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The Urge to Run Away

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Posted

Since I was a kid I have had this unexplained urge which comes and goes to just run away from my life. Just get up, start walking, keep walking. Get on the first train that comes and just go. When I'm walking to places to meet people I always have to fight myself to make myself actually go. Sometimes the urges can be quite strong. Once, just before I was hospitalised, my dad stopped quickly to get something, leaving me in the car alone. I nearly got out and ran. I honestly think that if he hadn't come back when he did I would have done it. I don't know where I'd be going, and probably if I did ever go through with it I would probably come back a couple of days later. Once I did just walk out but I came back after a while after I realised it was stupid.

I don't know where these feelings are coming from. It seems so ridiculous and childish. I honestly don't know what I'm trying to run from, as the problems are in my head so I'd just be taking them with me.

Has anyone else ever felt this way? Do you have any ideas about what I can do about it?

Thank you

x

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Posted

I have had those urges all my life, and have sometimes acted on them, although with a bit more planning involved. I have completely changed careers and locations several times, and if it was pre-computerized days I probably would have moved and changed my identity as well. But that's really difficult to pull off these days.

I more or less suddenly joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa for two years, and more or less suddenly moved across country for new jobs more than once, and more or less suddenly went to work in Iraq as a contractor a couple of times, so I definitely have wanderlust. It's not uncommon for me on a weekend to be driving somewhere and decide to go someplace other than planned, sometimes for an overnight.

In your signature you say you're young but once you get a bit older and get some job skills you can certainly pick up and leave for a whole new place. I think I crave the anonimity of being in a new place where no one knows me, like I can leave all the parts of me I don't like behind. Plus it's a boost to my ego to completely change everything and survive.

Check out the song, "Keep on Walkin Don't Look Back" originally sung by the Temptations, although I like the Peter Tosh version better myself.

Peter Tosh, "Don't Look Back"

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Posted

I have a strong urge to runaway or disappear from my life when it gets too stressful and I feel unable to cope. In my most recent cycle, I had a strong desire to quit my job and hop on a plane that same day to go stay with my mother in Arizona. In "better" times, it manifests in a desire for change - a new job, hobby or interest, new wardrobe style, that sort of thing. Sometimes the change is good, but not always. The wardrobe thing gets expensive, for one!

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Posted

I've often had dreams of doing something similar, but I've never really gone through with it. I'm too afraid.

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Posted

I definitely have the same feeling. I can completely relate to you walking out the door and then feeling like it's stupid and coming back. Once i tried to run away when I flew to LA with my girlfriend on a whim. While we were there i had a huge mental breakdown that involved me running away from the college campus i was staying at, throwing my phone as far as i could into the wilderness and leaving my wallet and backpack in some random place that i later couldn't find. I was planning on just wandering into LA and trying to survive but i didn't have the courage.

Another time I took some psychadelic mushrooms and decided to walk away from my friends and thought I would never come back.

I still get the urge now. I agree it feels childish but at the same time is so tempting. I feel like maybe entirely new circumstances would be good and right for me. Maybe I'll find out someday.

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Posted

Yeah, it's not unusual. I've lived in nine states in the past seventeen years. Wait. Ten states in the past sixteen years. And... (counting) 24 addresses. And that's *fighting* the urge to pack up and leave most of the time.

Dunno if it's a symptom of BP or if i just have gypsy in my soul but since my first divorce everything I own can fit into the back of a car - even when I had three kids. Right now, I live in an RV. It makes it *a lot* easier to just pick up and go when the urge hits. Dunno if that's a good thing or not.

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Posted

I have the opposite reaction - I want to run and hide in my house, surrounded by the things I have that make me feel familiar and comfortable.

Call it growing up dirt poor with nothing to my name. Having something that belongs to me (or me and my husband) really means something primal to me. I think it contributed to my agorophobia and being housebound those six months in 2008-2009. I was surrounded by a big baby blanket of stiff that made me feel better.

