to me! It’s not anything other than that. I can look before me and I see rows of people. They are alive! They breathe, talk, laugh, cry and even think! How do I know this? I know this, because they are me… I am them.

Many of the human beings that I see in my fantasy world are people whom I love and care about, but their thoughts, actions, conversations, and emotions, come from me. I can be performing a song, and part of my brain is centered on that performance, while another part is focused on my audience’s reactions. I’m able to switch my thoughts, vision, focus, and emotions to whichever person is in my sight, and then quickly switch back to my own role in my world. It all happens so quickly, that my mind sees them all as living individuals, with independent minds of their own. And, this can go on for literally hours.

I can ache to get back to my fantasy world. As I lie down at night, I can slip into my worlds that I create outside of the performance themes. These worlds range from the simplistic to the complicated. I will fall asleep, then wake up, picking up right where I left off prior to nodding off. When I’m in a hypomanic state, then it can continue to engross my mind at almost every waking hour, making the real world fade from existence more and more, with each passing minute.

How is it possible for an imaginary world – a fantasy – to yield so much enjoyment, for so long? I wish I had the answer to that question. I think that actually may be the one missing piece that could help others to understand. For now, though, I guess the best way for me to answer that question is with another question.

Would you want to leave a world, in which your life actually exists?

 

37 thoughts on “Living in a Fantasy World

  1. This is a beautifully written post, Summer. You’ve captured your experience vibrantly. Your fantasy world actually sounds quite meditative to me — not the “sit down and clear your thoughts” kind of meditative, more the visualizing sort. In this way, in the way you’re able to fully engage your senses and emotions in something separate from a reality that brings you pain, I think your fantasy world is quite healthy for you. Inside that world, you give your mind and heart and body a break. You find peace and joy and fulfillment that renews you, even if

  2. (Ugh…sorry, phone issues) returning to realit y is a let-down. You always have an internal place of peace to return to. Some people take forever to find that, but you already have it. I can understand why you’re private about your fantasy world, but don’t be ashamed. I think it’s beautiful.

    • Thanks so much! The way you see this makes me feel so much better about sharing it. :) Your view is comforting. What you say about it being meditative is very true indeed. I find it to be such a relaxing experience that I feel so good afterwards. The only time I don’t feel good is when I’m interrupted in some way. Then, it puts me into a very negative mood ’cause I’ve just been ripped out of my mind’s world. That’s usually why I go there more at night I think. It’s just easier to experience it without interruptions. But, when I’m hypomanic, I tend to be interrupted more ’cause I just can’t leave that world. It stays with me 24/7, but off and on.

      Thanks so much again! The fact that you see it as beautiful makes me feel so good. :)

  3. I agree with …But She’s Crazy. That was a really impressive read. I know I couldn’t actually see it, but you painted a vibrant & detailed fantasy-scape. I also agree that you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

    I personally think adults are too removed from their childhood imaginations. The fact that you’ve kept yours & no doubt your fantasy has matured as you’ve grown, I think is, well I don’t know, but I think its good.

    If it brings you happiness, then that’s all that matters.

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! :) I have to say that it makes me feel so much better reading how you have both seen this. I was nervous about posting it, so you and But She’s Crazy both helped to ease that anxiety, as well as make me feel not so bad about it. I’m glad that I was able to convey what I see through my explanations. It’s one of those things that hard to put into words, even though I so wanted to. So, I’m glad that I was able to do that.

      Thanks again! :)

  4. Oh, Summer, I think this world would be a much better place if we all indulged our fantasy worlds more often! I have a world in which I get lost, too. It wasn’t until I mentioned it to my husband that I realized not everyone does that!
    You described it so well…I can tell that it brings you joy and happiness. Sometimes having my daydreams (as i call them) helps me make it through the week.
    Thank you for sharing this. ~Rainey

    • Thank you, Rainey! :) It makes me feel so good to know that you also have a world in which you lose yourself too, and can understand the good feelings it brings. It helps to know I’m not alone in experiencing this, and especially knowing someone understands how these worlds can help to make getting through real life a bit easier. It’s such a great feeling that I can’t imagine living without being able to escape to my world. Thanks again! :)

