Blog: My Coping Mechanisms

I posted a new poem last week called “Drifting Dreams” and I used a new tag of Coping Mechanism so I decided to discuss my own views on coping mechanisms.

Coping Mechanism – “a sum total of ways in which we deal with minor to major stress and trauma” (

Apparently coping mechanisms can be positive or negative and some are unconscious, some are learned. There’s a huge list of different types of coping mechanisms on, far more than I ever thought there would be.

Personally, I have a variety of different coping mechanisms. From crying hysterically for hours on end (okay, only at certain times), to throwing myself into new projects to try and ignore the projects I can’t do. Then there are the holidays I book to try and prove that in some way I am living a productive, valuable life.

To cope, I fall into imaginary worlds where there’s always a happily ever after eventually. In these worlds, I control the fates of everyone involved. I can make their dreams come true, or I can create the worst nightmares they’ve ever seen. I can mould them into whatever I want them to be and make them experience whatever I decide. Sometimes, I can force my own issues onto them – as long as it fits them and the plot – or create a new character specifically for my own issues. Other times it can be beneficial for me to give them far worse problems that I suffer from, because at the end of the day my life isn’t all bad.

These other worlds are either fully my creation or someone else’s where I borrow them for a while and this normally only happens when I find someone, or someones, that I have an affinity for. With these it can be my best coping mechanism to become absorbed in their lives and ignore my own more and more. It’s only ever for a short time. I always come back, but to become lost in a story, another world, another’s mind, whether they are my creations or my take on another’s, is sometimes the perfect remedy. Maybe because deep inside me, there’s a twisted happiness at preventing two imaginary people’s happiness, by creating obstacles that keep them apart until I’m ready to give them that happy ending. If I can’t be happy, why should they? That bitterness is always going to be better directed at an imaginary couple in a fictional world, rather than hating those around me who have what I desire. Or perhaps it is all because for those moments when I am in someone else’s mind, I am not in my own and the haunting, taunting thoughts are covered over.

Other times, to directly deal with whatever is causing me stress or trauma, I write poetry. In thought out lines, working out rhyme schemes, or simple splurging all of the words out, I feel a tiny bit better. I’m not sure if it’s the act of getting it out, finding the words to explain what I mean no matter how vague or clear it may be at that point, or the thought that someone out there might understand it all. It might be a friend who can see through the metaphors, deep into the words, or a complete stranger who sees something in those words. Not everyone may even see my words the same as each other, or the same as me, but that doesn’t matter. Even in the ugliest thought, the ugliest topic for a poem, with the right words there can be beauty.

I guess, in depth some of my coping mechanisms are avoidance (becoming consumed with an imaginary world) or perhaps those are fantasy, some are compensation (booking holidays and other time-consuming projects) and there’s definitely some substitution going on in my life.

With all that said, I have an imaginary world to get back to!


  1. Very nice poem today. I really enjoyed reading it. Please feel free to read and share the poem I posted called “The Inspiration”.

    Thanks again for writing this.

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