Category Archives: addiction

EXPOSURE THERAPY: Or, I’m Bringing A Drag Queen To Campus

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Alright everyone, so, if you’ve read my blog for a while you will know that I used to have a little problem.  This super tiny, basically nonexistent problem was that I had agoraphobia. In fact, for a while I couldn’t even walk out the front door of my apartment without having a panic attack. And then for years after that, I struggled to be in open places.  Luckily for me, I had an amazing therapist who gave me what’s called Exposure Therapy.

For those who don’t know what it is, it’s basically exactly how it sounds. You get over your anxiety by being thrown into the situations that give you anxiety.  It’s hell, I’ll be honest. But damn, that shit works!

For me, I had gotten into therapy way too late. I didn’t start until I had formed a complete fear of the outside world. Anywhere that wasn’t my house was a source of anxiety. Also, I’m gay and have always acted really weird around straight guys (because they were always mean to me) and I was especially weird around hot jock straight guys (because…you know, alpha male types are straight up cunts). Anyways, so my therapist, being the clever bitch she is, figured the perfect solution…. I was going to do my exposure therapy at the football stadium on campus…

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And not only would I be doing it there, but I would be doing it DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM AS THEY HAD THEIR PRACTICE.

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Yes, that’s right. She had me run up and down the bleachers, and then run onto the football field as they practiced and spin in circles to make myself dizzy… all right in front of the football team.  The goal was to make me feel like I was going to pass out, and then show me that I didn’t pass out.

Look people, it wasn’t easy.  In fact, as I ran the bleachers I was screaming profane things at my therapist.

“You’re a fucking cunt! You’re a fucking cunt! You’re a fucking cunt!” I screamed over and over.

She simply responded with, “You know, it’s weird, I didn’t know that people who were about to pass out had the energy to scream like that.”

I ended up really loving this girl. She was amazing and was exactly what I needed in a therapist, I just didn’t know it.

 

ANYWAYS, so what does all this have to do with Drag Queens right???? 

Well, one of my internships on campus is making episodes for a podcast. Back in January, the guy who runs the podcast was like, “Hey, can you make an event happen? An event would be great publicity.”  Now, I didn’t know much about drag, but I thought it would so bright and colorful to have an event with a drag queen.  And how much fun right? I’m all about having people learn in a fun setting. Trying to learn when you’re bored as fuck is impossible.

So, I’ve been spending the past few months making arrangements and learning everything there is to know about drag. It’s been a whirlwind, and now, it’s almost here. I am actually going to be hosting the event!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  I’m going to be the one on-stage hosting the event and asking the questions. And here’s the thing….

This is going to be my first time on stage since developing anxiety.

sever

 

That’s right. I’m going to be in front of an auditorium that seats 200 people, with all eyes on me.  This is Exposure Therapy 2.0 bitches, and I’m determined to make this fun. I’m determined to not get anxious or have a panic attack in front of a crowd. I want to make people laugh. I want them to have fun, and to enjoy themselves.

And on top of that, I’m going to keep learning. This is the next step of my journey. I’ve done a great job of getting back into society, but this is my chance to crawl out from the shadows. I’ve always been a natural entertainer. A natural people-person. The anxiety and depression just kind of masked that for like… over a decade. But it’s never too late.

Do you understand that?

It’s never ever too late.

We can always grow and always be better. Depression and anxiety does not control us. We control them.

And furthermore, this goes beyond depression and anxiety. This is true for all of us, from people with PTSD, to someone who is having a midlife crisis, or anyone who just feels like they aren’t living to their true potential.   You aren’t dead are you?  No, I didn’t think so. And since you’re alive, it means you’re able to change.

To grow.

To be better.

To be happy.

blair

If this boy from Indiana can have the balls to put on a dress, then trust me, we can have the balls to change our lives.

 

Let’s Do This!

~ The Dark Horse

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Save Yourself With Your Passion

dive

So, writing is bringing new hope and adventure my life.  For those of you who don’t know or haven’t been reading my blog (which…who is?  I don’t think I have any hardcore followers)  Anyways, as a recap, I’m currently studying Creative Writing and Literature.

