byon 12-11-2011 at 10:29 AM (137 Views)
the avoidance of reality by absorption of the mind in entertainment or in an imaginative situation, activity, etc.
The funny thing about my escapist behaviours when they come about is that the things I entertain my mind with often land me in the middle of realizations of the reality I attempt to avoid in roundabout ways. Actually... I'm not sure if I could call it avoidance of reality, instead, maybe it's my way of finding the answers I need. After all, everyone has their set of trials and tribulations to sort through and overcome - some things just take longer than others.
I've recently been hit with a very real concern to my mind and body, quite literally. "There don't seem to be any problems," my neurologist told me at first, "everything seems to be fine." Under blissful ignorance, I took her statement regarding my MRIs as conclusive. I still had concerns regarding the Optic Neuritis that befell me in the springtime that took half of my eyesight - seeing that the five days of intravenous corticosteroids did nothing for the reparation of my blindness.
I was told by my ophthalmologist that my eyesight wouldn't return. Not good news. I consulted my neurologist during another appointment I had with her after more MRIs, regarding what my next step should be. Because of the obvious physical and mental stress I was under, she advised me to drop my studies. I was against it at first; I was in a program I adored, was living in residence, and I didn't have a job to back me up. I'd have to move cities again, back in with one of my parents. Ultimately, I decided that would be the best choice to make. It would allow me to live rent free - essentially free from financial worries - as well as allot me time to grieve my loss. I could pick up my studies later, too.
A month later, I had another appointment with my neurologist for a followup of another two MRIs I had. I was still in my state of blissful ignorance so when she gave me forms for a blood test and mentioned I needed to speak with a specialist at another hospital, I was under the assumption that the treatment for my condition was only similar to what the specialist had to offer. How foolish I was.
Fast-forward to four days ago. I was sitting in the specialist's office, anxiously jittering about because I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. She walked into the office a few minutes afterward. She looked at me, smiled, then said point-blank: "So you must be here for MS treatment options." My first reaction was denial. My second was shock. I wasn't in for something like this. I swore up and down that my neurologist told me everything was fine. I wanted proof. And proof, I received.
I was shown the letters sent from my neurologist's office. Printed word giving light to the truth. "Multiple Sclerosis. White matter lesions on occipital lobe in right cerebral hemisphere." My optimism crashed and burned then and there. I was faced with the most devastating news of my life. I wasn't sent to this specialist because of similar treatment options for the loss of my eyesight. I lost my eyesight because I have MS and I needed treatment to stabilize an incurable disease.
My escapism regarding this did wonders for me until I found myself facing a terrible reality. Realistically, I honestly didn't know it would come to this - but had I explored more options, would I have been more prepared for the news? Would that have been better? Or should I have worked myself up over something that might not have happened at all?
People turn to escapism for a variety of reasons, not just for something as serious as this situation. Even if just for a moment, people just need to take a break from their issues and spend time doing something they enjoy to occupy their minds with something else. My question is: can you simply declare it to be self-care?