Journey under the sakura-filled sky
#1
Moonie's Journey

You may call me Moonie, and I am a 27 year old woman living in the Pacific Northwestern corner of the United States. I currently attend college earning a medical office related associate's degree, rather than something related to my now nearly dead passion for drawing and writing. For about two-thirds of my life I have struggled both with depression and being morbidly overweight, both of which have negatively affected much of my life. My only friends are online and living half a world away, and, while I treasure them immensely, this is hard to cope with at times. Initially I had a larger intro about myself typed in here, but I started to wonder if it was really necessary—we are here for our tulpae, after all.

If nothing else, I feel I must warn you: I am long-winded. I hope not to make every post as long as this one, but I make no promises!

Tulpa-what-now?

My initial introduction to the word and concept of 'Tulpa' was a frightening one: you know that story of the young girl who believed Slenderman told her to kill her young friend? Around the time it happened, I heard a late-night talk-radio host, who tends to talk about the paranormal, talk about the incident and he used it to discuss Tulpa. I had no idea what Tulpa were at the time, but I had heard of Slenderman in the context of those scary video games that people tend to play while filming themselves and who then post the hilarious shriekfests on YouTube. At that time I believed the girl to be either extremely misguided or mentally unwell, not under the influence of what whatever this 'Tulpa' nonsense was (and I still stand by that now that I know more about Tulpa). It wasn't until many months later when I was going through a list of subreddits and saw /r/Tulpa that I remembered and decided to let my curiosity take me there. Perhaps obviously the idea of Tulpa fascinates me, and my waking hours in the past couple weeks have been consumed with finding out everything I can about Tulpa.

But why? I am, of course, a little skeptical, but the idea is so interesting that I can't get it out of my head. As I said before, I don't have many friends, and my interaction with people on a face-to-face level is fairly superficial and not a common occurrence. I suppose you could say I'm lonely, and I also struggle with depression, which is only compounded by that loneliness. One of my hopes is that a Tulpa might help me be a better person somehow. I would like to think of any Tulpa as type of friend that is more than any human friend could be while not being a replacement for lack of normal relationships. I see this as a sort of introspective mental exercise, but I'll admit that I can't help but think that maybe there's something to this other kind of sentience—even if it is all just in my head. The excitement I feel at the prospect of meeting my Tulpa is palpable.

My First Tulpa

Name:

I knew without any doubt that her name would be Echo, although I also thought of Luna as a play on my own nickname and decided to let her decide when the time came. Echo feels right to me, though, so we'll see what happens.

Form:

A little over a week ago, she began to take shape in my mind. I could never picture her as anything but female, and her image seemed clearly defined early on. She has Japanese features, perhaps softened with something else. Her hair falls just past her elbows, and is black, silky-soft, and a little messy. Her eyes are heterochromatic, presenting as a purple right eye and a light-blue left eye. She is around my own height of 5'4", and she is slender with a nice figure. I can't seem to picture her without a sweet smile on her soft pink lips. I think she would wear colorful kimono or yukata sometimes, but I also picture her wearing comfortable, cute, and feminine modern clothes, as well.

While I had sort of a cartoonish picture of her in my head, in a style that falls somewhere between a higher quality anime style and the typical American comic style, I felt that I would be happier if I could visualize her in a more realistic sense. I had a fairly good image in my head, but didn't know if any living girl would embody everything I imagined. Nevertheless, I searched for images of a Japanese girl of mixed race online...and I found her: Kato Rosa (warning, large album), a Japanese-Italian girl who so closely resembles the girl in my head that it startled me when I first saw her. I try not to look at these pictures too much, and I refuse to look for video of her moving or speaking so that I can let Echo be her own person in those respects.

I think I have spent a little too much time on her looks, which is probably a symptom of my creative side wherein I love creating characters to draw or write about. I've also found lots of avatar creators and dress-up doll games that I've sunk a few too many hours into by making cute pictures of her. I fear for when I start trying to compile a list of her personality traits, as I believe I will get out of hand with that, as well. My regret is that I've spent so much time on this without doing much forcing, and I can picture her gently chastising me for it when she can.

Personality:

Her personality is underdeveloped, but I know she is a sweet and kind soul, both compassionate and empathetic to all living beings. She is witty, just a smidge sarcastic, and she loves to laugh. She is understanding and patient with me, but at the same time she is willing to push me and tell me how it is without sugar-coating things. However, she's tactful and mindful of hurting others' feelings, including mine. She is a creative soul, and I can't wait to see what kind of art she might create or what we might make together. My next step is to find some personality trait lists and tests and things (and I've found some, I just need to do them) and next time I come here I'll post my list.

