I think I’ve always been an escapist. I’ve almost always been daydreaming about the adventures I wanted to have and the women I wanted to love. As a boy I spent too many hours in the basement, alone, just imagining being somewhere else. I had little interest in the reality of now and would rather wonder about the possibilities my imagination could dream up. It made me a liar at times. My reality as a boy was so tense and nerve racking that I often wonder how I made it to this somewhat slightly well adjusted age. Seriously, I had anxiety attacks as a child.
It’s why I shut off when confronted with emotional situations. I simply check out and decide that the reality is not worth getting invested in and I’ll just turn inward and shrug and let the moment pass by without allowing myself to be bothered. It’s made me cold at times. I’d rather think about someone else’s imaginary and/or fictional problems than my own. I am disassociated at times. It’s not until later, when I’m alone, unable to sleep that my personal removal haunts me and by then it’s usually too late.
It’s why I write and why it matters to me that people read it I suppose. Since I’m so very prone to just turning it off in person, I think the words on these pages are the best look into my delicate psyche. The things I write may not always be true, but there is always a grain of humanity and honesty in them. Or at least, honesty as I see it and I want to let people into that world, without having to actually look at them.
It’s why I drink. I went on a pretty good bender this past weekend and it has me feeling a little depressed. Not because I probably made a total ass of myself, but because I allowed myself to go through with it. Friday I simply decided that I wasn’t interested in the realities of it all and seemed to think that drinking like a fish was the best possible course of action for a lonely loser like me. It had it’s moments of outright hilarity and fun, and it seemed like the perfect way to avoid having to feel or think about anything. It was like pushing somebody who represented feeling and thinking into a shallow grave and covering it with a little dirt and walking away like nothing happened. Of course that somebody wasn’t dead and they dig their way out and come after you. With a chainsaw.
I’m not saying I’m an alcoholic. That wouldn’t be apt. I am saying that I am an escapist with addictive tendencies. Which for some people might be splitting hairs, but I think it’s a more correct description. I know that I can control it. I have on many occasions simply put the drink down and had a pop or juice. But I have let it get the best of me lately and that has to stop. I’m no longer comfortable with it like I was several years ago. It hasn’t brought me much of anything except embarrassment and foolishness.
There are things we all want to change about ourselves and for an escapist like me, it’s very hard. I’d rather think about the life of a fictional Joe Schmo than about my own. But as they say, just admitting there’s something amiss is a pretty good start in the right direction. I just can’t wallow in it. Or use it as a crutch. Or complain about it endlessly. I just have to look it in its face and remember I am greater than the sum of my parts. And then make a funny face back.