Category Archives: panic attack

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! 

carrie1

 

 

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Actually Feeling Stronger, And So Can You!

strong

 

There is a surprisingly large number of muscular duck drawings online…

Im not sure why and I’m not going to ask.  I feel it’s just safer to live in ignorance.

 

Hopefully it caught your attention,  but the big news is that I’m actually feeling really good about myself right now!  HOW FUCKING AWESOME IS THAT?

 

My first semester at Harvard just finished and I got straight A’s.     I wrote a big thesis paper on the Heaven’s Gate group.  And to write the paper I interviewed multiple scholars who studied the group and some members who left the group before the mass suicide.  It was amazing!  I felt like an investigative reporter!   (Finals were the reason why I wasn’t blogging….it got intense).  But i absolutely loved every moment of it!

 

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On top of that, I got involved in one of the groups on campus and have been helping with putting together events and stuff, which is awesome.   I mean, if you were to ask me how satisfied I was with my life a year ago…the answer would have been dismal.   Very very dismal.  But after a lot of hard work and some should searching I feel like i’m coming more into myself.   I’m growing to be as strong and courageous as I always believed I could be.  Like some massive spark has been lit.

But let me hammer this point in….It takes work.  LOTS AND LOTS OF WORK.

For those of us out there with depression, anxiety, panic, and any other type of mental illness, TRYING IS FUCKING HARD.  

 

Like, seriously fucking almost impossible.

So, then what do we do?   Well for me, I just envision the life I want to live.   I want to change the world.  I want life to be amazing.  And how I see it, there are two options… give up and kill myself or try my fucking hardest to rock the shit out of this world!  And I think it’s worth it to try.

 

We only have one life.  We have to try.  And you know what, maybe we can end up changing the world!

 

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~ The Dark Horse

THE LAWS OF ATTRACTION: A Primer

Law of Attraction

 

Alright bitches listen up.   This is Law Of Attraction 101.  Sit down and buckle up buttercup cuz were in for one hell of a ride.

The other day I saw a comment from someone who told me about the law of attraction.  Now, the law of attraction isn’t a new concept to me and probably isn’t to any of you out there.  But, it’s something I feel we often forget about or don’t think about and remember enough.  So let’s jump right in!

The principle of the law of attraction is that thoughts, intentions, and beliefs are forms of energy.  And like energies attract to each other.  So for all y’all non-science folk out there, what this means is:

If you think and create a positive atmosphere, you shall receive more positives.  If you create a negative atmosphere, you shall receive more negative.

So, to all my homies out there with depression and anxiety (what! what!) This is SUPER BAD NEWS FOR US because we have a tendency to get lost in the negative and are unable to come out of it.  And you know what DOUBLE SUCKS? A lot of us out there have good reason to be the way we are.  A lot of us have been trampled on by others.  We’ve been treated unfairly.  Perhaps have been through traumatic experiences that haunt us.   So managing to produce positivity into the world is a lot fucking harder said than done.

 

But lets all be real here…

law1

 

If these two fuckers can do it, then so can we.

 

Yeah Pierce Brosnan, enjoy your happy-ever-after you lucky bastard…  Ok ok ok wait.  This is wrong.  I need to be positive and happy.   Must produce good will amongst men and whatnot.

How about this chart?  Let’s see if this helps:

wish2

 

Ok nowhere on this chart does it say that I have to be happy for Pierce Brosnan…

law5

 

Ok but lets be real here.  We need to remember to focus on the good in life.  On something big and meaningful. something good!  And then you need to try and achieve those goals with the most honest and kind intentions you can muster.   Even if others treat you poorly, don’t then also treat others poorly, because all you’re doing is creating another unhappy person on this planet.

 

Still don’t believe me?  Well let’s just see what some other people have to say…

 

 

Ever hear of a little fellow named Albert Einstein?

law7

 

 

 

How about a certain someone named Buddha?

law8

 

 

Or maybe a man named Pierce Brosn…..what wait what?

law9

 

 

Dammit Brosnan!  get out of my damn blog post!  …altought, great quote.

 

So there ya go people.  Just remember.  Produce good.  Receive Good.

 

The Dark Horse

 

The Innocence Of Anxiety

sun

 

So, I was thinking the other day about the last few years.  About how I had been depressed for so much of my life, and then suddenly; anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia were thrown on top of it.    Sometimes I look back and I get tears in my eyes.  I think of how scared I was back in Melbourne.    Australians are great people if you’re looking for a party…but they’re not the kinds of people who are there for you in times of need (They don’t really comprehend the idea of “times of need” actually).    So there I was, alone.  Dealing with crippling anxiety. And when I say crippling, I mean crippling.   I was literally collapsing and felt like I was dying.