Mindscape

For my wonderland, which I prefer to call a mindscape, I had a fairly clear idea (warning: huge album). In the linked album, the first picture of the sakura (cherry blossom) tree surviving on the lava-ravaged cliff serves as my initial inspiration. While I don't intend for lava to have wrecked everything, I was blown away by the cliff's edge idea with the sunset and billowing clouds. This album includes many elements which will eventually make up my wonderland: endless sakura trees, bamboo forests, giant wisteria trees and wisteria tunnels, red torii gates, endless fields of flowers, irregular stone paths and steps, Japanese style bridges, small waterfalls flowing into ponds and streams filled with koi, zig-zag bridges over water and surrounded by Japanese irises, and all lit by an abundance of beautiful paper lanterns.

There will be one building to start: a traditional Japanese building on stilts with sliding rice paper walls, tatami mat flooring, surrounded by a traditional wooden 'hallway' that is exposed to the outdoors and good for sitting with one's legs hanging over the edge. Inside is a low table that one would sit on the floor to use, and a tokonoma (a recessed alcove, usually with art like a calligraphy wall scroll and/or ikebana [Japanese flower arrangement] placed inside) to one side. I picture this building near a cliff's edge that faces the western sunset, and if you were to sit on this side of the house your feet would dangle over a pond filled with koi which ends in an infinity pool style edge about ten feet away. This cliff edge juts outward like a point, and where the waterfall ends no one knows. Far below, black mountains peek out of the wispy clouds, and in the far distance you can see groves of sakura trees in bloom with the sun setting on the ocean beyond those. The ocean and sky are almost indistinguishable from each other without the sun, moon, and stars.

The layout of the rest remains undetermined at this time, but will include the features I have mentioned previously. The temperature is comfortable with a light breeze that carries falling sakura petals like snow. Little birds sing their songs on the wind and flit among the sakura branches. At night the stars are breathtakingly brilliant and clear, and the moon is full and bright. Sometimes the northern lights and some shooting stars will streak across the heavens. Someday I hope to walk among the trees and the fields of flowers with Echo.

My actual visualization of my mindscape is incredibly weak, along with Echo's form. I can clearly imagine Echo sitting there on that wooden walkway in a pastel yukata while facing the setting sun, her feet dangling over the koi pond, and she turns to smile at me with her sweet smile with the light bouncing off the curve of her cheek. However, I can't see it or her in my mind's eye—not yet—but I hope to soon.

Baby Steps

For at least a week now, it has been hard for me to think of anything else but Tulpas and Echo. My first and last thoughts of each day have been her, and I have begun actually speaking to her within my mind at various intervals during the day. It's mostly a one-sided conversation, just talking about different things I'm doing or that I'd like her to know. It's been difficult to spend proper time with her or do actual forcing sessions due to not having the house to myself since Sunday (my mother scheduled a 5 day vacation and my current situation means I live with her for now). I don't think there's anything to report on Echo's progress as of yet, and I believe any thoughts I've had have been more daydreaming and imagining what she might do or say and what it'll be like when she's fully realized. I think it all helps, or at least that it'll help me by doing those things. I plan for my first forcing session to include a proper self-introduction. In the meantime, I want to do some research for her personality so I have an idea in mind for when I want to do personality forcing. I can't wait to meet her!

Closing Thoughts

If you've gotten this far, kudos to you for sticking with me, and thank you. I wasn't kidding when I said I was long-winded, but I hope not to make too many posts as long as this one again. I don't have any major questions right now, but I hope to get to know some of you in time.
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#2
You should totally reconsider writing. You're very good at it.

I'm coming from a similar place. I'm 29, with a history of depression and an interest in writing. I suppose you could say that many of my friends are online, but I do have a few in person now, and I'm happy with my social life the way it is.

