Do you ever find yourself possessed with the desires like ease, leisure and instant happiness of our subconscious? Well, for me, before every exam. I water my desires by unlocking the levels of games, binge watching series or movies or just random videos on YouTube. To beat that, I find clearing my gallery or google photos, all the more immersive and paramount. All being digital these days, I don’t even remember my transition to completely pointless activities. I find every other thing fascinating and absorbing, except the ton of ‘real work’ waiting for me.
It is beyond procrastination. It is about finding solace. The overdose of reality just pushes you to an alternate universe, with virtual problems, instant gratification, and no responsibility, living our fantasy while the reality is far forgotten. It is escaping the prison of reality. ‘Escapism, is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.’ To sum up, when life throws lemons at you, you escape the attack instead of making a lemonade.
We all like to escape, it is our natural instinct. When given an option, ‘flight or fight’, flight is more comfortable, easy, and less emotionally exhausting whereas ‘fight’ is facing the reality on the face of it. Hence, escapism, an unchallenging flee.
Why do we escape? To relax, to find comfort, to move away from the crazy reality. We cannot keep ourselves occupied with ‘work’ always. We need a break to disconnect and steal contentment. At times, escaping helps us to maintain a safe distance, resets our minds and aids in finding a solution to the problem. If we are not self-aware, we become the slaves of our escapism strategies. It helps as long as our conscious mind steps in to put a stop to our over indulgence, to cease escapism from becoming a coping mechanism to self-deception.
While we take a leap to an alternate universe, our problems and stress stays hounding us in reality, pushing us again to escape, tying us in a never ending loop. The key is self-reflection. At times we are so engrossed in escaping, that we start taking false credits for completing not so important tasks. Cleaning my gallery becomes an accomplishment instead of completing a chapter before an exam. While I still have to complete a project, I opt to take a nap to start afresh. Hilarious but true! And I literally fail, mostly rush to finish. More like I escape the escapism to come back to reality for teeny-weeny time.
This quote by Margaret J. Wheatley very precisely explains my inability for self-reflection ‘Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.’
We have to accept to escape for small breaks, better, strategize it, meditation, dancing, singing, reading, playing a sport or an instrument or pursuing any such hobby can also take the edge off positively. Crawling back to binge watching or drugs to keep ourselves engaged is self-destructive and all the more addictive. And to combat addiction is just another extensive task. So why go that way?
Believe it or not, you might have ended up on this blog escaping to work on your presentation, or study for your exams, to avoid an important phone call. While you are busy reading this, your problems or tasks are still waiting for you. You still seem to be possessed!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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