Escape: You know that feeling when a surge of energy burns in your feet to flee, to get the hell out of here and go anywhere, absolutely anywhere but where you are right now. When all you can think of is how much better it’d be if you could just take off, leave all the draining, depressing rubbish behind and be free. No looking back, no second thoughts, just a clean break from all the baggage dragging you down.
It calls your name on those days where you can’t take one more minute of work, days where you desperately need to get out of the dark place your head is in, days where the shit has just hit the fan and you simply cannot deal with it anymore.
Escape is like the alluring alternative to dealing with life’s difficulties. It gleams in bright lights, the perfect solution, the ticket to freedom.
And sometimes, it’s feasible. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be able to make our way to the big sign saying ESCAPE and never look back.
Of course, a lot of the time, the sign is nowhere to be seen and the walls seem to be growing ever higher, keeping us stuck and with little other options than to find our own way out.
I’ve had many an experience where I would have loved to disappear into any means of escape to break free of incessant dark thoughts, or anxieties, pressures, stresses even if it was just for a little while. When the world felt suffocating and I couldn’t cope, escape seemed to be that tank of oxygen that would make it all okay.
But solutions aren’t found at the bottom of a bottle or in the kitchen, or by isolating to avoid the real world. I couldn’t physically leave as I desired, and the alternatives I engaged in were only creating more problems.
You see, you can travel to the ends of the earth to try and get away from it all, or you can get blind drunk just to stop hearing your own thoughts, but when the problem is sitting in the pit of your stomach or the depths of your mind, you merely cannot escape that.
Curbing the desire to escape can be a challenge but if you build a life you’re content with, that nagging yearning melts away.
Here's four steps to begin to make a life you don't wish to escape:
1. Work on your thinking:
Negative thought patterns work in vicious cycles destroying self esteem and your overall outlook, living in a hostile head is obviously going to enhance the fervour for escape. You’ve got to nip them in the bud and notice your thoughts. If they’re not making you feel good, change them. Take control and make your mind a nice place to be.
2. Figure out what you want: Feeling lost is a definite trigger for wanting to run. Everything feels overwhelming and confusing, and without direction, being anywhere feels like a struggle. Take the time to let your mind wander and dream a little, discover what makes you tick, what your goals are. If you know what you’re going after in life, you won’t need to runaway from that feeling of emptiness because you’ll be moving towards creating something whole.
3. Find out how to achieve your goals: Once you know what you want, make them genuine aspirations that you’re committed to. Action is the most important thing to accomplishing what you want in life. It’s no good sitting back and wondering why nothing’s going right for you, this is your life and no one is going to hand your happiness to you on a silver platter. Work your ass off for what is important to you and you’ll create a life that you honestly want to be in.
4. Take breaks, and look after yourself: Destructive methods of escape, were unfortunately my specialty. But with every mistake comes learning, so I know now, that looking after myself is the best way to stay in control. Taking time out, realising when I’m under pressure, knowing when I’m vulnerable and acting accordingly to protect myself, are important to avoid the stack of problems piling up and igniting that burning escapism.
There’s always a solution and running away is rarely it. Wherever you go, that’s where you are. The woes don’t get stopped at passport control; they’ll follow until you take the steps to eradicate them. It’s in your hands.