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  7. Hey Summer…

    I live in this fantasy world of mine… it is existing in my mind from my childhood…I can say as far as my memory goes…I love being in my world..because everything is beautiful there…. it’s very true…not many have the ability and a generous mind to accomodate a beautiful world in their mind…it’s quite human to live in the real world and carry the same in their mind too…I love my fantasy world and loved to read your post. Great to find a like minded person :)

    • Hi there, Mermaid! It is indeed definitely a great thing to find someone who experiences this too. :) I’m so glad that you also have such a wonderful place to go to. Things are already hard, but without my world, I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be. I love how you say that it takes a “generous mind to accommodate a beautiful world in their mind.” That’s such an awesome way of putting that and I really love your description of it.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. Thank you too for reading. I greatly appreciate your interest. :)

      Take care, Mermaid!

  8. I loved this post. As a teenager I had a world like this to help get me through life. It went away in my early 20’s when I guess I didn’t need it as much anymore, but oh how much it helped me get through some really dark times. Thanks for sharing

    • Thank you so much for your comment and visiting my blog, Pam. I’m glad that you enjoyed it and can relate. These worlds are indeed a great aid in getting through some very difficult times. I value all that my world has given – and continues to give – me. It’s so great to hear from someone else who can understand this too. Thank you! :)

  9. I just wanted to say that I completely relate to your post. I too have a fantasy world that I created about 5 years ago. The amusement park analogy is perfect… I think a bit of fantasy can be good- a break from reality etc. but it can turn ugly fast just to warn you, if you’re not already there. You can lose your grasp on reality, innocently by choosing fantasy. It’s so seductive and welcoming that it can take over. Mine took over. Reality and fantasy have gotten so blurred, and its only now, after having to be on antipsychotics, that I realize how much this world I created has damaged me. I shut out my family, lost my friends, choosing my world over the real world. I feel like I’ve lost 4 years of my life in what seemed real and good and at the time, but now I see just shut me away from the world. Coming back is extremely difficult; its pretty losing my entire life since my life was based in fantasy…. I just wanted to share this b/c I really wish I could go back 5 years and see how much damage my fantasy world could cause me. I’d choose reality, no question.

    • Thank you for your comment, Justemilieu. I appreciate you visiting my blog and taking the time to respond. I also thank you for sharing your experience. I always welcome people sharing how it is or has been for them. It’s definitely a way to learn. I’m so sorry for what you have gone through these past five years. I can completely understand what you’re saying… how our fantasy world and reality can become so blurred. I’ve often spent way more time in my fantasy life than in the real one, to the point where that is all I have done from waking up to going to sleep. When I have to do other stuff, my mind will still be lost in that world and what I have to do in real life will just work around it. I’m usually in a hypomanic state when that’s happened, but it’s happened outside of that state too before. So, your experience and what you shared with me is valuable advice and I appreciate you sharing it. It’s a scary thing for sure when our fantasy worlds provide more satisfaction in life than the real one, but it’s so hard to break when that comfort and pleasure is seemingly unattainable elsewhere. I will keep your advice close in mind for certain. Thank you again, and take care! :)

      Summer

  10. Hey Summer! Thank you for this write up. This is just the story of my life. I have my ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ life in my mind on the one hand and my ‘real world’ on the other. My’ ideal’ world is so much fun and exciting. I sometimes detest my ‘real’ world.
    However, i really want to know how to convert these ‘stories’ in my head into something readable ,because i feel i am wasting my time and if i continue going into this world of comfort,i’ll eventually turn out the opposite of my ‘ideal’ world.
    I want to be a writer(novels) but my ‘ideal’ and ‘real’ worlds struggle hasn’t allowed me become this. It’s really sad. Any ideas on how i could transform my imagination into a novel?Thanks

    • H there, ha majesty! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and your kind comment. It makes me happy to hear that another person can relate. When I first wrote this post, I never expected that. However, since then, I’ve discovered how there are indeed others who can totally understand, and it’s comforting to say the least. I thank you so much for sharing that with me. :)

