Escapism a way of ‘coping with life’

By Muhammad Faiz

“People love escapism and there should be a place for it.” – Tom Hiddleston

Waking up every day for the sake of living the life could be exhausting. Our life is not always filled with sunshine and rainbow. Life is not always an easy road ahead as it could be full of hardship. There are some people out there who do not have an easy life. They could be experiencing difficulties in life varying from financial problems to being traumatic or even isolated. Due to difficulties in their life, they ought to seek new ways to cope with their problems in their own way. Escapism could be one way to help us cope with adverse situations.

Escapism is an inclination to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. Entertainment could be in the form of watching movies, television shows, playing video games or even reading books. Besides, hobbies like hiking or skating could also be other forms of escapism.  Simply put an escapist is someone who tries to escape from reality and retreats into fantasy. Everyone has his or her own means of escapism.

There are actually various forms of escapism. There is even a term called escapist fiction. Escapist fiction is a means to escape psychologically from our thoughts of daily life by enthralling in fiction. This act helps an escapist to free himself from the world of reality where there is no real life problems. That would bring a sense of calmness as it illuminates certain thought and imagination in the person.

For television and film enthusiasts, many of them choose their favourites by immersing themselves in fandom such as pairings and shippers. They go to the extent of supporting the shows and films by creating fan accounts and devoting their times in the shows. However, there are some shippers who forget the lines between fiction and reality as they choose to believe more in the fiction. For example, the fans of Suri Hati Mr. Pilot that are shipping the lead actor and actress in real life and hoping that both of them would end up together.

Besides that, there are some athletic escapists who choose sports as their alternatives. For them, participating in a sports activity gives them a sense of excitement. As some sports like rugby could be ‘aggressive’ it helps them release their tension by playing the game. Light games too such as chess and board games help escapists not only to run away from reality but also to grow intellectually.

Apart from sports as a means for escapism, workplace could also become another route for escapism. Escapists who usually choose workplace as their escapism are people who are successful in their career but feel that they are struggling in real life. Usually, it happens if it involves the job that they really love and have passion about. For example, a Hollywood actress and a talk show host, Tamera Mowry, said that she loves her job so much as it helps her to escape from her life. It is not necessarily a bad thing because everyone deserves a space where he or she could just relax and focus, and if at work helps them to relax and focus, so be it. Sometimes, the sense of escapism and the place for it is the one thing that can help people to be in sanity despite personal problems.

However, not all means for escapism are good. There are some people who resort to drugs and alcohol as their alternatives. They seek fulfilment in drugs and alcohols. The feelings of high and a temporary state of calmness in their own illicit world is helping them not just to escape but to forget. It is merely a temporary fix but this could lead them to bigger problems of being addicted and turning into alcoholic.

Even though escapism may help us to divert for a little while from real problems we still need to be careful how we choose to escape. There are good as well as bad alternatives for escapism. In good alternatives, we also need to be aware as they should not interfere with our life and cause more suffering.

People got to do what they got to do in any way possible to help them cope up with living. Life is not an easy thing to survive but perhaps with escapism, it can become easier. ***

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Muhammad Faiz

21, always trying to save the world. I believe I could, so I did.

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