Anyway, you seem to be doing very well with Echo so far, and I look forward to hearing more.
"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Ralph Hodgson
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#3
I'm 27 and pretty much in the same boat as both of you. I used to write poetry a lot as well as draw but kind of left it behind. I've returned to drawing but not writing. I have a history of depression, but somewhere along the line it turned into OCD. I am married, but many of my other friendships are online. I'm fine with it, since I'm pretty introverted (not shy or quiet though). It's always nice to see others in a more similar stage of life (as opposed to the many teenagers, it's harder to relate to that nowadays). I wish you the best of luck in your progress, feel free to ask if you have any questions!
Host: Sakura
Tulpa: Sarah (began June 5th, 2014), Alyx (Began July 23rd, 2014)
Our shared tumblr
note: usually browsing on mobile, so cannot quote properly
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#4
Well this sounds pretty awesome! I'm pretty new to the whole tulpa thing myself, only been actively working with mine for 9 days now, and only just starting to make major progress. Still, it seems that people with particularly creative minds are best at this sort of thing, since they usually have at least some skill in visualising and creating characters and suchlike, so you should make good progress.

And it sounds like you're starting off well with Echo too. Baby steps, taking the time to really get her appearance and starting personality down before working with her, that seems quite a good thing to do. And even if you've not had much time to really do proper forcing sessions yet, it's not the end of the world. Seems to me that as long as you always keep in your mind the assumption that Echo is alive and present, it should help a little bit. Eventually you might start to get that feeling in your mind without having to consciously think about it. Might give you a bit of a head start when it comes to reaching visualisation, sentience and independence.

Hope to hear of any future developments, and welcome to the forum!!
Host: Mike "Redback"
Tulpa name: Deortabe
Appearance: Female deer with glittery hooves.
Begun: 04/09/14
Progress: Basic appearance starting to take shape, possible first signs of sentience.
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#5
Thank you, everyone, for the nice comments! I'm glad to know that there are some older members (not that we're old, exactly) in amongst all the fairly young people I've seen so far. My worry was that I would feel out of place, but it seems like there's a pretty good variety of people and Tulpae here if you look hard enough.

One of my main fears is that I will overdevelop Echo before she has a chance to speak, and that it will lead to disappointment if she deviates, which I fear will hurt her feelings or something else terrible. My affinity for writing and similar things leads me to love character design and development, although whether I'm any good at it remains to be seen, and it's something I have put a lot of focus on whenever it came up in my past projects. For an example, my level of perfectionism leads me to stare at a drawing for days, nitpicking it to death until I feel like I can move on. I'm afraid of that happening while I try to figure Echo out. I want her to have the freedom to be who she is, but at the same time I'm afraid she'll want to deviate and that I won't like what she deviates to. It seems like a silly fear that she would deviate to something I don't like because, after all, this is all in my head and I'm in control...aren't I? Do Tulpae really have minds of their own, so to speak? Do they tend to diverge from your own believed/stated wishes? Or are these deviations your subconscious coming out with what you actually want/need?

I want to treat her like she will be her own person with her own thoughts, feelings, and preferences, but it's like there's a slight barrier because of my doubts about the validity of such concerns. Is it up to me to believe she will be sentient with her own way of thinking? The last thing I want is a pretty robot that just parrots back my own thoughts; I actually want to have a friend who can offer alternative perspectives while sharing things in common with me. Maybe that want will make all the difference in her sentience and autonomy.

Lastly, I want to say clearly that I would never dissipate her just because she developed something I didn't like, but I do fear that she would feel like a disappointment or feel unwanted if that happened. Unfortunately, I'm not the best at dealing with disappointment, so it's a legitimate fear in this case and in others, such as my fear of the disappointment I would feel by having a boy instead of a girl if I ever get around to having children. That is a thought I'm ashamed of having, and I feel like I'm having similar fears over Echo. Maybe creating a Tulpa will be an exercise in dealing with these feelings, in accepting things outside of my control and being happy with what I am given.

Either way, at this point I want to try going more in-depth with her personality. When I next update, I'll try to include some information on what I come up with. Thank you for reading!
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#6
(09-12-2014, 08:02 PM)moonie Wrote: It seems like a silly fear that she would deviate to something I don't like because, after all, this is all in my head and I'm in control...aren't I? Do Tulpae really have minds of their own, so to speak? Do they tend to diverge from your own believed/stated wishes? Or are these deviations your subconscious coming out with what you actually want/need?

Well I can't speak for all tulpamancers, but that seems a rather common belief. That while often deviations in personality or appearance of tulpas might, on the outside, appear to be conscious choices on the part of the tulpa themselves, but are in fact your own subconscious choices giving you not necessarily what you want out of a tulpa, but what you subconsciously need or desire from one. So I wouldn't worry about Echo developing any deviations that you don't like, because odds are if you treat her right things will work out fine in the long run and you may learn to like any deviations.