      I think it’s fantastic that you want to write it all down. My therapist once told me the key and secret to being a writer. I sat there waiting for some awesome top secret info, when all she said was, “You just need to write.” Pretty cool eh? :) Lol, it made a lot of sense though, and I try to remind myself of that as often as I can. She has often told me that the key is to just sit down and write. Sounds simple enough, but boy can that be difficult. I often will find myself editing what I write as I go and she has helped me to realize that the best thing to do is to just write. Do not edit as I go. Do not stop to think about whether or not it’s ok to write something down, or what others will think about what I just wrote. Just write, write, write. Then, once we’ve got all the information we want down before us, then we can go back and edit later. But if we edit as we go, then we will take something away from what we’re trying to say.

      So, I would first recommend that you start from there. Just start writing and don’t worry about editing it until you’re done with that particular piece. For me, I’ve also found that writing stories for kids is a great way to release what I imagine. I write books for kids in my family, and often take my own personal fantasy world ideas and put them into a book for them. It’s a satisfying feeling too when you see or hear that they’re reading them. :) Kids tend to be more receptive than adults many times, when it comes to imagination, and I find them to be a wonderful audience. Next time you’re in your ‘ideal’ world, maybe sit down at the computer or at the table with pen and paper instead of physically living through it. That’s a hard one for me, I know, as I much rather live through it. But, when I’ve done it at times it’s awesome! It allows me to live out my world as I write, and I find that my ideas can flow like crazy that way. I love it! The other people in my house may think I’m talking to myself, but oh well… I will speak my dialogue out loud and live in that world, but write as I do it.

      I hope this can help you a bit. They are things that have worked for me, but I know not everyone is the same. But, I think if you just let yourself go and write, write, write, and not stifle yourself (something I have to remind myself to do over and over again lol), then your ideas will be able to flow outward.

      Also, have you ever heard of Lynda Barry? She is a wonderful writer. She has such an awesome style and can relate to kids and adults equally. She’s one of my favorite authors now. Well, she has a book called “What It Is” and I highly recommend it. It’s basically half a book of insightful snippets writers, and half a workbook that she wrote that helps writers get what they want to say out of their heads and onto paper. She also talks about those little guys in our heads that constantly make us doubt what we are trying to say in our writing, and prevent us from getting it out. I have the book and think it’s totally a worthy buy. I will link it here from Amazon in case you want to check it out.

      Take care of yourself ha majesty, and thank you so much again for your comment and for valuing my opinion. I wish you well in your writing! I have a good feeling that you have a true author inside of you, just waiting to burst out!

      Summer :)

  11. This is exactly my life. I’d been feeling like I must be completely weird…but you put it so impressively, it made me feel do much better about it.

    I constantly can’t wait to be alone in my bedroom, making it my own world. It definitely is a form of meditation. :)

    • That is so great to hear, Leigh! It makes me feel so good to know that others can actually understand. It really is a great feeling to be able to just escape into that world where all is so much better. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means a lot, and I always love hearing the experiences of others. Thank you! :)

  12. Wow I just happened to stumble across this while searching the web and I’m very glad I did. I thought I was alone in creating a fantasy world, it’s nice to know there are others out there! I’m 20 and have had this made up world inside my head for as long as I can remember. You describe the experience so well, it creates sort of an escape to a place of happiness and bliss. The hardest part for me is realizing that this fantasy world isn’t real. I mean, of course it’s not real, but in the back of my mind a part of me really believes in it. But then I tell myself that this fantasy world is probably caused by my bipolar disorder. I guess I thought that this made-up fantasy was a part of me and now I realize it might be part of my illness. What do you think? It would be great to hear your response! Once again I am really glad I found this, it was very insightful.