I'm not like that now, but my home is definitely my chill out place, and where I go if I need to unwind or relax.

When I was a child, I had fantasies of running away. I actually did it once when I was 7. I got a mile away before my mom found me and beat the living daylights out of me. When you grow up on a rural farm, there aren't many places you can hide...

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Posted

I get that urge as well. I've never actually given into it, but its stronger every time it comes back so I think eventually I will give in to it. It usually seems to happen when I'm not having a depressed episode and I think that I try to convince myself that if I run away from my current life, I won't get so depressed again. Logically, I know that I will, that I cannot escape my disease by running away, but the thought is there.

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Posted

I have the opposite reaction - I want to run and hide in my house, surrounded by the things I have that make me feel familiar and comfortable.

Call it growing up dirt poor with nothing to my name. Having something that belongs to me (or me and my husband) really means something primal to me. I think it contributed to my agorophobia and being housebound those six months in 2008-2009. I was surrounded by a big baby blanket of stiff that made me feel better.

It's truly amazing to me how people react to similar situations. I also grew up dirt poor with nothing to my name and wanderlust has always been a part of my personality. I've never given sentimental value to things because I never had things to give value to. Memories, yes. Things nah - they come and go.

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Posted

When I was a teenager and taking some classes at the local community college, I would get close to the interstate exit and then want to keep going just. so. badly.

Not to avoid the classes (which I enjoyed), but to not have to go back home and back to being my regular self.

It went away after better medication and several cross-country drives.

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Yep, I get those urges pretty frequently. If I follow a regular schedule, like a 9-5 job, or even a weekly schedule like I did in college with classes and such, I start feeling trapped after a month or two. This is kind of a problem, since all the advice I've ever heard involving Bipolar is that I need to have a set schedule in order to help stabilize my mood. I start feeling like my life isn't moving anywhere, and I just want to get up and go. I almost picked up and went to Atlantic City for the night a couple weeks ago, just to do something crazy and on the fly, because the monotony of a schedule was starting to set in. Actually, a month ago, as I was driving back to my house from my parents' house, I acted on my urge to just keep driving past the exit for my town and ended up in Philly. Which was sort of fun, but I didn't really have anything to do there, so I just turned around and drove back. When I'm depressed, I have these thoughts of driving forever and never going back to anything, or just walking forever, with no destination. I'm starting to worry about what I'm going to do once I need to get a real person job.

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Actually, a month ago, as I was driving back to my house from my parents' house, I acted on my urge to just keep driving past the exit for my town and ended up in Philly. Which was sort of fun, but I didn't really have anything to do there, so I just turned around and drove back.

I used to do this all of the time - just drive somewhere, usually some random city somewhere, for no particular reason than I just needed to do *something* then turn around and come home. Sometimes I'd just drive until my gas tank hit empty - didn't matter where - then fill it up and come home. That's a whole day out (four hours out, four hours back) just to get the hell out of town.

Too bad gas is so expensive now - doing that is cost prohibitive.

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Posted (edited)

Too bad gas is so expensive now - doing that is cost prohibitive.

Ugh, I know...I used to drive around aimlessly all the time when I was in high school. Not so much anymore. I am, however, moving to Harrisburg on Sunday. It's only 20 miles up the road, but at least there's more to do. Hopefully the urge to do crazy things will subside for a while.

Edited by juxtaposer

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Actually, a month ago, as I was driving back to my house from my parents' house, I acted on my urge to just keep driving past the exit for my town and ended up in Philly. Which was sort of fun, but I didn't really have anything to do there, so I just turned around and drove back.

I've done that before. I just have to be very careful that I don't take my dogs with me...if I have them, that's all I need to survive and I might not go back! Gas prices are a bit of a problem, but sometimes I'd rather not eat for a few days so that I can drive like that...calms the urge to pick up and move for a little while.

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