And I love it.   I love making stories.  I love taking the horrible crap of my life and turning it into stories.  I love making people smile.  I love making people laugh.  I love inspiring people.

 I just fucking love it. 

 

And you know what?  I’m 27 now and I keep asking myself, WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER?  Why am I just now taking control of my life?  Why am I just now starting to feel alive?

The answer is sad, but obvious.  I never thought I was worth it. I have been put down so much in my life, and told that I’ll amount to nothing, that I ended up fucking believed it.   AND YOU KNOW WHATS EVEN WORSE???  It was this weird internalized belief.  Like I didn’t think I was worthless because people told me I was, I just deeply and truly had a sense that I was worthless.   That feeling burrowed deep within me, planting roots in the depths of everything I was (and am).

For those of you who read my last 2 posts about sex addiction, then let me say, I think that internalized feeling of worthlessness is also what led me to using sex as a form of relief.   I didn’t think I was better than a random man off Grindr.  I didn’t; think I was worth anymore that a one night stand, BECAUSE LOOK AT ME?  WHO WOULD WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS? is what I would tell myself.

 

But fuck.  Something deep within me is changing.  Harvard is changing me.   When the editor of the Harvard Review says she likes your style and wants to help you, the stone walls you’ve built up around yourself begin to crumble.  Finally, you have a voice to contradict the people of your past.

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And this blog is what started it all.  I started writing this in 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. I was suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia.  I needed to write to save myself.  And I still do it to this day.   My passion is giving me reason to live.  And I can’t believe it took me so long to see that this passion is real.  It isn’t my “head in the clouds” or “me not growing up”.  It’s a passion I have and a passion I need.  Writing is part of me, and I love it.

 

So for any of you out there struggling, do you have passions?  And if not, do you have anything you love doing but don’t know if it’s a passion?  Do you have anything you really wanted to do but are too scared to try?   Because I can tell you that working towards something real has helped me a lot.

Having sex constantly didn’t make me happy.

Listening to the world and getting a 9-5 job I hate because, and I quote, “I should just be thankful I’m not homeless” never made me happy.

Hating myself and my life everyday never made me happy.

But working towards a passion did.  

Alright, let’s end this with a good gif?  Cuz who this fuck doesn’t like a good gif right?

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vader

 

Remember:  If Vader can have fun as Disneyland, than it’s never too late for us to change out ways either!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life After Drugs

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So, if anyone has been reading my blog, my last post was about me getting crabs… So, that sucked.

Furthermore, the deeper issue is that I had a problem of releasing stress and numbing pain through sex.  You could say I have a sex addiction, some argue that it isn’t real, so argue that everyone is addicted to sex… who the fuck knows.  All I know is that I used it as a tool for escaping hard times…which, to most, would be an addiction.

 

But now the spell has been broken, reality has rushed in, and I’m left asking,

Where do I go from here? 

 

Sex isn’t the same now.  Now, every time I see a random guy, I ask myself… but what if he has crabs? … or worse, and STD...or even worse, HIV?    For anyone out there who has never looked down and seen bugs burrowed into their skin and living off their blood before… it’s something traumatizing.    I don’t want to go back to my old ways anymore.  It’s too gross and too risky.

But now it’s like…what to do?   Without sex to numb my loneliness, do I actually have to go out there and met new people?  Do I have to make friends?  Cuz, I don’t make friends.  It’s just never worked out well for me before.

light

But, and as fucking horrible cheesy as I know this sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

I’ve started joining some groups on campus and opening my Saturday nights doing things rather than meeting random people.

I joined a board game group, which, I won’t lie, has been some serious fun.   I never knew I’d like hanging around the board game crowd so much, but it I have laughed so hard there and it’s been fun and constructive.

I’ve also really started taking charge in the LGBT group Im a part of.  I’ve started taking on more tasks and leadership and it’s been great!  Not only is it fun, but it’s a total resume builder for sure!