 

But the other day I also got a little smile on my face.  It was odd, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was a child again.   I mean when you really think about it, when you start dealing with mental illness it’s almost like starting a whole new life.   Your entire world has changed.  You have to learn how to overcome obstacles.  You have to ask people for help.  Easy things becomes monumental successes.

 

Like I remember back when the panic attacks were happening a lot, even going to the grocery store was hard.  Just going around the block could bring about a massive panic attack.  I remember at one point I finally had had enough and so I called Lifeline and was like, “The grocery store is about 7 blocks away…I’m worried I’m going to pass out on the way there…can you help me?”

I got to the grocery store and was like I DID IT!!!!!    And the lady at Lifelife was like, Congrats!   This is such a big moment for you!   ….Yeah people, have you ever felt so proud of just making it the grocery store without dying?

 

 

sun1

 

I think it’s interesting though.  This new idea I have.  Looking at the last four years of life as potentially a “rebirth” in a way.  And who doesn’t make mistakes as children?  We all do right?  How many of us would be alive right now if it wasn’t for our parents taking care of use when we were four years old?     So maybe I need to stop being so hard on myself for these last four years.  What happened in 2013 and 2014 was me trying to learn and figure out what the hell was going on without any help from anyone else.   Mistakes were bound to happen.

Mistakes are the only way we learn even when we have people teaching us, so when it comes to mental illness when so much of it has to be us hiding it, and pretending were fine… where society doesn’t want to help us…when were in it all on our own…

WE SHOULD BE FUCKING PROUD OF OURSELVES THAT WE ARE STILL ON THIS DAMN EARTH! 

giphy (1)

 

Look at that little girl?   Falling down on your face is normal when you’re a child people, ok?  Don’t let it get you down! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, falling on your side is completely acceptable when you’re trying to learn to navigate a new obstacle!  

 

 

 

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And sometimes you just fall on your face again… thats just life.  

 

 

Point is, I think were all doing a great job.  We are trying and dammit that means something, and fuck anyone who says differently.

Keep trying.

Keep working.

And keep falling! 

 

~ The Dark Horse

(No, of course this wasn’t proofread, why would you ask such a silly question?)

 

 

 

Agoraphobic No More!

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So the picture above is part of campus.   It’s this in-between space.  What you’re looking at in the background is the sciences and laws school campuses and if you were to look left from where these food trucks and people are you would be looking at Harvard Yard, which is where all the liberal arts are.

So I was in the library all morning yesterday writing and reading and I was like you know what it’s beautiful out right now.  I’m going to get a tea and walk around for a bit.  So I go for a walk.  I walk past the Law School (which has some beautiful buildings), and my favorites are the zoology and biology buildings because they have big statues of animals and there are even animals engraved into the walls.  Its really cool!

So, anyways, then I get back to this open part and I sit there and look and am like, you know what, this is actually a really nice spot.   I was thinking about how when my parents come to visit in the summer maybe I’ll walk em around campus and we can get some food from the food trucks and stuff.

And then suddenly memories from Australia came rushing back into my head.   Memories about walking outside of my apartment in the city and having this feeling rush over me.

This intense fear that I WAS GOING TO INSTANTLY DIE. 

Can I get a “what what” from all the homies out there with agoraphobia?  You know the feeling im talking about!   That dizzy feeling.  Your breathing becomes really hard.  Your brain suddenly feels like its expanding and will quickly burst out of your skull.   Suddenly your legs are shaking.   You are now convinced this is it:  You are for some unknown reason about to die.  Maybe an undiagnosed illness?  Maybe your food was poisoned?  Maybe a heart-attack?  You could say maybe forever but it doesn’t matter.  Death is death, and the fact is, you’re going to die.

So you run and hide.  Normally, back into your house….and then suddenly it all seems to slowly go away.  And you feel fine.   Your home is your safe space.  The place where you can feel ok…. but really what its become is your tomb.   Your life is now gone.  Because you’re never able to be yourself in the real world.   You’ve confined yourself into a life that is un-lived.

So here is another picture of campus I took yesterday.  A picture of Harvard Yard:

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Also, PS- I didn’t take these pictures for my own pleasure, I took them for this blog post. So please don’t think Im an awful photographer based on these haha!  They’re purpose is just to show the campus.

Ugh, but look at me ramble on, ANYHOO, back to the story:

So you can see above, more open spaces with people in them.  Again, for any of you out there with agoraphobia I know how scary these look.  Trust me, I was there once.

SO WHAT DID I DO?

