Fantasy Addiction

Characteristics of Fantasy Addiction

As submitted to conference for discussion on November 11, 2023.

  1. We confuse fantasy with real life. We attach the need for love, healing, intimacy, and growth to people or scenarios about which we compulsively fantasize.
  2. We experience emotional instability to the degree our fantasies conflict with reality.
  3. We allow fantasies to become our Higher Power, using them to numb reality and avoid our pain, fear and low self-esteem.
  4. Precious time, interests, and focus are lost to the distraction of our addictive fantasies.
  5. Our lives become unmanageable as we are immobilized by our fantasies, risking serious consequences.
  6. Our development and healthy aspirations are held hostage by our addictive fantasies.
  7. Our daily conflict between our fantasies and the real world leaves us susceptible to continued acting out.
  8. As seen through our distorted lens, interactions with the objects of our fantasies become unrealistic as we fail to regard who or what they are and ignore their boundaries and needs.
  9. When reality intrudes upon our fantasies, we experience deep pain and debilitating disappointment.
  10. When our fantasies don’t come true, we feel anxiety, depression, and despair, depriving ourselves of joy and hope.
  11. We become angry at those we fantasize about for having their own lives, which may not include us, leaving us feeling alone and frustrated.
  12. We continue to live in our fantasies, denying their empty nature and avoiding deeper healing, growth, and connection with Higher Power and others.

Signs of Recovery from Fantasy Addiction

As submitted to conference for review on March 23, 2024.

  1. We no longer turn to fantasy as a way to avoid pain.
  2. We replace fantasy with reality, accepting that fantasy is a lie that steals our lives and inhibits our growth.
  3. We foster wholeness, authenticity, and healthy connection to our true selves and others as we learn to face reality.
  4. We develop the courage and skills to live in the present.
  5. We come to know emotional stability in our lives.
  6. We find serenity, integrity, and purpose as we follow our Higher Power’s will.
  7. We no longer hide in shame and isolation.
  8. We make meaningful contributions to ourselves and others.
  9. We face our feelings in healthy, realistic ways.
  10. We respect and appreciate the sovereignty of others.
  11. We ask for help from our Higher Power and others in recovery.
  12. We learn to love and respect ourselves.

Readings for Meetings

Romantic Obsession

Our Members highly recommend reading the Romantic Obsession Pamphlet every day as part of your program until the obsession lifts. You can download the pamphlet for only 99 cents from SLAA’s Digital Literature Store.

You can also learn about Romantic Obsession from this page of readings provided by SLAA’s San Antonio Intergroup.

My Drug of Choice Was Fantasy

Female Fantasy Addict, Anonymous, page 11 theJournal Magazine #192 here

Personal Experience and Recovery around Fantasy

Page 23 various members short shares. Page 24 share by female fantasy addict (LA, USA)

Gratitude for 20 Years in SLAA share by male love and fantasy addict (LA USA)

See theJournal Magazine Free Outreach Edition here

Sharing Time and Attention With Another Human Being

Female Romantic Fantasy Addict, NJ, USA

Page 9 & 10 theJournal Magazine #167 here

A Sober Dating Plan helps me Recognize Unavailability

Female Fantasy Addict, LA, USA

Page 13 & 14 theJournal Magazine #167 here

Might as Well face It, I’m Addicted to Love

Male Love & Fantasy Addict, UK

Page 22 & 23 theJournal Magazine #167 here

Fantasy vs Reality

Issue #147 – Fantasy vs. Reality

Fantasy focused meetings

Please join the closed WhatsApp Group for members recovering from fantasy addiction for the most current list of virtual meetings held online.

You can also find online meetings on our Notice Board and on the SLAA FWS Website.

Fantasy Meeting Scripts

The Fantasy Addiction Group shares the slides it screenshares in meetings here for other Groups to copy and improve for their own Meetings.

Fantasy Addiction WhatsApp Group

To join our WhatsApp Group, ask the Helpline here, and provide your first name and the initial of your surname and your location (just the Country and/or State).

Other Member Experience Strength and Hope

Not SLAA approved. Content is the opinions of the members themselves and not SLAA FWS, SLAAvirtual Intergroup or any Fantasy Focused SLAA Group

Romantic Fantasy Kicked My Butt – a SLAA Member’s Story

Jane, Inventorying Fantasy from Getting Started in SLAA

Anonymous Happy Joyous & Free in SLAA

SLAA Daily Meditation

We highly recommend buying the State of Grace: Daily Mediations from Amazon as a way to connect with Reality and a Higher Power on a Daily Basis.

For an example on the topic of fantasy:

August 25

Through mutual sharing, we had come to know [triggering individuals] as human beings, and their stories had exploded many a fantasy we could have trumped up about them. Myths about their addictive desirability had been dispelled before our very eyes. Our interactions with others were becoming more authentic and mutual. – S.L.A.A. Basic Text, Page 146

Unicorns, Martians, and talking lions filled the pages of all my childhood books. I hid out in them to escape the scary reality of my life. My thoughts were always full of wild hopes and dreams of a better, drastically different world. Children are supposed to dream. But when these thoughts carry into adulthood and distract us from having any real purpose in life, they cross over into addiction. Obsessing about unavailable people is living in fantasyland. I can’t have an authentic relationship with a figment of my imagination. I need to actually listen to the other person and hear what they are saying, instead of idealizing them and overlooking bad behavior. I must watch out for playing mind reader, too. A mutual exchange of ideas is the only way for me to live in reality. Fear of conflict can keep me in fantasyland for years. One day at a time, I need to confront problems as they come and clear them out before they become full-blown fantasy worlds in my head and I’m paralyzed by the fantasy. Fantasyland can be a warm, comfortable place. So who would choose harsh reality? The only way out for me is to realize that my addiction can get to me more easily there and will pull me out into an even more harsh reality.

I will do my best to live in reality today and not get pulled in by the sirens’ call of fantasy.

Re-publication of 300 words or fewer of Works of Conference-approved literature may occur without permission from F.W.S. For more information see here.

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