I have had an exceptionally relaxing week. Despite last week’s string of anxiety attacks, I am remarkably content. Days when you look at the clock and wonder how it’s nearly dinnertime are the best kinds of days. I’ve been filling my time with surprising ease. I started exercising again, and have been following my meal plan. I feel great.
One thing that made this week so enjoyable was rediscovering the simple pleasures of escapism and what geeks all over the internet fondly call “fandom”. My last semester of college was possibly the busiest semester I’ve ever had. On top of coping with my relapse, I was basically juggling two majors and trying to combine them into an Individualized Major. It was incredibly rewarding, but very stressful. I didn’t really have time to invest in anything I enjoy outside of academics. However, now that I’ve graduated and time has opened itself up to me, I finally started watching the BBC mini-series Sherlock.
Brilliant. No, I promise this post is not going to turn into fangirling (I have Tumblr for that). I bring it up though because I haven’t really gotten into any literature or films with such a significant following for a long time. Like I said before, I haven’t had the time. In fact, that’s partially why I’ve stuck to poetry for most of this year. It’s not as time-consuming. But I am a sucker for good writing. Not only is it enjoyable to read or watch performed, it inspires me to pursue my own creative endeavors.
Before college, I loved to draw and write. It really was all I did. I was a closet geek, still am. I loved investing my creativity in the stories I’d read or watch, or creating my own. When I went to college, my depression and eating disorder stole that from me. They stole a lot of things from me; desire, hobbies, people, etc. I’ve been in recovery for a while, but the rediscovery of things lost never ends. I’m happy to find my imagination still intact.
I am an introvert. I always have been. I am a solitary being and happy to be one. Some people can’t stand to be alone, but I’m quite the opposite. I thrive off it. Some of my more outgoing friends will ask me how I don’t mind being so lonely, but there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Am I lonely? Sometimes. But when I’m alone, I’m not really alone. I have my thoughts and my imagination, which in turn drive me to explore my creative outlets.
Though fandoms can sometimes be distressing (Reichenbach Falls? My soul is still curled up in the fetal position), investing time and becoming emotionally attached to fictional characters from books and movies is therapeutic. You’re taking a break from the non-fictional plots and characters in your life. As for anyone calling escapism just another term for avoidance:
I don’t think of it as an avoidance strategy. Not always, at least. You’re just putting your own book down and opening a different one to read.
Escapism is beautiful tool. Use it. Better yet, use it as a motivator to make your world a place you don’t want to escape from.