This post was written last week and posted last Wednesday. It was written as I was thinking about substance abuse and why people turn to escapism. Mainly, I was concerned with the fact that escapism doesn’t just get us far away from the things that bother us, it also removes us from the things we actually care about. It removes us from actually feeling anything at all.
Coming from a family that has backgrounds with addiction problems and all, this is a concept that I really felt like writing about and sharing. Given the tone of it all, though, at the time it was posted it didn’t seem right. It seemed like it needed a preface. So here’s the preface.
I feel like we all have escapes. Some turn to the drink. I can say I’ve done that before and it’s not worth it, so I don’t anymore. Some turn to stronger things. Me? I turn to music. I try to drown it all out so I can’t focus on what it is that I’m trying to escape from. But escapism isn’t a solution.
So anyway, here is what I wrote. Feel free to read on if you so wish. Don’t worry: I’m not about to kill myself or something, which is what I’m afraid the tone accidentally conveyed. Like everything I write, it is just written to try and make sense of things. Getting my thoughts on paper. You are never obligated to share in these thoughts, but I do appreciate the company. Thanks for your support, everybody. I pray that maybe someday we won’t feel the need to escape anymore. Until that day comes, you’ll likely find me in my headphones on, filling my world with music.
It starts as a noise in the back of my mind.
Nothing special at first, it’s just another noise in an already crowded and busy place. But it grows, with each passing second and each crowded addition to the space. Until eventually, the noise is a song. It’s a song that maybe I heard that day or maybe just came up because somebody said something that made me think of it. But it’s there, and it overpowers until eventually all I can hear in my head is a song. No processing what is being said. No understanding of what to do. Just a powerful, loud, crippling song.
It’s what happens when I am hurt by something I care about. It starts as a noise in the back of my mind, and moves until it controls me.
We self-medicate in order to avoid caring. It’s just how we operate. Alcoholics don’t drink to drink away the pain. They drink to get rid of the care. The pain is the by-product of caring about something so much that that thing ends up hurting. We can’t deal with that hurt, so we drink away the care that set us up for the hurt to begin with.
Maybe it starts as one lone drink to calm the nerves. One puff to slow things down. A noise in the back of your mind. But it grows. It grows more and more with each passing care that is met with disappointment and hurt.
Now it is a repetitive sound. A driving rhythm that forces your fingers to drum in beat. Blurred vocals and melodies swirling around in your mind to the point where you know what is happening, but you’re unable to focus on what is around you. Dulled senses, numb feelings.
Soon you are drowning. Drowning in the drink or whatever addiction it may be. It turns from repetitive sounds to drowning in the sheer amount of noise, so that even something beautiful as music can be used as a medication to block out the care.
Sometimes you just want to drown in it. Swimming and swimming in the noise until there’s nothing left but the noise and the noise alone. Sometimes I want to drown in it. We secretly want to drown.
We self-medicate in order to avoid caring, because when we don’t care, we won’t be disappointed.