    • Thank you so much, elsiastar! I appreciate you reading my post, and your comment. I totally hear what you’re saying about the connection of our fantasy worlds and the bipolar. After I wrote this post, I read it to my therapist. She always likes me to share what I write (if I want to), because it helps to give her more insight into my thinking. It’s easier too, sometimes, to read what’s going on in my head as opposed to just talking about it. But she has said that she is glad that I have this fantasy world. I was expecting her to say I needed to stop with this nonsense. But, rather, she said it isn’t silly, nonsense, crazy or childish like I had thought and worried for so long. She really made me think when she told me that she believes that it’s my fantasy world that has helped me to survive my illness thus far. That escape is what has helped me to leave the real world when I needed to the most, and it might very well be why I’m still here. I went a long time without a proper diagnosis and suffered more and more each year, but my fantasy world was always there. I think she’s right. And to get comments from people like you who can actually understand and relate is just amazing to me. I always thought I was alone too until I wrote this piece and received feedback, and I must say it’s such a great feeling to know that’s not the case. :)

      Creativity and an active imagination is something common in those of us with bipolar, and I personally feel that it is the bipolar that has helped to make my fantasy world more vivid, especially during those periods of highs. I think there is a connection, but I also feel that we are also just naturally creative people too. We were probably born with a little more electrical firing in that area of the brain that makes us come more alive in our imaginations. I remember something my therapist once told me too. She said, where do you think Shelley, Stephen King, etc got all of their ideas? They thought a lot like we do. She was referring to my dark thoughts that come due to both the bipolar and OCD, but I think it can be applied to our fantasy worlds too. George Lucas is one creative guy, and created a world of fantasy that the real world loves. Ours is just more hidden and not on the big screen. So, unfortunately, those who haven’t experienced what we experience, just don’t understand. I’m starting to think, “Oh, well… their loss.” Right? :) I’ve learned to love my fantasy world this past year after sharing it through my blog and with my therapist. I’m thankful for it and the survival it has allowed me.

      Thank you again so much, elsiastar. I’m so glad you can relate and greatly appreciate you sharing your personal experience. I always love hearing what others have experienced. Take care of yourself, and I hope your 2013 year is off to a good start!

      Summer

  13. Wow I just happened to stumble across this while searching the web and I’m very glad I did. I thought I was alone in creating a fantasy world, it’s nice to know there are others out there! I’m 20 and have had this made up world inside my head for as long as I can remember. You describe the experience so well, it creates sort of an escape to a place of happiness and bliss. The hardest part for me is realizing that this fantasy world isn’t real. I mean, of course it’s not real, but in the back of my mind a part of me really believes in it. But then I tell myself that this fantasy world is probably caused by my bipolar disorder. I guess I thought that this made-up fantasy was a part of me and now I realize it might be part of my illness. What do you think? It would be great to hear your response! Once again I am really glad I found this, it was very insightful.

  14. I kinda know what you mean, It’s been nearly a year since the last person comented, but O may as well.
    I have the house to myself for ten days, I pretty much just walk around listening to music living in a fantasy where I am considered a musical genius of musical innovators. Where all of the albums, instruments, and art in my head exists.
    I just don’t have the skill level to make them real.
    I listen to songs and change certain parts in my head and listen to whole concerts pretending I’m there. Then I realize I’m just running around the house. I really should be doing other things that I have to do. Am I crazy?

    • You’re not crazy, SomeoneOnTheInternet. That’s something I used to think too until my therapist and some good people here in the blogging community helped me to realize otherwise. It’s hard ’cause we know that society says such behavior is not what the average person has. But, over the last year, I’ve learned that fact just means we have more creativity, imagination, and a special ability for meditation. My therapist has told me that if not for this fantasy world, that I may have completely lost control of my bipolar as I struggled so much with it. So, in a way, this awesome fantasy world that we both have is a way to help keep us sane in a world that so often can feel smothering. I think it’s great that you can have such an experience when you’re able to and I just have to say that I respect your courage for sharing that here with me. I appreciate that and I thank you for your comment. I always love hearing others’ experiences and in regards to posts like this one, they help to make me feel less lonely. So, enjoy your fantasy world and please don’t think you’re crazy, ’cause you are definitely not. Maybe start writing down what’s in your fantasy world too. Who knows… you may just have a great book there for others to share and relate to. I know I’d read it!

