Alternate Life Slipping Into Reality

by Emily Jasper on March 18, 2010

I think. A lot. Probably too much. I used to suffer from severe insomnia, and when I saw a professional about it, they said it was because my mind was running too much. The minute my head hits the pillow, I’m thinking at 80mph. That makes it hard to go to sleep, and then if I wake up, even harder to get back to sleep.

What that means is that not only do I think about the things I have to do and what’s going on in my everyday life, but I think about my alternate life. For me, my alternate life often means what would happen if I made a trip to NY or happened to run across someone famous in an airport bar.

These are not just the big-picture, life’s dreams thoughts.

I can literally map out entire conversations for pseudo events that all depend on an extreme alignment of the stars. I think it’s because of this habit I have an excessive sense of déjà vu.

Rarely do I ever bring this alternate reality into my normal life. It can slip every once and a while. Like when you’re having some general conversation, and someone asks, “What do you think it takes to get your own reality tv show?” I probably have a very long detail-oriented answer for that.

When there is slippage, it’s all the feelings. I rarely ever feel “meh” about anything anyways, and especially if I’ve done some serious thinking, I’ve got a love/hate extreme going on. That applies to things, food, companies, events, and especially people.

Having extreme feelings about people because of scenarios worked out in your head is dangerous business. You could end up amped up over a boss and begin a meeting already pissed off, and no one knows why. Or you find that you really respect someone but the intensity could come across as crazy, stalker feelings.

Hence why this can have a bearing on your decisions.

For example: You have a friend in a certain location, and you think moving for them is the right idea because you might end up getting married (no matter you haven’t ever dated). You could be putting all your eggs in a non-existent basket. Decisions like this get made all the time. At the moment, it may feel like a wonderful leap of faith, but it’s because you ignored people knocking on the reality door!

If you do think, dream, and process these kinds of alternate scenarios, don’t let them cloud real life.

  • For important decisions, create the pro/con lists. They will help keep you straight.
  • If other people would be impacted by your decisions, check in with them. You may make assumptions about their feelings when you could be totally off-base.
  • Share your thoughts. Find a way to share some of these stories with others, either a best friend or even a journal. Just get them out of your head.
  • Refocus the alternate life. If you find that you might steer towards lots of negative thoughts, think positively. Or if you always think about glory in Hollywood, maybe think about glory in your job. You’ll be happy with achieving something.

Do you ever feel that your alternate life takes over your real life? What tips do you have for staying grounded? When is it ok to let alternate life take over?

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