 

And you know what…I don’t need a fucking addiction controlling me.  Fuck that. (or i suppose I should say, I won’t fuck that… not anymore)

 

 

So you know what addiction …..

debbie

…Go to hell.

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance Of Having Role Models With Mental Illness

carrie

 

So, I just finished reading Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, and it was actually a really great book!  One thing that i really loved was open and honest she was about her life.   She spoke so openly about her friend dying beside her in bed, and about how she used drugs to numb her intense emotions.   Granted, I don’t agree with a lot of what happened in her life (I don’t do drugs or drink, so the idea of my mom coming to me at age 13 and telling me to smoke up with her was incredibly strange), but that isn’t the point.

 

The point is that this woman is not only an amazing storyteller, but also shows one of the truest signs of overcoming your problems:  

The ability to talk openly and laugh about them! 

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This then got me thinking about how great it was to hear someone be able to be so free, and so open.  And also, how great it felt to just know someone is out there talking about their mental illness and making waves in our culture!

And so then I set out to find other celebrities who have been open about mental illness (whether it be PTSD, panic, anxiety, depression), and some of the things I found were a bit shocking!

 

And the answer is, shockingly few.   I found a few articles on HuffPost and Buzzed and stuff, where a celebrity says they get “anxiety” (cough cough) about something every once in a while or some other kind of bullshit like that,  but none of it seemed to be what I live through.  For me, depression and anxiety are these massive weights that pull me down everyday.  They are always there and always trying to ruin me.  That is why Wishful Drinking was such a great read.   It wasn’t Amanda Seyfried talking for one paragraph about how she sometimes get upset thinking about her son possibly dying or something.  It was real, life-destroying mental problems, and I loved reading it!

 

So there needs to be more talk about this stuff I think.   Mental problems of all kinds: Depression, PTSD, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, Panic, all of it!   We need role models out there telling their stories.  Telling us it’s going to be ok.  Letting us know there is a life outside our issues.    I hope to be one of those voices someday.  I know it will be a rough and long road, but there is a severe lack of this kind of talk in our society, I hope to change that!

  • So what do you guys think?  Where do you stand with how society views mental illness and do you think we need more role models?  Or do you know of any great stories about mental illness to read?   Feel free to tell me everything in the comments!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

(This was like 10% proofread!  ya baby ya!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight Depression By Living Your Life

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So today was kind of shit.  I had plans to meet up with this guy I had been chatting with on Tinder.  I was hoping to make a new friend since Im living in a new city and don’t know anyone.  Long story short, he bailed and was a complete asshole about it.  And as any of you out there who are loners will know, I went and began going though all the thoughts in my head:

Why does this always happen to me?

What is wrong with me? 

Am I too ugly to have friends?

Too weird to have friends? 

Am I just a complete loser?

Will I ever have friends?

and blah blah blah, you spiral deep down into a hole that seems unbeatable.

 

But then I was like, you know what?  No.  Fuck this bullshit.  Im not falling prey to depression right now.  I just moved to Cambridge, I will not let that happen.

Chattanooga Area

So I got off my ass and went to a coffee shop (oh oh oh by the way, its nighttime right now and its the middle of January, and its cold and rainy… so i really DID NOT want to get off my moping ass and walk outside)   But I did.  I brought my new Bill Nye book, my journal, and my laptop and I told myself I was going to get a nice tea on a cold night.

And I actually feel way better.  I feel like a functioning real member of society, whereas if I was in my room in my bed right now id probably feel fat, lazy, detached, miserable, and like an eternal outcast.

And you know, there are tons of studies that say this is a great way to fight depression.  Simply by going out and doing something… ANYTHING, really.   The goal is to keep yourself from becoming a prisoner to your pain and misery.  The more you sit in your room and fester, the more you’re going to only have the energy to sit in your room and fester.

 

here is a helpful link to give you some more advice:

 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-with-depression.htm

 

 

Alright people, keep up the good work because your lives matter and you’re worth it!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

Depression, The Hidden Killer

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So I’m back in hometown for a few months…. ugh the raging shithole only gets worse I tell ya.