~ Well for starters I got myself back into therapy.  I will never forget the end of my first therapy session in Australia.  I sat there and said to my therapist, “So what am i supposed to do until next session?”.  And she kind of gave me this look of like…what do you mean?  And I was like… “Well do you have any advice as to how I’m supposed to walk home…without like…passing out and collapsing?”

Oh man, I was a handful.

~  Also, the suicide hotline and lifeline.  CALL THEM.  And no, don’t roll your eyes or give me that look or I’ll smack the shit out of you.  CALL THEM.   Trust me, I did….I used to all the time.  Seriously!    Call them and just be honest.  Be like, “Look i’m not suicidal, but I’m overcome with this feeling that I’m going to die whenever I walk outside.  Please be on the phone with me, and just be there”.  The first few times I was even like, look here’s where I am.  I either have agoraphobia, or have an undiagnosed illness that will kill me.  Im going to start walking around…if i stop talking and you think i’m dead, call the cops.

Here are a list of all Lifeline numbers:

Lifeline List

If the link doesn’t open, just google lifeline.  The number for your country will come up.

~ Also, time.  It takes time!   Trust me, the first few times you walk outside its really scary!  But after 100 times you’re like… well I haven’t died yet so maybe this is all in my head.

~But most importantly..and I mean this...

THE

MOST

IMPORTANT

THING

TO

KNOW

IS

THAT

YOU

ARE

SO

BRAVE.

YES! It takes bravery.  Sure, you can have a therapist, and you can call lifeline.  And everyone can tell you its all in your head.  But to us, its so real.   The feeling of blood-curdling fear is there.  And people who don’t have agoraphobia do not understand what that fear is like.  So for you to go outside.  For you to face the idea of dying straight in the face.   For you to face your panic….it will take bravery.   And never ever forget how strong you are when you’re able to go out there and rock shit out!

 

Ok so to sum it all up, lets use some Starship Troopers Gifs:

 

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So, yes.  Sometimes mental illness can seem like a giant scary alien insect that will surely kill you.

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But you know what, with some hard work and determination, even taking down a giant alien space bug is possible.

 

 

 

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Lookin’ good soldier.

 

 

Alright guys, keep up the good work!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

Life Really Can Get Better. You Just Need To Try (God, It Sounds Cliche, But It Works)

dave

 

So, this is super annoying, but my life is quickly getting better.  Like, so quickly it’s actually making me mad.  I’m mad that I sat in a shell for so long.  That I feared life.  That I doubted myself.  That I didn’t take risks and go out a limb simply because I believed others when they said I was worth nothing.

 

So for anyone who is reading this blog for the first time, I just started taking classes at Harvard last month.  Im brand new to Boston.  And yet in this one month I have started classes, Ive started writing a novel, and I just got offered a job to write the social media for a company here…. WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE?  

WHAT

THE 

FUCK?

 

Why Didn’t I decide to start writing a novel sooner?  Ive been blogging for like 3 years.  It isn’t like I haven’t had the desire to write.   In fact I’ve had story ideas just sitting in my mind for years.  What have I been doing?

 

Is it possible that things can go well?  That maybe the world is colorful? 

dave1

 

 

That maybe the bad guys don’t win at the end?  

I’m still just so fucking annoyed that I sat and believed for so long that nothing good could ever happen to me.  I believed with ALL OF MY HEART that I wasn’t worth anything.  That I failed because I deserved to fail.   That I was just better off dead.   That was the only reason I could think of as to why people kept telling me I was worth nothing.

But you know what, maybe there are other reasons?

~ Maybe because I decided to be myself and not follow the norm, the road wasn’t paved with signs telling me where to go… well the road wasn’t even paved.   Thats just part of being different.

~ Maybe people felt jealous or threatened that I wanted more for my life than a boring 9-5 where I had to drink my weekends away just to cope.

~ Maybe all those failures kept showing me what paths not to go down.  Maybe they were learning experiences?  Maybe thats just life process of anyone who follows the beat of their own drum?

So what can I say to you people who are reading this? 

Well for starters. Don’t give up.  NEVER EVER GIVE UP.

Don’t listen to the people who put you down.  This world is full of hateful people.  They have their issues and reasons as to why they’re such assholes, and none of them should matter to you.  let them go rot in their own filth.  Don’t become one of them.

Remember that you’re talented and smart and can do anything.  Any of us who go trough the day with depression, anxiety, or any other mental problems are so strong.   We have to deal with the shit the common man can’t even comprehend. So remember, if you have the strength to get out of bed, you have the strength to change the world.

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This world can be bright and colorful.  Just like the picture above.  We just need to remember to rock shit out, and never take no for an answer.

dave4

 

 

Life is short, don’t waste anymore of it.

~ The Dark Horse