Written by : Neha Sathar
Edited by : Shriya Iyer
Artwork by: Manasa and Megna Rajagopal
Life sometimes can be stressful and tend to wear us out. It is at moments like these we crave an escape from reality. With the constant occurrences of negative things all around and technological progress silently confining us to our devices, this desire to escape is only more magnified. That is when we deeply search within our minds hoping to find peace even for a moment in order to attain a temporary reprieve from our affairs. Now, most of the time this does not happen as a conscious well-thought-out process, instead just occurs instinctively, therefore we can think of it as a defense mechanism that our mind creates for ourselves.
This brings us to our big question, what is Escapism? Escapism can be defined as the intentional detachment and distraction of oneself from the real world. People escape reality for numerous reasons, these could be a result of physical, emotional, psychological discomforts, or sometimes a combination of all. For instance - stress, trauma, injury, abuse, medical condition, daily conflicts, an uneasy mind, disturbed relationships, and so on can make one feel drained from time to time.
Escapism allows a momentary relief from these mental and emotionally energy-expensive circumstances, giving ourselves a chance to recharge our batteries before we leap back into the fray.
There might be countless ways of escaping reality as it differs from person to person. Binge-watching a favorite show, listening to music, reading books, cooking, sleeping, daydreaming, or even eating could be used as an escape. It could be any little thing that allows one to take that short break they have always needed, which helps one detach from their daily worries and conflicts.
However, it is crucial to familiarize ourselves with the two forms of Escapism - Healthy and Unhealthy. Healthy forms of escape include activities like chanting, daydreaming, meeting friends, yoga, listening to music, etc. These allow one to retrieve, channel their focus, and take some time off to energize them to tackle their ongoing hassles.
Ideally, a healthy form of escape is essential, but there are times when people are so consumed by their worries that they just want an immediate escape, however unhealthy it may be. The consequences of these choices often lead to even more detrimental decisions in the future. Unhealthy forms of escape include the intake of drugs/alcohol and smoking.
Another way we could describe an unhealthy form of escape is when people start using escape as a solution to their problems. It is not a solution but merely a temporary respite from our troubles. You must have heard the phrase “Too much of anything is good for nothing”, the same goes for escapism. When it is used excessively by people to hide from their problems, it leads them into a depressive state without them realizing it. Running away from problems seems like a better option than finding solutions. As a result, in addition to damaging relationships, it can cause a slump in one’s productivity and create problems at home or at the workplace.
One must remember that their means of escapism should not make them lazy, but when one does overindulge in it, it can severely make them ignorant and cause them to stagnate instead of achieving their goals. This is when escapism takes a negative toll on people- when it becomes deleterious. Identifying the root cause of an issue should be the first thing people should do instead of avoiding or hiding away from their problems.
“Gradually letting go of those unhealthy thoughts and habits will greatly help people to get out of that cloud in their minds and think straight.”
In this way, it will support them to deliver themselves from the issue to the solution in a positive way ultimately leading towards the path of healthy and happy individuals.
Written by: Aswathy Dinesh
Edited by: Dariya Asma
This is the part of the story where I leave my bag on the steps of my childhood home: I don’t run this time
It's trivial to notice how I hide in an image unknown to the mirror, it’s who I have always been.
You can find me hiding in plain sight, or wandering through the corridors of my mind, too scared to ask for help.
Which part of me is healing if I’m scared to be seen? I was 4 or 5, too young to feel the world's wrath on my cheeks, I should’ve danced around or taken a long nap.
Will things change if I change?
Who would I be if my grief was not this heavy?
I don’t wear the traumatised ribbon of a dismantled childhood around my wrist anymore.
My shadows have a loose grasp on me.
Yet I’m too afraid to walk away from the past.
I’m at the mercy of my words again,
It’s raining and my empty page and half-filled ink pen is waiting-
Waiting for me to spill my demons outside the void.
And if not then what saves the artists?
Damaged, wobbly homes (ribcage), homes too scared to be seen,
If not art then what makes the world whole?
This is the part of the story where I leave my bag on the steps of my childhood home
This is the part where I believe my words, like yesterday, will guard my demons tonight.
Future is fragile, and so are sheets of darkness that cover my skin.
If not art then who saves me tonight?
— Artwork by Dariya Asma