I am an extremely sensitive person. So sensitive that I sometimes appear cold and disconnected. I need to, for my own sanity. I have to turn it all off for a bit and try and hush the heavy emotions before they sweep me under and drown me.

I have turned to books and writing for years as a method of coping with everything going on in my life. Escapism, they call it. Some people drink, some people turn to recreational drugs…and I retreat into my mind, either to spill words from my soul or to escape into another persons world by way of reading.

It’s how I dealt with overwhelming pain days when I was younger. It’s how I didn’t go completely insane being coped up inside recovering from surgery after surgery. It’s how I was able to comfort myself.

I don’t want to feel bad about needing to escape from it, I don’t want to feel bad because what works works. If it helps elevate some of the side effects of constant pain, it’s worth it…right? Maybe that’s a selfish thing to say. But maybe it’s not at all. Is it cruel to want to distract yourself? From emotional or physical pain? Pain is pain, and constantly feeling it is exhausting.

Constantly feeling physical pain means that I don’t really have the patience or drive to deal with extra emotional pain. It’s exhausting, so I shut down for a while to process it.

Retreating into ones self for a while may not be the worst thing you could do. Processing your emotions and figuring out your game plan while you escape a little…that’s not the worst coarse of action.

I don’t want to feel wrong for being who I am. I don’t want to be told “you need a medication if you feel like you need to escape so bad”. Reading is not a dark thing, it’s not bad to want to escape into a book for a while. I’d rather read a book than take so many different pain killers that I can’t see straight, that every last bit of enjoyment drips away.

Emotions are good things to have and I don’t want to completely turn them off. They are valid, they deserve recognition. But I’d rather take a little vacation from my own reactions to emotional situations to process them than to say or act in a way I’ll later regret.

About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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