      Take care, and thank you again.
      Summer :)

  15. Pingback: Living in a Fantasy World? You’re Not Alone | My Bipolar Bubble

  16. This post you typed up has made me so incredibly happy! I’m a teenager and I fantasized time and time again about my own world; about changing things that I believe would be great and living in my own grand creation that I would finally be at peace with. Describing one’s own fantasy is an incredibly hard thing to do though. You on the other hand did describe yours, and the fact that you did this has shown me that not only am I not the only one in this reality that feels this way but that there are ways of explaining it, too. It makes me wonder if there are others with there own fantasies that they wish to be in, but yet criticize your own because in their eyes your fantasy is “weird” or “strange.” But how can they understand when it is your own fantasy and not theirs. The only thing you can describe is the feeling of being in it. Thank you again for posting this. :)

    • :)) Thank you so much, Jake’snotalone! :) That makes me so happy to read. I am so happy too that you could find some comfort in my post. I think it’s awesome that you have a fantasy world too. It’s such an amazing feeling when you can escape from the real world stresses and enter a world of delight. Your thoughts about others and their fantasy worlds too is insightful. I think you are so right when you say they probably do criticize our worlds because they cannot understand them. Some people aren’t as open-minded to things they do not personally know, and it can just blind them to those unknown facts about others. Like you say, the only thing you truly can describe is the feeling. It’s so strong and alive that it’s something we can’t ignore.

      Thank you again for reading and your comment. I greatly appreciate it and love hearing how someone else can relate and understand about this magnificent gift that we have. Take care and keep that world of your’s alive! :)

  17. I’m new to this blog. I was looking online to find out if bipolar and living in a “fantasy” go hand-in-hand. That’s how I came across this post. I, too, fantasize. I’m not confused about what’s reality and what’s fantasy. I use it to deal with things. I kind of escape and become someone I like or someone who is liked. I wonder if everyone who is bipolar does this?

    • Hi there, JC. Wow, as I go through my comments here, I realize just how long I’ve been away from my blog. I’m sorry for such a delay. I’m not sure if you’ll even get this response, but I sure hope so.

      First of all, thank you so much for reading and commenting here. I always love to hear from people who visit. You ask if bipolar and living in a fantasy go hand in hand. Well, according to my therapist, not necessarily. She has told me that my fantasy world has actually saved me. This was something that I never even thought about in terms of my fantasy world. I was always so worried about it being discovered and felt shame for not outgrowing this childhood mindset. But, my therapist helped me to see that it’s not childish. It’s creative and it’s beautiful! And after sharing my post here on my blog, I was so taken aback by the fact that others could relate. I always thought that it made me a freak. But I realize now, that it’s a gift. Not everyone in this world can escape into a fantasy world of their mind. And my world saved my life, as I now fully realize. As a child I was bullied and my world allowed me to be the kid I so desperately wanted to be. As a teen, I felt like an outcast and blacksheep in my family, and my world allowed me to be someone that was amazing in their eyes and the eyes of others. The real world insecurities that I had went away during those times of imagination. And as the symptoms of bipolar started to make their way into the forefront of my life, my fantasy world gave me a way to run away for a while. To pretend that all was good, when in reality it was all falling apart. My therapist said that without that world, I might not have made it. Not everyone needs a fantasy world to survive through mental illness or any struggle in this life. But for those of us that do have a world of our minds that we can go to… it will only do us harm to try and ignore it. We are blessed with a gift, therefore using it can do so much good.

      I have discovered that a friend of mine has her own fantasy world too, and she doesn’t have bipolar. She has her own personal struggles, but not with bipolar. So, I’m not sure if all people with bipolar have fantasy worlds, but I can say for sure that those with worlds in their minds, don’t all have mental illness. For some people, I think it’s a way to like you said, “deal with things.”

      Thank you so much for sharing, JC. I hope I was able to help with my answer a bit. Take care of yourself!
      Summer

  18. This post made my year! I was diagnosed with bipolar I almost a year and a half ago. I will have to say my fantasy world started in seventh grade and now I am 22. Of course it changed as I changed, but I didn’t realize the importance of it until a few months ago. As you said Summer, it saved my life as well. It’s weird because I can’t pin point where I even started to live in this world, but I can see things that I did that would suggest I had already been in it when I was young.

