The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY: DEPRESSION FANTASYLAND
Let me start off by saying that depression is not a fantasy of mine. I’m pretty sure nobody has said that. And if they did, they were being sarcastic.
No. What I mean is when I’m depressed, sad about how my reality is going, I find myself going somewhere else. I go somewhere that I created in my mind that’s a better place than my reality.
My own little Fantasyland.
A spotlight comes on and an announcer comes into view.
That’s right. Loyd’s Fantasyland where all things are perfect and he can interact with people that he admires (whether they are real or fiction) and he can live alongside them, not just listening but where he can influence them. Side by side with Einstein, Chaplin, Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, and a few various women that he has a crush on at the time. He is loved and admired and the smartest of the whole bunch. Here in Loyd’s Fantasyland, he is God and nothing can bother him.
So… yeah. It’s true.
When I get really depressed, I escape. Not just with a movie or a TV show or a book, but into my own head where I create worlds with whatever is of interest at the time.
It helps me cope.
And I’ve been doing it since I was little.
When I felt alone and sad, I would find myself jumping into a fantasy world that I made up. Most kids do this when friends aren’t plentiful and they have been blessed/cursed with a vivid imagination. Usually, it was from movies (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner, just to name a few) or TV shows or books. If I loved the movie or show or book (fiction or non-fiction), I would throw myself into it via my own imagination.
As kids will do.
And it followed me into my adulthood. In my own private time when I was sad and depressed, I have regressed back into that kid I once was and found myself imagining living in these fictional worlds. I can be driving to work early in the morning before there is any light in the sky and I might be talking out loud to people only in my head. I might be helping Sherlock Holmes and Watson with some case I read about or seen on Elementary and flirting with Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond). Or I’m traveling to some far off galaxy with Rey, Chewy, R2-D2, or any Star Wars characters that are in my head at the time. Maybe I’m just having the fantasy of quitting my job because my wife and I won the lottery or I’ve finally become a published author and I need to write full time.
Or maybe I fantasy I’m someone else entirely with a different life.
That one usually happens when I’m really ‘down-in-the-dumps’.
I’ve been embarrassed by this fantasy life for a long time. I never told anybody that I did it. I might say when I’m alone, I might talk to myself, sometimes to work out a problem I might be having. That seems acceptable. Though some might think of that as crazy, others feel that is completely alright. And I’ve read that people who talk to themselves show you have a high IQ and it’s a part of a higher thinking thought process. That helps comfort me.
But maybe the Loyd’s Fantasyland I go to from time to time is a bit like a child sucking his thumb. It might be comforting at the time but it’s going to screw up your teeth.
Is it crazy?
A scared part of me, the part that is worried about how other people will see me, thinks yes. Look at Dexter. He talked to his dead father (what was now his conscience) about whom he should wrap up in clear plastic and end his victim’s horrible life (for those that never watched the show or read the books, Dexter, when he felt the urge to kill, was taught by his father to only kill people who deserved it).
Then there’s the other part of me that says it’s fine. I think of him as Morgan Freeman (wouldn’t you) and he’s telling me if it’s not hurting anybody (I’m no Dexter) and if it helps, then, by all means, go to Loyd’s Fantasyland. Enjoy. Interact with whoever helps get you through the sadness.
(Though I’m not Dexter or any kind of serial killer, I have killed people on the page with the written word and when the feeling comes over me, I’ll kill again.)
When I imagine and try and take my thoughts far away from the chaos going on in my life, it’s true, it’s an escape hatch to somewhere else.
But I’m not gone for too long. I do know reality must be faced, it must be tackled, it must be conquered, no matter what horrible things are going on. That fantasy land is not a permanent place. When I need it, it shimmers into place like a mirage. It allows me to draw into my shell like a turtle and recharge. And then, when I feel better, I leave. I come back to reality, hopefully with some renewed hope that whatever lay on the other side of the chaos, the stress, will be better. Like when you hold your breath to go under some floating obstacle in a pool and come up on the other side and find fresh air.
I guess I’ll be going to Loyd’s Fantasyland until my dying breath. Maybe in that last moment, it will come shimmering out of the fog and become real, finally. I’ll enter as my last breath leaves my throat and when it goes away, I’ll go with it.
So, if you’re like me and you have your own fantasy land, it’s alright. If you want to keep it a secret, do so.
Just know you’re not the only one.
And remember: It’s one of the few places you can get in for free.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
February 14th, 2020
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.