Finding Your Personal Bliss: Is it Possible Without Escaping Reality?
"Welcome to Fantasy Island." That was the greeting received by every guest star who graced the dock on the 1970s show Fantasy Island. The show allowed the audience to temporarily forget their problems as each guest had their dreams come. Unfortunately, the feeling went away at the end of the hour.
In a way, society still wanted that feeling to be a daily occurance. An outlet where the day's problems vanished into thin air with the flick of a remote. For some, a dream or a television show could cure whatever ailed you from unemployment to divorce. Is it better to face your problems or run to the nearest exit? Here are three tips to discern whether your personal coping mechanism helps or will lead to disaster down the line.
- Your monthly bills have turned into a horror story. Has your latest phone bill hit the thousand dollar mark? Read it to see how many of those calls were to 1-800 numbers that charged way too much per minute. Has their advice helped you or simply fleeced you once again? Think about it before picking up the phone.
- A craving for objects superpassing the desire to interact with people. For some, internet chat rooms was the only way they could talk to people. A user can become their ideal online self instead of who they truly were to the outside world.The internet has also provided people with endless opportunities from working at home to buying groceries online. Everything has become available at the click of a mouse. People even have the opportunity to exercise at home via the Wii gaming system and various Fitness DVDs. Many don't want to leave the guaranteed comforts of home for the uncertainty of the outside world. How much of the day is spent devoted to the internet, television, or gaming systems? If you spend more than four hours doing any or all of it, turn off all electronic equipment and take a walk around the block. Get out of the house for a few hours. A little fresh air hasn't hurt anyone.
- An intervention is required to stop what you're doing. On many 50s sitcoms, the image of the wife pouring the husband an evening drink was commonplace. Alcohol became a method of erasing a stressful day at the office instead of talking about it with loved ones. On AMC's Mad Men, Don Draper drank to cope with his shattered work and personal lives. He went from being a social drinker to a borderline alcoholic in a short time. His personality changed drastically and work suffered as a result. Don's desire to drink was only reduced at the arrival of a new romantic relationship.Sadly, addiction cannot be cured with the arrival of a love interest. Happy Hour doesn't mean happiness for bar patrons, unless your definition of happiness requires you paying a bar tab at the end of the night. Martinis can bring a peaceful easy feeling, but leave a brutal hangover the next morning and a damaged liver down the line. Is it worth getting drunk when your problems will only multiply tomorrow?
In the end, fantasies are only good at nighttime or if they lead to completing a goal. Escapism is a vacation from life meant to only last for a week, not forever. It's understandable to have a coping mechanism for when life is too difficult to handle, but not at the sacrifice of health and sanity. It's a lesson that Lindsay Lohan hasn't managed to learn yet after multiple rehab stints. Hopefully, this latest stay will lead her on the right path or to another tabloid headline making year in 2011. Something everyone shouldn't aspire to, because most couldn't afford multiple trips to expensive rehabs like she can.