    My fantasy world had to do with what I have always wanted to do, who I have been in love with, and dreams of course. As you said, fantasy world had people that were in reality and places that were in reality, they just were used in a different way. A way that made my world perfect. For some reason, I went the extra step and made a lot of profiles for my characters. Characters obviously that were not my friend, just imaginary people that I had created. I would sign onto these profiles (now on medication and thinking semi-straight i see how this was really weird) and have conversations between them. I friended a few “real” people that were friends with my real profile, but even to this day I have no idea how I made more than twenty profiles and was able to work and go to school. These profiles were not just your quickie creation, if you had seen them when they still existed, you would have never guessed that the profile was fake.

    I can not tell you how awesome it was to be able to just hop into my world when I felt down about myself, when I thought someone thought of me in a certain way, when I became paranoid, but most of all when I got very depressed. I got so good at triggering this world, that as you said, reality and my fantasy world seemed as though they were the same. I remember when my Aunt figured out my profiles on this social networking site because I had fixed the security preferences so that posts that I posted were only visible to the people that I wanted to see the posts as well as all of my profile people that I had made up. I was so creative during that time. It was interesting that I didn’t realize how creative and productive I was. I made up this big humanitarian project where I recruited friends and we would have meetings and I’d make these legit charts and information packets and direct this “project”. It was a lot of work, but looking back I can not believe I made people think it was real. It was hard for me to erase the profiles because the profiles told me that I was not “crazy” for making fake profiles because if there were profiles then my world DID exist.

    Overall, my therapist said it was a very cool thing that I did to fight my suicidal thoughts and anything negative that I had in my life. For as long as I remember I have not liked the person that I was. You could say most of the time I hated myself, but weirdly enough I was good at giving other people positive advice about how when they hated themselves it was a crazy thought because everyone is special in some way. I just believed I wasn’t special.

    Anyways, i may have just sort of ranted, but I found this searching “Bipolar Fantasy Worlds” on google today. I am writing a book for my family members, just so they can sort of understand what has happened in the past few years, why i did the profiles that everyone was so worried about, and other things. It’s funny to say this but I AM SO HAPPY OTHER PEOPLE HAVE MADE FANTASY WORLDS! I thought I was out of my mind, the only one who was weird and thought up these type of things :) I personally love having an imagination, and I think it has been the main things that has gotten me to the place that I am today. I am not healed yet, and hope to go back to school, but i really appreciate that you shared your story :) You should write a book! haha

    • Wow!!!! Susanna, thank you so much for sharing this! I just absolutely loved reading about your experience. I can’t get over how creative you are. You can channel that amazing mind of yours into books and even roleplaying games online. I am so happy that you are writing a book for your family. That is just amazing. That is something I have thought about many times, to help explain things to my family. It makes me happy too that my post could bring you some comfort. Your comment here does the same for me and I know will do the same for others. I used to have so much shame for my worlds, but my therapist has taken that all away.

      I was strongly struck by this that you said, “For as long as I remember I have not liked the person that I was. You could say most of the time I hated myself, but weirdly enough I was good at giving other people positive advice about how when they hated themselves it was a crazy thought because everyone is special in some way. I just believed I wasn’t special.” I read that, and saw me. I can so easily help be a positive in others’ lives, but when it comes to myself, I often feel a great deal of self-hatred. Prior to my diagnosis my friends would often say I was optimistic and so happy all of the time. That was because I was still able to hide it, although it got harder and harder to do that. I look back at that now and realize that I guess I did a pretty good job of making people think I was optimistic, just by giving them all of the positive energy I had.

      Thank you again for sharing your story here. I really appreciate it. And yah! You just gave me some motivation to write that book. :)

  19. I’m thinking of writing a book to publish. I now write about my bipolar experience everyday and I kept a journal. I realized the things that I feel ashamed of are my bipolar self. It doesn’t fix what I have done to people, but I think we all have the freedom and right to share why we did something to survive. My sister and my family members really got scared when they found about the profiles. They thought it was creepy that I thought I was someone else, which in a way was true, but I think everyone, if put in our position would have done the same thing.

