I used to have this reoccurring dream. It wouldn’t be the exact same every time, but it would follow the same theme. I haven’t had this dream in a long time. The dream always involves an old house. Not a run down house, but an old house. One with all the fancy wood work on the walls and up the stairs. Typically, the house would be a Victorian style house as I’ve always admired that type of home. Within this house, things would look normal to most. There would be people over. The house had a secret. Within this house that nobody could see, there were secret passages. These secret passages would lead to other parts of the house only I knew about. I could just go through a hidden door and be in this secret part of the house. I could escape for a while. I could get away from everyone for a while if I wanted. They never seemed to notice I was gone, but I was. I was away from an uncomfortable situation. My desire to escape was successful.
I have a strong desire to escape sometimes. It comes from a variety of reasons. I used to find escape in alcohol until it no longer became an escape, but became fuel for the fire. I no longer have this form of escape. I am faced with finding other ways to get away from it all, but I find it to be tough. At least with alcohol, I could stop thinking about what was bothering me at that time. It allowed an escape for a while. I mean it wasn’t a real form of escape as it provided it’s own problems, but it sure seemed like the right idea at the time.
I no longer have alcohol as my escape. Good. I don’t need it. It wasn’t working for me. It began to take on too much of a negative spin. What do I do now?
While dealing with my depression and anxiety, I spend a lot of time in my head. I think about what I need to do to better my situation. I try to read helpful things to aid my healing. I run through ways that help to alleviate a bad moment or thought. I constantly think about what is going on.
Some of this constant thinking is good. It helps to keep me on my toes. Sometimes the constant thinking is not so good.
I spend almost every waking moment thinking about my situation. Is it the worse situation? No, others out there have it worse than me, but this is my situation. The situation that I am faced with and have to deal with. Some moments, as I face all of this, are good. Some are not. I also have the gift of dwelling on things too much. I think and I think and I think. Why do I have to deal with this? What did I do wrong? Haven’t I dealt with enough already? What can I do to better my current way of feeling? And so on and so forth.
It gets old sometimes. I don’t like to constantly think about myself. It bothers me. I talk about me and I think about me…constantly, or so it seems. Sometimes it feels like it’s all of the time. I do not like feeling like I am being selfish. Always focusing on me. Again, it gets old. That is when my desire to escape begins to grow.
Is it a physical escape? Like jumping in my car and heading south just to see the ocean for a moment? It has certainly crossed my mind. Is it a feeling I need to keep myself busy by doing something I enjoy? It does work a lot of the time…at least temporarily. Is it just being alone to the point where I can’t bother anybody else with my problems? You bet, but I also know too much alone time isn’t always fruitful.
I don’t always feel like escaping. Some days are really good, but when that feeling comes about it is suffocating.
Back to the question of “what do I do now?”. I have to continue to find ways to escape. Healthy ways to escape. I really enjoy music. I like to create music. I enjoy art. I’ve enjoyed writing this blog. I’m in the process of remodeling my office. I feel these are all good things along with other things I like to do. I have to admit, sometimes it all feels like fillers. Not as much of an escape, but a temporary distraction. I am working on allowing it to be an escape. An enjoyable escape.
This is why I continue to work on my depression and anxiety. I’ve needed to work on it a lot lately. Whether it is seeing my psychiatrist and/or therapist, or continuing to do what I can do on my own. I’m working on truly enjoying things again. The day will come where some of these things are less of a temporary distraction and more of an enjoyable healthy escape. I believe this to be true.
I really enjoyed those dreams that I had about the house. It was cool exploring the secret areas and discovering more and more. I liked the feeling of being able to escape when I wanted to. The desire to escape is OK. We all do it. We all need it. The plan needs to be about implementing healthy escape. It’s OK to want to get away from it all for a while. Especially getting away from our thoughts. We just need to keep working on the positive forms of escape and less on the negative forms of escape.
We got this! It is OK to not be OK, but know you are not alone. Let’s keep walking this journey together.
Have a great day!
Feel free to jump over to Facebook and join the group I’ve started:
Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health
This group is meant to focus on an “everybody in” type of focus. I share my music and also this blog there amongst other things. The music I share is instrumental (I am not a singer). I try and attach a positive message to each tune. I also encourage others to share their hobbies or anything that they like to do that makes them happy. Or share anything that is working for them. A place where we can get away from things for a while. A group approach to improving each others mental health!