 

Right now my hometown is going through a really fun heroin epidemic that is caused from people becoming addicted to opiates and then needing a stronger and stronger high.  What is happening is that they’re turning to heroin in desperation for bigger highs and then theyre have overdoses and dying.

good times.

 

So now myBut  hometown is having this massive campaign of like, “end the stigma of heroin recovery”.   “Go find help, people are there for you”.     “Here are heroin recovery stories” and all this stuff…. which look, is great.  I mean if you’re on heroin please get help.  Like seriously, you’re destroying yourself and most likely everyone around you.

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But at the same time I also can’t help but kind of be massively annoyed.    My hometown is very conservative.   Its a shithole in Ohio.  Most people are republican and the ones who are democrats aren’t actually that liberal.  They’re Ohio-level liberal which is still pathetically moderate.

So where am I going with all this?  Why am i rambling?

 

Well it just boggles my mind how growing up here I was always like, Hey I’m gay and getting beat up all the time for it.  My teachers watch and do nothing.  I really want to make movies and go write books to inspire people to be better.  To help people who are in a situation like mine.  I just really need someone to be there for me. I just need a friend.  A mentor.   Anyone who can see how much pain Im in all the time.   Anyone to make the constant harassment and loneliness end.

And I was just met with,  “Well its your own fault”.  “Stop drawing attention to yourself”.  “You chose to be gay, stop lying, God hates you”.  “You have no talent”.   “Nobody Likes you”.   “you’re not worth it”.

 

But apparently if you’re a heroin addict then my hometown will be there for you.   Stories in the paper about hope.  About not being ashamed to ask for help.   Free helplines to get immediate help.   Stories about asking your family for forgiveness and help.

How is heroin addiction this puffy inspirational story that seems like it was written by the Susan G. Koman foundation?   And yet if you’re actually struggling and begging for help you don’t get it?

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This is why depression becomes a cycle.   A vicious horrible cycle.   And I have a feeling you all know this cycle as well.   We know what its like for people to not care about us.  We know the story.  You ask for help and you’re told things like, “Oh its just a bad day, grow up”.  Or, “You’re a drama queen”, or whatever excuse the normal human uses to dismiss your problems.   So we adapt.  We stop telling people how horrible we feel.  We stop sharing our feelings.

WE STOP TRUSTING OTHERS

 

Then we go internal.   We are the sole responsibility of our misery and pain because everyone else has made in painfully clear that they don’t want to deal with it.

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Then people with depression have high rates of abuse of drugs and alcohol, self harm, sex and gambling addiction, and even worse, suicide.

 

So dear world:

DO YOU THINK THAT MAYBE IF YOU ACTUALLY LISTENED TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE IN NEED OF HELP THAT PERHAPS WE WOULDN’T HAVE THESE PROBLEMS OF PEOPLE DYING OF HEROIN?

 

MAYBE PEOPLE WOULDN’T TURN TO ALCOHOL TO NUMB THE PAIN AND THEN RAM INTO ANOTHER CAR WHILE SPEEDING HOME?

 

MAYBE PEOPLE WOULDN’T WAKE UP ONE MORNING AND TELL THEMSELVES THAT THIS IS THE DAY THEY CHOOSE TO DIE?

 

Hey, here is a side note to the common human, HAVE YOU EVER EVEN IMAGINED WHAT IT MAY BE LIKE TO ACTUALLY WANT TO DIE BECAUSE YOURE SO MISERABLE? 

 

So look people there is hope.  All major countries have lifeline and depression hotlines.

Here is a list of lifelines throughout the world  USE THEM!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

 

Don’t let yourself go.  Self harm of any kind isn’t worth it.  I know you’re feeling like people don’t care.  But allowing yourself to die because the commoner doesn’t care about you is terrible…. I mean come on… normal people suck.  They are so Plain Jane.   Don’t let their words effect you.  YOU ARE STRONGER THAN THEM, I KNOW YOU ARE