I feel I want to run away
I want to get away
I want to fly away – Lenny Kravitz
There are certain threats that it is better to avoid than to engage with. Faced with danger it is often a wiser choice to run away, to live to fight another day. Discretion, as the saying goes, is often the better part of valour.
The fact that you are reading this is evidence that your ancestors were able to run away from life threats and so live to survive. There are plenty of cases in which being able to run away is vital.
But, there are other ordinary situations in which being able to stay and face your fears is more helpful than running away.
Facing your fear of relationships
You may, for example, find it difficult to commit to relationships. Are you someone who finds it easy to flirt and engage in the exciting beginnings of love affairs, but who feels, as the relationship starts to deepen, the overwhelming desire to run away from deeper commitment?
- Do you find that all of your relationships tend to end the same way?
- How can you find a way to break the repetitive cycle of running away from relationships?
How do you go beyond your wish to run away?
To turn the opportunities that you have today into things that can develop and have lasting benefit and value it is necessary to stay and handle your anxieties about the situation.
You may find that as you stay with the anxiety provoking situation you become more able to tolerate it. Perhaps a bit like getting into the sea. At first the water is too cold, but with time and patience you can get used to it and enjoy it. You might find that you come to enjoy swimming, you might find that you are good at swimming.
I want to run away, fear in On Chesil Beach
In Ian McEwan’s novel On Chesil Beach (2007) we meet Florence and Edward, two virgins on their wedding night. Florence and Edward know nothing about sex and have to find a way to negotiate their excitement and their fears.
In vivid passages we are witness to Florence’s thoughts. It comes across more clearly in the book than in the film. In the novel we are witness to the ways in which she tries to still her wedding night nerves by, for example, concentrating all of her attention upon a piece of music that she has been practicing. Instead of following a physical impulse to run away from the scene and the honeymoon suite, she focusses upon four notes in particular. They play over and over in her head as she and Edward try to go to bed. It is a passage of sustained tension.
For Florence and Edward the night ends badly. Florence does end up running away and tragically the couple cannot find a way back from the sense of disaster. They do not know how to negotiate their way through the trials of the wedding night.
Not knowing how to deal with the situation they collapse and allow themselves to drift into their own separate shameful destinies. The reader has the sense that it all could have been avoided if someone had known what to say or do, but they didn’t.
I want to run away because I don’t know what else I can do
It is one of the structural challenges of the novel and of the society that Edward and Florence live in, that limits something helpful coming to their aid. We are told that they live in a time in which it is impossible to get useful information about sex. Had they had someone who they could have turned to to discuss their fears and anxieties, everything could have turned out differently. But they don’t.
Faced with fears like this it is understandable that we might want to run away. Particularly when we have no one to discuss our situations with.
One of the challenges we all face when we are confronted with something threatening and unknown is how to find a way to deal with the problem. The trouble is that often the problems that we avoid and want to run away from wait for us to meet them again tomorrow.
In the longer term we might need another solution.
How do you stop running away from the bullies?
If you were bullied at school, at the time, running away from the bully might have been the only option, but it often means that you have to face the same situation, the same bully, again and again. It is often only when we find a way to confront our fears that we find a way out of the cycle of repetition and into a new possibility.
If we keep giving in to the impulse to run away then we will live the same things over and over.
How psychotherapy and counselling can help you face your wish to run away
Psychotherapy is one place in which you can find a confidential relationship in which uncertainties and fears can be discussed. Psychotherapy and counselling can provide a unique setting in which;
- a fear can be talked through
- your fear of a situation can be shared
- a new solution can be found
Psychotherapy is a professional relationship in which you, the client, get the chance to talk and to be listened to. You may find that doing so provides you with the chance to confront your fears, to speak at length about things you feel you should normally keep to yourself.
Speaking like this may help you to feel that you don’t need to run away, and this may mean that instead of being compelled to live out the same kind of destiny again and again, you can find your way into a new and more satisfying way of living.
How can Counselling Buckinghamshire help?
At Counselling Buckinghamshire we have a depth of experience of working with people who are trying to come to terms with feelings and experiences like this.
Contact now for a free telephone consultation to discuss how our approach may be relevant to you.