Emotional Problems Can't Be Fixed With Geographical Solutions
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Health and Wellness

Emotional Problems Can't Be Fixed With Geographical Solutions

"Location, location, location," only applies to real estate, not your mental state.

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Emotional Problems Can't Be Fixed With Geographical Solutions
Colin Rex on Unsplash

A thought that pretty much everyone has had at one point or another is, “I can’t wait to get out of here. This town sucks I can’t wait to up and leave.” When we’re in high school and full of angst because our parents just don’t get us and the kids at school are being, well, cruel to put it nicely, the thought of packing up and setting off across the country is extremely enticing. As we continue to grow up and life continues to throw increasingly complex problems our way, that thought of up and leaving is always there. Sure, it’s not about the fact that mom and dad won’t let you hang out with your friends because they don’t like them--now it’s about the fact that college and work has stressed you out so much that you don’t want to get out of bed, or the bills are piling up and you wouldn’t have to think about paying them if you just ran off and changed your identity and started over in a new city.

We all have these thoughts. We all think about escaping at some point and just ditching all of our current ties and responsibilities to wherever we are. That’s normal.

The problem arises, though, when people start putting all of their hope and all of their solutions on “getting out of this town”. Sometimes there will be things that get better with geographical change. If you have a toxic/abusive family situation, moving out will definitely help your mental and emotional state. If your classmates in high school are bullies, graduating and moving on to a different school will help alleviate the stress and pain that they caused. But where you live isn’t the sole cause, and it won’t be the sole solution, of all of your misery and problems.

It’s easy to think that moving away will cure everything. Moving to a new town and getting a new job and making new friends seems like it’s the perfect way to forget about all of the problems of the last place that you were. But the one thing that will still be with you when you move is you. You can get a new job and a new haircut and find a new circle of people to hang out with, but if you never address your own personal issues that are going on inside your head, you’re going to end up in the same position that you were in your hometown.

Emotional problems can't be fully addressed with geographical solutions.

The older we get, the more we realize that it’s not all that easy to just run out on our problems and responsibilities. Financially it’s quite the undertaking. But also emotionally there is only so much that will come from changing your address. The effects of whatever situation you were trapped in will still be weighing on you no matter how far you run trying to get away from the source of it. We have to work on ourselves internally, not just move ourselves externally.

Mental illness, residual trauma, and general feelings of frustration and resentment aren’t going to magically disappear when you move out or run away. Getting yourself right is going to take more than just getting a new place to stay. There are a lot of internal things that can be addressed without even having to move halfway across the country. A lot of our turmoil stems from something in our own heads and our physical location has very little to do with it. When we think we have to run away from home, more often than not we’re trying to run away from ourselves. But no matter where we are, no matter where we go, the one thing we’re always going to have is whatever is happening within our own heads. There is no way to get distance from that.

We owe it to ourselves to start taking a critical look at our own lives and come up with realistic and healthy solutions. It’s so easy to blame our mental and emotional state on outside forces because then we don’t have to change. But happiness and fulfillment start on the inside. Running away from whatever your life is now and however it’s making you feel is only going to provide extremely short-term relief, if any at all, if you don’t take responsibility for how your own life choices and mentality have affected the way you live.

The next time you get to a period in life where all you want to do is run off somewhere where no one knows your name, ask yourself why you really want to do that. Changing your physical location means nothing if you’re not putting the work into changing and improving your mental and emotional standing.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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