‘Ignorance is bliss’ can be called as the most delusional proverb of all time. Avoidance merely distorts the temporal image of the issue and doesn’t solve it. Pretending that everything is okay doesn’t make everything okay. Escapism is another lie that we make ourselves believe in. It’s an intentional detachment from the monotonicity of our lives. It allows a momentary respite that drifts us from reality, instead of facing issues.
Escapism can be understood as a simpler solution to complex life problems. Some are introverts while some are put in jobs which do not interest them. Some are seeking solace in rebound relationships while some fail to overcome their failures. Some are perfectionists and have an everything or nothing mindsets whereas some are disappointed with letting down themselves. Some are scared to take up responsibilities while some avoid tainting their self-images. Some are reminded of their too bitter or too sweet pasts while some are troubled by their deepest sorrows. Some try to work as much as possible in order to escape fellow human interactions. All of them are somewhere unable to heal or at least address the real issues and are thus trying to escape. But the challenges are dormant and later in life, they resurface abruptly in different manners.
One partakes in escapism if he is trying to figure out peace in actions like sleeping, bingeing, emotional eating, alcoholism or even physically running away. But in all honesty, escapism is the defence mechanism of our ego which isn’t protecting us from anything.
Surely sleeping everything away and waking up to a fresh day fades your miseries into semi-distant memories but until you muster the courage to deal with your issues, they won’t disappear. When escape becomes a routine, you are prone to get caught in a loop, often making you lose track of your conscience and making you feel trapped in similar kind of situations. While trying to avoid these issues, there’s still a part in us vibrating with shame or guilt which ultimately hinders progress and growth. It’s a vicious cycle and therefore such loops require conscious intervention to break out of them.
Dealing with such delicate issues or even facing them head-on isn’t at all easy and requires strength and courage in repeated intervals. With that being said, escapism undeniably allows us to take a step away from all the recurring emotions so that you don’t burn out so easily and lets us come back to the problem with a fresher mind and a more sorted approach. At times, escaping can be vital to your sanity. While doing so, you need to redefine the meaning and purpose of escapism as ‘Refuelling’ i.e. recharging our spirits. In layman’s terms, “me time” is the idea of a healthy escape.
While alternatives such as alcohol and cannabis are unhealthy, a good escape can be decluttering the mind by, let’s say, reading. Olen Steinhauer said, ‘That is why fiction existed, as a way to look at the world without being broken by it.’ You can also do it by either spending time on your hobbies or in one of the following ways:
2. Music Therapy
3. Art Therapy
4. Practising Yoga or Exercising Regularly
8. Video Gaming
9. Catching up on movies/ Bingeing
Escapism is like the tastemaker in food. Too much can spoil, too less leaves the dish tasteless. While it has the capacity to heal you, it can also cut you off from your social circles and cause damage to your relationships with people and plummet your productivity. What one needs is a healthy balance between dreams and daydreams. The key is to prioritise your real life over the fantasy world. The more you are comfortable in the real world, the less you need to escape. Bring your escape to reality. In all possibilities, you’ll find a place, a person, a thing, a hobby or a dish which will want to make you escape seldom.
Instead of running away, face the truth but if you do require an escape, then do not hesitate to. Escapism, in its entirety, is a tool to control your mind. As everything cannot be black and white and you need to respect the grey region, so is the case of escapism, provided it doesn’t overpower your real life. Just don’t let it take a toll on your identity. Rest is up to you!