You Got Me! I’m A Whore for Escapism

As someone who breathes writing, escapism feels necessary for my creative process.

( @sarahbahbah / Instagram)

Do you sometimes want to be anywhere but “here”?

Let me rephrase that for my fellow film buffs. Do you ever repeat the words “I hate it here!” exactly the way that young Jaden Smith did in the 2010 box office hit remake of Karate Kid?


Do you ever find what you think are pockets, but really are large sacks of time when you exclusively envision yourself in another realistically distant yet seemingly intimate future/dimension?


If you answered yes, I think I know exactly what might be going on with you, with us.


Introducing to you *aggressive anxiety induced drum roll please* escapism, aka one of my favorite coping mechanisms.


Up until today, the definition of escapism has really only existed within the confines of my lengthy experiences of it. But after doing some serious journalistic research on it, I found that according to Merriam-Webster, the formal definition of escapism is, “habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine”. Yeah, sounds about right.


But escapism feels like more than just that. In a chaotic time like this, I understand why so many people might look to coping mechanisms like escapism. Finding ways to feel like we’re in control of the way that we exercise morality is natural in instances when the way we’ve defined morality for ourselves hasn’t presented itself in the events and the people around us. Fantasizing about moral authority is even a good way to think about what you want or what you could want.


Of course, an excess of anything is bad, including escapism. Running away from your problems isn’t going to get rid of them no matter how hard you try. With this, in no way am I endorsing this coping mechanism to be practiced in increasingly unhealthy manners, because then it’ll just end up leaving you disappointed.


Don’t use escapism as a tool to avoid, rather use it as a tool to replenish your body and mind. Escapism helps you reevaluate and maybe even seek momentary relief from reality. But this means that escapism should also accompany its counterpart, which is the utmost presence in the now.

Sometimes I find myself stopping when the escapism gets excessive because inevitably, I can feel my sorrows seep into my fantasies. But in healthy doses, escapism isn’t a negative thing at all. It’s completely natural.


Escapism can manifest itself in many different ways. For me, it’s watching dramatic, blissful movies, scrolling through Tumblr and Pinterest, reading a book, or even just lying in my bed and letting my imagination carry me through time. It’s like flipping through channels in your brain so you can skip the excruciating interludes of your anxious human life. It helps you recharge so that perhaps you can face and evaluate reality with a different perspective.


As someone who breathes writing, escapism feels necessary for my creative process. In fact, escapism feels like a creative expression in itself; I can use it to explore different perspectives and think outside of the box. Eventually, I can birth my daydreams into the real world.


I love art and writing so much.It’s provided me with solace, another beautiful world through which I can envision my (simulated) existence for just some time.


Art also exists for the sake of escapism. In times of struggle, people find solace in art. We rely on artists to provide us with different channels of escapism that can help us get through (collectively and/or independently) our struggles.

Healthy doses of escapism are natural and nourishing. As someone who does it excessively (I know, I know, I’m working on balance), I can tell you that it’s a big part of the reason that I am who I am today. You might think that’s a bad thing, but I’m perfectly fine with that fact. I’m a whore for some good old healthy escapism, and I’m going to continue making art, appreciating art, and writing sweet nothings for all of my fellow whores out there.








Anushka Dakshit is a Staff Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She likes to read, watch really long films, listen to old Bollywood, and listen to sad music when it rains. She wants to use her writing to discuss the nuances of womxnhood and culture and is passionate about social justice, femininity, and words that bring her catharsis. You can reach her at anushkadakshit@ufl.edu.