Escapism - "The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy" Google

We are all guilty of escapism yet most are completely oblivious to this fact! I tried to escape myself for almost 25 years yet I have only recently come to realise that I am guilty of this and still on occasion fall into this trap! It becomes a part of our daily routine and we all fail to recognise it. We disguise it with names that make us feel better about our ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in. We blame it on society and the influence of others always failing to see that the answers we seek lie within and the peace and quiet we run from is exactly what our soul needs to grow and flourish.

My escapism started very early on with men! Having never had a father figure in my life and a mother who was present but emotionally unavailable I grew up with no self-worth or self -esteem. In simple terms I craved attention to feel valued. My intuition has always been very accurate, but I chose to ignore this. The more unavailable a man was and the worse he treated me the more I chased him to satisfy my cravings. I often referred to these men as twats dressed in tin foil riding a donkey!! The irony being that I knew this to be true at soul level but pursued them anyway. It allowed me to reaffirm that I was worthless and deserved everything that I got! The thing is, deep down, deep inside, I knew that I needed to work on myself but those moments where I received a tiny bit of recognition or the slightest glimpse of being needed I turned away from what I needed and chased the distraction. I was at war with my ego and it was easier to let my ego win! I wasn't broken or damaged, (yes I was!) I was going to show the world that I was more than capable of having a normal relationship despite the fact I had no foundation upon which to build this and I was also determined to ignore my own issues because that was showing weakness which was far more difficult to face!

Then came the drugs! In a sober mood, I was fat (I weighed 8 stone), I had issues (voices in my head which I chose to ignore out of fear), I wasn't normal (what is normal in this day and age?) I sniffed something or swallowed something and this all went away! I was the sexiest woman on this planet, I had my shit together and I could talk to anyone about anything! (I gave other people advise that I was incapable of following myself!) I had confidence like never before but more importantly other peoples opinions didn't matter! Yes, this was the answer ..... for maybe 8-10 hours and then slowly but surely I would return to normality and normality wasn't nice and before long normality was unbearable! By now I was the size of a bus when I looked in the mirror (I probably weighed 7 stone!) The voices in my head were some how louder and all I wanted to do was find my happy place which came from a substance .... so the cycle continued!

Then came the bulimia, I was fat (maybe 8 stone) but I wanted to eat so I ate what ever I wanted and then threw up and then I would feel guilty about eating all the junk so I would eat more to feel better and throw up again! My soul was crying and desperate and I could feel my pain at core level but there was no way I was going to face that shit so I threw alcohol into the mix! I would drink and eat and purge and the alcohol would take the edge off the guilt! On occasion I would fall asleep drunk and not purge as I felt less guilty ..... This was the answer! .... until of course, I woke up and my soul would come knocking!

Then came the over achievement! I will show the world that I am normal! Amidst all my issues I completed my degree in a year and won student of the year award! I joined the police and became the first female firearms officer! I left the police and joined the corporate world where I doubled my salary and was awarded three promotions in the space of six months! This will show the world I am normal and successful!

The truth is - non of this was me! I am the most loving of souls (even if i do say so myself) and all I ever wanted was to be loved the way I love others. I was brought up well enough to understand that drugs are not the answer! I have never weighed more than 9 stone in my entire life and alcohol is my worst enemy. It feeds my demons and makes me feel worse yet all these things allowed me to escape my own reality! the person I was frightened of being! the real me at core level!

I hated school! I wasn't allowed to be me! I loved art and sports but that wasn't good enough as only math, science and English would open doors for me (bollocks!) I wasn't fat but I didn't know what beautiful was! Since I couldn't fathom math, science or English maybe my body would compensate? The police stands for everything I am against! (control, domination, power) but it was a respectful job so I would blend into society! Alcohol made me depressed and sad but only when i didn't drink it and as for men! well .... if my own mother couldn't love me then how could i expect anyone else to love me?!

We are all guilty of escapism! yes my story is probably extreme but I am not the only one and this is what makes my story so sad! It is everywhere but we fail to see it or simply choose not to acknowledge it! the truth is we are all to blame! we all live in a false reality too ashamed to speak up and be open about who we are. We all fail to realise that it is ok to heal ourselves from the effects of life itself! Instead of embracing the loneliness and going within to find the answer we choose to drown in alcohol! Instead of facing our own realities we choose to create a new one with drugs! Instead of accepting our bodies just the way they are we abuse them with fad diets, starvation or over indulgence to mask deep wounds! we pursue careers to blend in with what society (we collectively) have set as a standard of living! we chase relationships that reinforce our own self doubts and weaknesses!

Life begins at 40! I am beginning to realise that this statement is in fact true! Joking aside I have also come to realise that we 'Wake up' from around the age of thirty on wards! In addition our experiences help us learn so we can go on to help others and fulfill our soul destiny! My point is 'escapism' is actually harder than facing reality head on! and it takes up an awful lot more of our time and energy! We are all unique and we are all born into different environments but that doesn't mean we are any different from one another because we are not!

If you are a parent then nurture your child to follow their passions - "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will always feel stupid"! - Live your life from a place of love. It is not your job to understand other people just be kind and gentle with every soul that comes into your life! Accept your weaknesses and choose self-love over other peoples opinions. Always remember that to love yourself is the greatest thing you can do for anyone because to love yourself allows others to love you too!

Escapism is a mere plaster to self-realisation and self-acceptance. Don't waste years of your life hiding from who you are and denying your soul of the love and affection it needs. You are the answer to your own happiness.

Until next time .. Jo x