Friday, May 12, 2017

Using My Imagination to Cope

Did you ever make up an imaginary world to "live" in to help you cope with health issues or other problems as a child?

I did.  

From the time I was about nine years old, I lived in a fantasy world of my own making as much as I possibly could.  My bedroom was my sanctuary.  There, I entered a world where I was healthy, strong, popular, and happy.  In it, I was an actress, singer, writer, and artist.  I made movies, I sang on a television music program, I went on tour around the world, met celebrities. I walked with my imaginary friends throughout the family farm where I grew up, taking them on wild adventures and showing them my favorite hideouts. I took some of my fantasy world friends to school with me at times as well, and as soon as I got home, I'd scoot up to my sanctuary again until it was time to join the family for supper.  It never interfered with chores or homework.  I studied like crazy all through school.  Later, I married, had children, got divorced, remarried in my fantasy world.  Then I retired at the ripe old age of 24 when I, myself got married for real.  I still visited my fantasy world off and on for many years after "retirement," when a particularly challenging health issue came up.  But today I rarely venture there.  

I remember, several years ago, I was talking with a psychologist and the subject of my fantasy world came up.  The doctor said that I had chosen a very healthy way of dealing with the stress related to my health issues.  When I ventured into my fantasy world all those years ago, I had no idea I was actually providing myself with my own brand of therapy.  But it worked.  Along with my family, medical team, special friends, music, art, and writing, my fantasy world helped me cope through some of the most difficult times of my life.  I'm thankful that my nine-year-old mind came up with the idea and that I stuck with it for as long as I did.  

So, have you ever done anything like that?  If not, what did you do to help you cope during tough times during childhood or otherwise?  

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I will be on vacation for the next few weeks.  I promised my husband I wouldn't work during our time off.  I will see you back here the first week of June.  Be well.  Take care.  

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