2020 / September

To escape this old world.

King of the Clouds by Panic! At the Disco

Photo Yuiizaa September on Unsplash

This week I’ve been thinking about the concept of escapism and whether it gets a bad name. Then I came across this song by Panic! At the Disco, King of the Clouds, which expressed some of the thoughts I’d been having.

I spend quite a bit of time talking to people with issues of addiction and the subject of substance use for escapism is a topic which occurs quite regularly. For some, alcohol or drugs can be the method they use to escape from the mundanity or challenges of life. Yet I’m not convinced that this idea of escapism is quite as bad as we might at first think.

It strikes me that there is a commonality to escapism. It is something innately human. Some may struggle with substance use as a form of escapism, but other might escape to another place through books, tv, films or music. The more I contemplate it, the more I feel there can be something positive, and even necessary, about us finding the positive side of escapism. The song expresses some of this necessity:

With these dreams, I inflate, painted skies in my brain … To escape this old world, this old world. Some days I lie wide awake ’til the sun hits my face. And I fade, elevate from the Earth. Far away to a place where I’m free from the weight.

Life can be a weighty experience at times, and I think providing ourselves with the space and permission to daydream can help us to find positive ways of responding to the demands of everyday life. In my experience, the power of envisioning a different future can be a huge motivator and equipper for moving forward toward a better life and sense of wellbeing. As the song says:

I’m king of the clouds … I get lifted … Imagination, take me somewhere I don’t know.

When we escape using a positive method, rather than one which might harm us such as excessive alcohol or drugs, we engage the power of our imagination to be creative in our responses to challenges. And it is here, that we can feel lifted and empowered, and ultimately, ready to face the world again. So, perhaps this weekend might just be the time to kick back and start dreaming again.

Need to reconsider escapism? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?

King of the Clouds is taken from the Panic! At the Disco album Pray for the Wicked.


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Confusion that never stops.

18 September 2020