Hi. I'm a single male in my early 40s, and I feel like I've been using escaspism my whole life to create a false reality for myself, at the detriment of gaining any real world social skills. This week, I had a breakdown once I realised how impossible it all was.
I've used daydreams as a means of escape ever since I was a kid, imagining I was having conversations and adventures starting with fictional characters, then celebrities. Lately, though, I'd started becoming obsessed with online content creators that I liked, and imagined that I was close friends with many of them. Of course, since they can now have actual conversations with us, it feels like a more "real" connection than ever.
I understand why I've done this - my real life has been mostly unfulfilling work, little real social interaction, and a lack of any professional skills. I kept telling myself that I would eventually pick up the slack and apply muself, but there always seemed to be some kind of reason not to.
I realised this week that there is absolutely no way of having any real connection with these people, at least not in the way I had built up in my mind, and it has DEVASTATED me. I now can't even THINK of watching any of their stuff any more!
What's worse, is that while I was still struggling to come up with a way of reaching out to them, I tried to do something creative online, but as soon as I tried, my mind said "What are you doing? You can't join in now! It's too late! Give up!" And as soon as that thought popped into my mind, I instantly lost all joy in EVERYTHING creative that I used to love, like movies, games, books, music... and of course, online videos are WAY OUT.
I feel like I've wasted the majority of my life on an imaginary one. I feel foolish, selfish, creepy and more isolated than ever. My sleep cycle has gone out the window. I'm suffering anxiety attacks, and can't focus on anything longer than 5 minutes. I have no real plans for the future now, apart from seeing a doctor next week; I'm hoping to get a referral to a professional. I'm so scared that I'm going to spend the rest of my life in some sort of mental care facility, as this feels like my ENTIRE LIFE has been built on lies I told myself. And my mind keeps tricking me, circling back to these obsessions with fake people without me even realising it, because I've become so used to this trick that I don't think I can make it stop...
What do I do now?!?