Day 351: Escape

Here are some random thoughts about “escape.”

In my work as a therapist, I notice that people often need that concept of escape.  That is, it helps them to know that they are not stuck, or trapped, in their current situation.

One of the Opposing Truths* I discuss with people is:

  1. We are exactly where we are supposed to be, AND
  2. We want to get out!  NOW!!!!

Some time ago, I had a conversation with somebody about her work situation. She told me how she had decided work was not a good fit for her. She had decided she wanted to leave her place of employment, for lots of reasons, including:

  • She didn’t feel appreciated.
  • She didn’t like her manager.
  • She was consistently expected to do more, without additional pay.
  • The work was not  a good match for her talents.

Now I am very careful about confidentiality — that is, I am scrupulous about not revealing something here that could possibly identify somebody else to anybody who might read this blog. But I can tell you all these facts, because …. it matches hundreds of conversations I’ve had with people, regarding work.

With this particular person, the conversation turned to the concept of escape.  She felt stuck at work, because of:

  • Financial obligations.
  • Limited options elsewhere.
  • Fear of change (“What if I leave, and it gets worse?”)

We did talk about the concept of escape, though, even though that did not feel logically possible.

Before our discussion ended, that day, she told me what had been most helpful about it:

I feel better, just knowing that I COULD escape, if I chose to.

This may seem like a strange leap of mind, right now, but I’ve also seen how the thought of the ultimate escape — suicide — can bring relief to people.

Is that shocking?  I will attempt to explain my thoughts about this:

Thoughts about suicide (or as we call them in the therapy biz, Suicidal Ideation or SI) don’t necessarily lead to suicide. As I like to tell people, a thought is miles away from an action. Now, I’m not saying that Suicidal Thinking is Good.  Suicidal thoughts indicate pain, and (to quote “Death of A Salesman”), Attention Must Be Paid.

At the same time, I’ve seen people afraid to approach somebody else’s suicidal thoughts, for fear it will make them more likely to hurt or kill themselves.

It’s a complicated topic, but this is my point today:

It can help, a great deal, to know that escape is possible. Even if you are unlikely or unable to take that step, in the moment. Even if the escape has many down sides.

As a matter of fact, allowing for the possibility of escape — realizing that you are not trapped, that you have options to GET OUT! — might free up your mind to see other, more benign, positive, and advantageous options.

I need to end this post (even though I don’t want to escape from here, at all). And what’s missing, before I end?  A beautiful image.

Yesterday, at work, I contemplated escape, to here:






Where IS that place?  It’s a place I’ve never been:


Okay!  Time to turn my thoughts away from escape, and back to the present.

But that sure helped me, today.

Thanks to all who contributed to the creation of today’s post, to anybody who has thoughts about escaping, and to you, especially, for reading today


*  A term I just made up, which I like, so I am writing this note to myself about it, hoping that helps me remember it, not unlike the guy from “Memento.”**

** A movie I watched, again, last week, with my son and Michael, my bf.

*** I found this image here.

**** I found this image here.

***** I found this image here.

****** I found this image here.

******* I found this image here.

******** I found this image here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Day 351: Escape

  1. You are right, sometimes we just need the possibility to escape and other times we need the escape, which just bring us to a new point of life, no matter how we do it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s not yet Christmas, but I am already feeling bound-in by our Syracuse snow. (My post this morning, in fact.) Thank you for reminding me that if I really, really had to, I could take a weekend getaway. Just knowing that helps. Right again, Ann.

  3. Eeeeek! Some of this post is missing, as I write this from work (at 10:25 AM on Tuesday). I think I know why, too. There was a rogue, earlier version that updated it, from my home computer. I will try to fix it (removing typos, etc.), so the post is “good enough.” I also had many more photos of Boquete, which I may add when I get home.

    In any case, I’m glad to see, from the comments so far, that people are still getting something out of this, even though it isn’t the post I thought I was publishing this morning. Thanks to Mark, irenedesign2011, and all who are reading today.

  4. You’ve articulated something so helpful to me here. The possibility of escape is frequently all I need, or sometimes I just need to do something to mark a day when I’m feeling really terrible, as if by recognizing it I can set it apart and move on.

  5. Ann, you always bring up points that are so relevant to most everyone! Wonderful!

    Escape – I love the desert, it has to be within reach for me. When I lived in Germany, I so missed the desert that it hurt me inside, like when you miss a close person. Now, living in Israel, I can be in the desert in an hour or two. I actually go there only once or twice a year, but just KNOWING that I CAN is everything. 🙂
    Regarding suicide, I cannot see the aspect of “I feel better, just knowing that I COULD escape, if I chose to” because to me, the thought of someone even just thinking of suicide seems so unnatural. I mean, for a normally strong person (we all experience sad and tough things in our life but how many of us actually think of suicide?) suicide shouldn’t even come up as a consideration. Hugs, Heila

  6. Gene Phillips

    I have watched someone change jobs more than once believing she would escape to a better situation, but finding the new job and situation different but not actually better, perhaps even worse. She would have been much better off if she could have been satisfied with the knowledge that she could escape.

  7. Okay! After a long ride home in a snow storm, I returned here to re-insert the photos of Boquete that were in my original post. I hope you enjoy them! Now pardon me while I go collapse into a cup of hot cocoa.

  8. Pingback: Day 352: Snow (It’s safer than I feared) | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

  9. Pingback: Day 355: Random thoughts about love | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

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