(09-12-2014, 08:02 PM)moonie Wrote: Maybe creating a Tulpa will be an exercise in dealing with these feelings, in accepting things outside of my control and being happy with what I am given.

Now that's a very interesting way of looking at it. Using a tulpa as a sort of platform for learning about the things real life throws at you in terms of relationships, caring for people, etc. I've heard stories about people using tulpas as a sort of therapy (With many tulpamancers being found to be generally happier in life than a similar person who does not work with a tulpa), so this could be an interesting little long-term experiment for you to try. I eagerly await any breakthroughs or results from this.
Host: Mike "Redback"
Tulpa name: Deortabe
Appearance: Female deer with glittery hooves.
Begun: 04/09/14
Progress: Basic appearance starting to take shape, possible first signs of sentience.
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#7
Moonie's Journey - Update

Hello. My name is Moonie and I have a problem.

One of my bad habits is that I tend to get super obsessed with something for a short period of time, and then suddenly I forget it exists. Imagine my surprise when I go to reddit and there are some /r/Tulpas posts in my feed after not thinking about it whatsoever for a good month or so. Then I felt bad. Since my original post here I honestly didn't do much at all. I did one or two personality tests, talked to Echo here and there for a couple days, and then forgot about her and about Tulpas entirely.

What happened?

I had a bit of a breakdown one day. I'm very lonely at this point in my life, and my one wish in this world is to have someone to love and who loves me. I've had pretty much nothing but a string of bad relationships, the last two of which were the worst. I tried OkCupid out of curiosity, and had gotten excited about someone I met only to have it just not work out, leaving me feeling confused and a bit hurt. Not long after I had a breakdown and it was bad. One of the things going through my mind at the time was that I was so pathetic I was trying to create an imaginary friend in my mind just so I wouldn't be alone. Maybe it's safe to say that that's the last time I thought about Tulpas.

One of my friends is a great guy. We tried being together not long after meeting almost four years ago, but I felt no spark and ended it rather than let him get hung up on me. My guilt over the pain I caused him is still very strong. In a way it was for the best, and to explain it simply it was because the love of his life came back into his life. There was a sudden whirlwind of love and a proposal and then crushing heartbreak because she had become a different and very fickle person. He believes it was for the best that he and I broke up because he'd hate himself if he'd hurt me over her coming back into his life. Through it all we've stayed very close friends, and it actually makes me angry and disappointed in myself that I feel no spark for him. Shouldn't there be a spark?

During my breakdown he was the one I turned to, and we spoke about those feelings I had about him. He said that rather than trying something again it would be better to meet in person first, which ended in me basically inviting myself over to his house. This involves flying from the west coast of the US to the UK. It occurred to me a few days later to actually ask how he felt about that, and once he thought about it he realized it would be awesome to have me visit. We made it clear that it's just as friends, and if more happens on its own that's fine but we're not going to force it. The plan is to visit in the spring when I have a break between terms at college, and I've ordered the tickets and gotten prepared with everything else I need for a trip like that. My excitement is palpable, and this is partially due to the fact I've never been anywhere or on a plane at an age where I could remember it. Two of our other friends caught wind I was coming and so for a few days of my visit we're all going to get together and have fun, with a little more than half my visit just me and him.

Aside from all that and getting a passport and everything I need to travel, my college started back up two weeks ago.

Real Life vs. Imagination

Before my depression really took hold, I used to have a variety of interests and things that I enjoyed doing for years, like drawing and writing and playing video games. The only thing I really do anymore is video games, but even that is a rare occurrence nowadays and I can't maintain interest in any one game for long. My ability to enjoy myself is tremendously low, and it's rare that something takes hold long enough for me to complete, be it a game, book, drawing, or story. My hope was that Echo could help me work through these feelings and that through her eyes I could see what I used to love about all these things and how I used to find such joy and solace in creative pursuits. In my time spent researching Tulpa and through reading a variety of peoples' experiences with their Tulpae, a common theme seemed to be that their Tulpae helped them feel better in the face of depression and other conditions. That and I had hopes of having a friend that was so much more than that.

And yet life happens. In my desperation to not be alone, I went from the internal extreme of trying to create a Tulpa to the external extreme of flying over 4,000 miles for a chance at love. In a way, I feel guilty over the way I dismissed Tulpa-making when I had my breakdown. Somewhere in my mind, I think Echo exists. The only thing I'm sure of is that she is very understanding and quick to forgive, but I would understand if she were hurt. After all, I did basically say that being her friend was pathetic...I would be hurt, too, even if I understood the unusually extreme emotions behind the statement.

