Everyone’s retreat from reality is different.
In my earliest formative years as a teenager, I sought out fiction as a source of escape from reality. I don’t really think I battled depression, like many people do, I think I just didn’t enjoy reality. That sounds silly now, to a degree, but at the same time, I still feel the same way.
It began with reading, as I think it often does, and evolved into more. I had always enjoyed fiction television and far-flung fantasy themes, but what I discovered really enjoying was the ability to form my own worlds. When the old MSN Chat was a thing, there were thousands of people who would congregate on those things and roleplay. That roleplaying was the definitive shaping of my creative future.
I think I actually got started in an anime room on AOL, but I quickly found a more favored welcome on MSN. Ironically, I think my first roleplay there was anime as well. It didn’t last long, I know the character I played was named Tetsuo and I (very cliché) preferred warm sake at the bar. Afterward, I “graduated” to a crime roleplay, set on the Streets of Los Angeles. I managed that one, and it had a lot of return members. Afterward, I belonged to several others — several Star Wars roleplays, other crime-based roleplays, and a few fantasy ones as well. In the end, MSN Chat shut down, leaving the many roleplayers of the internet without a home.
When that died, I turned to writing my own works. I had dabbled before then, in 2002, writing my first novella “The Journey” that chronicled the lives of a crew of a submersible that ended up in an alternate future.
I touched on fan fiction, and some vampire fiction (more of Anne Rice, and less of Twilight) and of course Star Wars. Since then, I’ve written just about all of my fandoms in one way or another.
The TL;DR is this: I fully support reaching to fiction as an escape from reality, because sometimes the bounds of the world we exist within sucks. We just have to remember that we have to surface from time to time to return to our loved ones and breathe the air of reality.