Confronting the Past – Reality & Escapism

No one likes to be reminded of their past. In fact, many of us simply put it in the back of our minds and carry on as if nothing ever happened. But what happens when the past comes back to haunt you?

For the past few months, this is exactly what has been happening to me. I too wish I could lock these memories and carry on with my life, but my mind refuses to let me do so. It wants resolution, and perhaps, it’s for the best.

Often times, I feel I’m viewed as a weak person. Without a doubt, every time I seem to think I am strong, life convinces me otherwise. When it all gets a little too much, I’ve no choice but to ask for help, and when I do, I get a multitude of answers. Some suggest ignoring the problem. Some suggest learning to cope with it. Some are bold enough, or blunt enough, to tell me to get out of my head.

But what happens when none of these things work?

Watching funny videos and eating ice-cream sound nice in theory.  But when the pain becomes so real – so tangible, it seems almost impossible to ignore it. Perhaps then, the best advice would be to face the problem. Ironically, it is a piece of advice that is rarely ever given.

Why? Because the world hates what is real.

Think about it. Why do so many of us find social media so addictive? Why do we obsess over celebrities? Why do pretend to be who we are not? Because though we hate to admit it, many of us are unsatisfied with our own realities. What does that mean for us? It means most of us spend the majority of our lives indulging in false realities, and that to me is terrifying.

You see, not too long ago, I too would get caught up in these things. It was a kind of escapism for me, but at the end of the day, nothing was being solved. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that the  celebrities I would so admire were just as flawed and as miserable as I was. Take all the glamour away and no one would bat an eye. I personally think there’s a problem with that.

Honestly speaking, I’m in a much better place these days. I’ve learnt a lot from my experiences and have seen growth – mentally, spiritually and emotionally. No longer do I feel the need to live by other people’s standards, nor find some sort of escape. I no longer shy away from my problems, and perhaps, without knowing it, that has become my strength.

More than anything, I am grateful for what my experiences have given me, and that is empathy. There is so much happening in the world; I’m well aware. In my own country, there are girls my own age being murdered day after day. Knowing this, I have to stop and think to myself: What if it had been me?

Seeing these things, it can’t be too hard to imagine why so many of us feel so lost in this world, and I am fully aware of my inability to put an end to it. After all, the only thing that keeps me grounded these days is my faith. Some can’t understand it, but without it, I’d have nothing. I only hope someday I may be able to use it to inspire others.


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