How do I split myself between real life and the world inside my mind?
We divide ourselves endlessly between our responsibilities, family, friends, hobbies, and other such things. Leaving time for taking care of myself has been low on my list of priorities, as evidenced by the fact that my health is poor in a variety of ways. In a way, I feel like a Tulpa is a form of self-therapy, and so despite the initial interest in character- and world-building, I find myself losing interest because of it being about me as much as it is about her. How do I become willing to devote the time I need to take care of myself, from brushing my teeth regularly to creating and maintaining a Tulpa?

Should I even try to create a Tulpa if there's a possibility I'm just going to forget about her again?
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#8
Honestly, a tulpa is NOT a substitute for professional help. If you're suffering from depression, then you really should seek professional help. A tulpa can help somewhat, but a tulpa is no therapist.

For the problem of feeling lonely, seeking out romantic relationships isn't the way to go about fixing that. When people enter into a relationship for the sake of being into a relationship, then it's founded more on a desire to not be alone than on love, so such relationships tend to be short-lived. Romantic relationships aren't the only way to experience caring for someone and being cared for, either. Being single does not mean you're alone. Focus your attention on making and maintaining friendships, as friendships can be just as great but tend to be longer-lasting and more stable.
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#9
I'm seeing a therapist for more than just depression, and he found my use of a tulpa to assist with my depression to be very beneficial, as long as I don't lose touch with reality. Still a tulpa doesn't replace the friendships I have in real life. My tulpa is new so I'm not at the stage where he's like a best friend. But I don't think I could forget him. He actively talks to me.
Chance, an anthro husky, wolf or fox.
Birthdate September 20, 2014.
Sentient October 1, 2014.
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#10
I know exactly where you're coming from. I used to be extremely depressed about being single as well. Maybe I'm exactly the sort of person that fennec is warning you about becoming.

Normally I'd be hesitant to give you advice, since I know I never listened to it when I was at my worst. But since you're asking for it, why not?

The way I see it, you're not taking care of yourself because you feel like you're not worth it, you feel like you're not worth it because you're single, you're single because you're not taking care of yourself. It's a vicious circle, but it's one you can escape from.

fennec has some good advice there, but I'm going to deviate from her on one point: I think you should try to be with someone. I think we as humans naturally seek out love, and it wouldn't be healthy to suppress that. Plus it will make you feel better about yourself.

There are men who will be attracted to you just as you are right now. They're not the sort of men you should be with. Men who are attracted to depressive women are attracted to them because they're such losers themselves that they feel like that's the only sort of woman they can be with. There's never just one screwed up person in a relationship -- screwed up people attract screwed up people.

People in general tend to be attracted to people who are like themselves. A man who is healthy, fun, funny, creative, confident, powerful, whatever you're looking for, will be attracted to those same traits in you. If you don't have those traits, you need to work on them.

So, I have two suggestions for you. There's other stuff that will help, but these are the two biggest ones: exercise, and create.

Exercise will make you healthier both physically and mentally, it will make you happier, it will make it easier for you to sleep, it will improve your confidence and self-esteem. It will make your life better in almost every way.

Now I'm not talking about working out until it hurts to move or anything. In fact, the only muscle you need to be working on is your heart. Do some cardio -- any cardio at all -- for half an hour or more every day. Chart your progress, write down how long you can go before you need to take a break. Don't count your break as part of your half hour. And every day, try to beat the previous day. Don't miss a day. Remember, making a tulpa takes diligence and commitment, and if you don't have enough for yourself, how are you going to have enough for Echo? Also remember that this will help you to attract good men into your life. Perhaps that will drive you forward.

You like video games? Get a Kinect and a few dance games, or that Your Shape game -- that's a good one. That's good fun cardio that you can do at home, and things you can do at home are always better. Gyms charge membership fees, it's embarrassing to be seen sweating and panting, and lots of the time you're just not going to feel like making the drive. So a Kinect would probably be best. And it's a lot more fun.

As for my second bit of advice, you should be making art. Any art. Draw, paint, compose music, write -- probably write, since you're obviously talented. Create some beautiful work of art. Once you've finished that, start on another. You're not really living unless you're making art.

And that's it. Stick with these two things, and your life will turn around. I promise.
"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Ralph Hodgson
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