    Ever since I have been diagnosed I realized I view the world in a different way. I feel like I am now living independently from the norm. Before I was wanting things like a boyfriend, a great paying job, and a nice car ect., but now I really have found a passion with helping the mentally ill. It’s funny that before I was diagnosed i was a psychology/neuroscience student. I don’t know when I will go back to school, but I do know that I am going to use my love for writing and write about my experience. My parents were always saying i shouldn’t share my story but I know that I won’t share everything, it is still personal, but if sharing my story and the things that make me “crazy” to society helps another person, I will share my story everyday.

    It would be cool to do a book of stories from people in the USA, just their experiences of bipolar and how they have handled it ect, or really anything at all that they would want to share. I have thought about doing a whole book or a few books on my fantasy world. I could go on and on haha You should write a book! :)

    • I definitely want to! :) I’m so happy that you are doing what feels right to you. And, I agree that sharing your story can help others. So many people want us to hide the truth, as if we should be ashamed of who we are. The only way to stop the stigma is the share that truth and show people what mental illness truly is. Otherwise, all of the stereotypes and misconceptions will forever thrive.

  20. Hi everyone,

    I came across this post as I was Googling about being in a fantasy world. I don’t have bi-polar but I do have depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD elements.

    Life has been tough recently despite happy occasions like getting married – it’s all a massive adjustment. I won’t go into details. This week has felt tough – being excluded from one social event (hubby is attending) and being told where I’ll be sitting at another this week (not with my hubby) has left me feeling so unbelievably rejected – it’s like something has broken down in my mind and I’ve been listening to the Rainman Original Score today a lot. Anyway, it’s conjured up this feeling of my mind retreating and running away to some fantasy land – because I feel so rejected by the real world. Like something in my mind has snapped. I’ve been like this all day and have been panicking that I’m getting more ill and cracking up/going proper crazy!! Scared I’m becoming delusional or something.

    Anyway, I wanted to share that – guess I’m looking for reassurance I’m not going mad!! It’s comforting to know others have worlds of their own to go to. I’ve always been a bit of a day dreamer. For me, it was a way to escape the abuse I experienced as a child. I always wanted to run away to those places I saw in cartoons or kid’s movies. Safe and friendly.

    My fantasy world is currently undiscovered – I feel like I’m in dark caves at the moment but I find myself wanting explore – no fears here – I know that other parts of my fantasy world are calm, tranquil, beautiful places and there is a an atmosphere of comfort and peace.

    Hope you don’t mind me sharing. Thank you.

    • Hi there, Mysterious Explorer.

      Thank you so very much for sharing your story here. I don’t mind at all, and I am so glad that you did. You are not “going mad”. What you’re dealing with sounds so hurtful and I would feel rejected too. It’s such a deflating feeling when such things happen. Some people don’t get it at all, because they’ve never experienced depression or such feelings. But, those of us who have can relate completely. These people might very well not even realize the profound effect that their actions are having on you, but that doesn’t mean what you are feeling isn’t real and, most of all, worth validation. It’s wrong that you are being excluded from one event, and separated from your husband at another. It’s not right, and it’s a trigger that I know I would have too.

      It makes a lot of sense to me that you have started going into this fantasy world with all of this hurt. Rejection is something that has triggered my fantasy world too, every often. I think it’s because in our minds, where our worlds take us, we don’t feel that rejection. We belong in our worlds, and therefore feel comfort and a sense of acceptance in our fantasy worlds. I think it is so great that you have a place to go to like that. All of us who experience this, have our own distinct places we go. I love that you have your own unique one, with parts that are calm and soothing too. It sounds to me like your fantasy world is one of wonder and so much expansive potential. That’s exciting! If you wanted to, you could even write about it, draw about it, write songs about it, so much! My therapist told me that my fantasy world pretty much saved my life. It gave me a place to belong and live, when my real life was falling apart all around me. I used to think I was crazy for having one. I was ashamed of it. But when I finally opened up to her about it, she helped me so much in realizing that it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Writing about it here on my blog helped me to love my fantasy world and not hide it in shame anymore. I guess we can feel thankful for the fact that we have been blessed with a gift that not just anyone in life has. We have imaginations that help us cope with life, and in many ways save us too.

      Thank you again for sharing, Mysterious. Hugs to you!
      Summer

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