To put it very simply I can say that my life has been turned upside down several times over and over just during these past weeks. I stayed at the hospital to try to recover from my depression and anxiety. Came home with a sense of new strength but it was too fragile and in the end I felt even worse than before. Forced to go back to that sterile, locked up environment it just felt as if there was no hope at all. Not even a tiny glimpse of hope and in the middle of it all my relationship didn't last. Alone, sick, sad and locked inside a hospital. I'm surprised my body didn't just die on its own considering how dead I felt.
I didn't die.
My beautiful mother came to visit me and she got me books to read. A Song of Ice and Fire. I had already seen the TV-series A Game of Thrones and I thought I might as well read the books. It was so long ago I actually read fantasy books and after some time of reading I fell right back into that feeling I used to have when I was younger and really flew away right into imagination. Now and then people have told me that I shouldn't escape reality like that. I've felt sad that these fantasy worlds I learn to love don't exist. I learned to forget about fantasy to avoid feeling that sad. Tsk tsk.... Silly!
I can honestly say that these books saved my life. Dramatic words yes, but true. While lying in an uncomfortable hospital bed, surrounded by all sorts of misery and ugly yellow walls I could escape reality and find myself again. When I describe it in words it might sound almost like some sort of religious experience, and yes! Thats kind of exactly what it feels like. I crushed the awful limit I had put upon myself because others told me to live in the "real world". That's bullshit actually. I live in the real world wether I want to or not and if I want to spend my time in reality by sinking into imagination and experience other worlds, what makes that wrong? Nothing at all.
When I was a kid and brought my polar-teddybear to kindergarden I used to tell the other kids that he could talk. I didn't really mean talk like humans talk, but in my imagination he could talk all the time. I remember some girl made fun of me and said it wasn't real. I'm really proud of the tiny version of me that replied:
"It is real. In my imagination he talks and if I can imagine it, it is real. Maybe not for you, but it is real to me."
That memory came back to me and I want to say the same thing today. Imagination and reality are the same thing, because everything is real. I don't actually have to believe there are unicorns and werewolves out there, but if I can imagine them it doesn't matter at all. In imagination they are very real. I have a vivid sense of imagination and instead of trying to suppress that I should just embrace it. Obviously it makes me feel better. It is not an escape from reality, it is the art of building your own reality, wether it's in a book, a movie or in your own head. It's free.