We all practice it, which is the sad truth – whether we make a conscious effort around it or not. I know I have indulged in it – during my break-up over the summer i required the herbal assistance of a sleep aide and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
so that I wouldn’t dwell.
For many people it’s alcohol, pot, drugs, or it can been as seemingly innocent as an abundance of television or even reading.
Escapism is the art of distracting the self so that processing of things which are difficult to process is neglected. This, if done right, can be beneficial, but it is an intricate balancing act. Without fully knowing the self, it can be one slightly wobbly step from disaster.
This is how alcoholism happens, stuck addictions, laziness – unhealthy habits in all areas of life – can develop.
It was Scarlett O’Hara that inspired my escapism –
“I won’t think of that now, I’ll think of it later when I can bare it”
Without allowing herself the emotional strife of losing her parents, the loss of the comfort of Southern living, she would not have been able to be the support her family needed, would not have been able to get her plantation working again. However, it is seen later on in the book when her second husband, Frank Kennedy dies and she refuses to process her guilt, and does turn to alcohol as her method of escapism, and developed it no a vice.
I use school as my escapism. I focus on that because it is something that I have control over. Now I don’t have it, not for another three weeks. I’m too broke for drinking all the time or doing drugs, or engaging in some other means of distraction, so I’m faced with processing things.
Processing is reflecting and coming to terms with an event. We do do it all the time. Dreams are your brains way of processing the events from the day. Sometimes if you look closely at a dream, you seem elements of the day, and know that it was weird that a bunny turned into lasagna when you let it in your dream, but it just appeared that way because during the day you were eating lasagna when you saw a road kill bunny on the street outside.
The stress of not allowing yourself to process things can result in mental problems as well as physical problems, like any forms of stress. It can alter the functionality of your digestive system, which can lead to weight gain, parasites, candida, foul breath and body odor, and so on; it can diminish your sex drive; it can effect your comprehension of tasks in daily life; it can have strong effects on your moods; and of course cause sleep problems as well.
Do yourself a favor – don’t engage in escapism. It’s not worth it. No matter how difficult it is to process, give yourself the chance to do so. You’ll be able to grow from it and be happier and healthier for it.