The human brain makes paths for itself to travel for protection when we are faced with trauma or anxiety – neural pathways, or “mind ruts”. Our minds create these ruts, at a very young age, as an escape route. Our young brains found it natural to escape trauma through imagination of being somewhere else or someone else. Our adult brain continues to naturally want to travel in these mind ruts, created as a child, as an escape route for trauma, anxiety, depression, etc. If there is major trauma suffered, our desire to escape through these old mind ruts becomes overwhelming.
Alcoholism/addiction is often called the addiction to escape from reality through alcohol/drugs. The escape from reality neural pathway established as a young child. I certainly was in full blown addiction to that. But I found that with sobriety and through recovery, my mind was able to establish brand new healthy pathways to travel for dealing with all of life. Those old mind ruts will always be there and my mind will naturally want to fall back into them. But with knowledge and the right tools, I can now always easily steer my mind right back onto these smooth new pathways.