Category Archives: panic

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

 

 

 

 

Self Doubt. What Do We Do About It?

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So, I’m having a bad day.   Im just consumed with doubt right now.    What if Im not a good writer? What if I have no talent.   Why am I even trying?  Will anyone want to read anything I have to say?  Will anything I say inspire people?   Will anything ever make things better?

 

And so goes the loop of thoughts in my head.  The endless banter between myself and…well, myself.

 

Do any of you out there ever feel like this? Like maybe everyone from your past is right?   That you’re talentless and worth nothing?   That you just suck and should  stop trying?

 

If you’re like me and are depressed, these thoughts can weasel their way in and then it becomes insanely hard to get rid of them.   Its like when you realize there’s an ant on the counter and you squash it.  Then there are two more.   Then four.   Then you look down and realize there is far too many for you to crush with your shoe.

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Well I don’t have all the answers yet, but one thing I do know is to sit on it for a day.   I know that when I have bad days there is really nothing that can be done.  Its basically just over.  All my thoughts will be negative and cloudy and a mess.   But I do know that tomorrow, or maybe in two, or three days, things will be different.  I’ll have a little more positivity.   And then, thats when I can actually figure out what to do and where to go.

 

So if anyone out there is like me right now, I’d say lets give ourselves a pass today.   Go order some pad thai, pop in a really cheesy and happy movie and just focus on being positive.  That is step one.  Ok, ready?  GO!

 

 

No this wasn’t proofread sorry!

~ The Dark Horse

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.

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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

 

 

Change Always Brings Worry, But Also Possibility

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So in a few days I make the move to Boston to start taking classes at Harvard.   Now, moving isn’t anything new to me.    In fact quite the opposite, my constant moving is party what has caused my life to be stalled and feel so “temporary”.

 

But I’m banking on this being different.    Im going back to school.   There will be opportunity in my classes.  Clubs to join.  Professors for mentorship.   Friends to make.    Furthermore, I’ll be living with other grad students.     So there could be a bond there too.    And because I’ll be living in America again  (Which, sadly, seems tragic considering he 4 years were about to have)… but anyways….  that means I won’t have any visa that runs out and forces me to uproot once more.  The people I meet and the life I make here could be with me for the rest of my life.

 

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Ah, but of course….I have depression and anxiety and DONT THEY JUST LOVE TO THINK OF THE WORST OUTCOMES POSSIBLE?  

What if you go broke?   End up alone forever?  Fail out of school?  Get sick and die?  and blah blah blah…. well you know what mental problems, the flight is booked.  The classes are paid for.  Ive already found an apartment….theres no going back now.

So you’re just gonna have to fuck off for a bit, and if you don’t,  Ill fuck you up.

 

Oh hey… depression and anxiety…. can you just stand a little closer to that bathtub with a toaster in it?  …. ya… go on…a little closer… I think there might be someone in it who is happy… maybe you could ruin their life?  Hmm.. sounds fun right???

Ok ok now get in the tub…. yep you’re so close I think you’re about to….

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…Perfect. 

 

 

 

never give up people!

 

~ The Dark Horse

Rebuilding Your Life From Ground Zero

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Alright.   Im starting from scratch here people.  I’ve been back in my hometown…. working part time in retail….living at home…..

I have been a complete sack of useless shit.

Ive just been questioning everything about my life.   Regretting all of my past.   Dreading my future.   Hating my present.  Masturbating twice a day everyday is the only excitement Ive had the last few months… I have been pathetic.

Does anyone else know that feeling?  Anyone out there know what its like to want so much from life, but you’re just stuck in the craptastic shithole called your life?   You’ve dug yourself into a bad situation…. which is hard enough to get out of on its own…..but combine that struggle with trying to do all that with depression and anxiety…. and FUCK life sucks

But ok, Ive got a lead.  In January I’m going to start taking classes at Harvard.   So Ill be moving to Cambridge next month.   A chance to restart my life.  To do everything over again.

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A chance to learn new skills.  Make friends.   Move to a city with opportunity.

But Jesus fucking Christ I’m scared.  Im so scared that I’m going to fuck this up too.   That I will ruin everything.   That this won’t go well for me.     UUUUGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

Ok my fellow Mentally Ill friends.   Does anyone know this feeling?   Its like Im so happy to have a new opportunity.  A chance to finally make things right.  To learn from my mistakes.   To finally start building a life that has meaning! ….And yet, where most people would be through the roof for this opportunity, I’m sitting here going:

~ I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE WORST CASE SCENARIO BECAUSE I KNOW THAT THE WORST CASE SCENARIO HAPPENS…AND QUITE REGULARLY 

~ WILL PEOPLE HATE ME?   WILL THE TEACHERS AT HARVARD THINK IM STUPID AND BENEATH THEM?

~ WILL I MAKE FRIENDS? 

~ WILL THIS BE ANY DIFFERENT FROM MY PAST ATTEMPTS? 

Well, I won’t know until I try right?

There really is nothing to do now but hope for the best, because negativity and dread hasn’t gotten me anywhere in life yet right?  So, lets open our arms and take a leap of faith.

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~ The Dark Horse

And no this wasn’t proofread because I was eating a sandwich while trying.   (it was a turkey reuben and it was delicious!)

A Positive Voice Can Make All The Difference

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So the other day i was really down.  My job is making me feel like shit.   My parents are making me feel like shit.  Society is making me feel like shit.   So, I was just all-around feeling like shit.

So, I called Lifeline.  Which people listen to me,  WHEN YOU ARE DOWN CALL LIFELINE!  THEY ARE AMAZING.   Id rather have you call lifeline and talk it out than go through the day feeling too depressed or anxious to live.

So I started listing off everything like a crazy person:

~ grew up gay in Ohio and have never had friends

~had to work full time during college to pay for college, and thusly totally missed out on the college experience and internships because i was busy working full time on top of school

~ Have been traveling around the world since graduation looking for a place to land…and haven’t found it

~my new job with sucks and doesn’t pay well, and my parents yelling at me constantly telling me to grow up

~ And how I’m applying to grad school but am worried about finances and if it will even pay off.

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And I swear to God she is like….. “sweetie, you need to slow down”.   So I slow down, take a breath and let her talk for a bit as I cool off.   She starts talking about how the economy is different now than it was for my parents.   Its normal to be 26 and lost in life these days.  She then tells me its also partly me:  She said, and I swear to you I loved this…she was like, “Look I can tell just from talking to you that you’re very smart.  Probably smarter than most people.   And Im sure way smarter than the people you work with since you’re working in retail”… “And you need to understand that small-time jobs and small-time people will never click with you,  because you’re meant for more”.

I literally was filled with warmth.   Someone actually on my side?  Someone who actually believes I can do something with my life?    IS THAT WHAT HAVING SUPPORT IN LIFE FEELS LIKE????   

I just relaxed in my seat  ( I was driving when I called because I just didn’t want to be at home).   I slowed down, went down some side streets and just smiled.   Hearing something nice….oh my god.  it was amazing!

Then she said, So what are you wanting to go to school for?  And I said Creative Writing.  Then she said, “Well you know, maybe you could find a compromise?   Get a day job and just write on the weekends as a hobby?”.   This made me kind of annoyed because is this something I hear from everyone…just another GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS comment.   But I tried to let her keep talking….but I just couldn’t. I had to tell her I actually feel because nobody else ever lets me.

So I said, well If I do that, how do I control this dying feeling I have inside?  And she was like… what do you mean?

So I told her that the idea of me not being able to live my dreams gives me a feeling like my intensities are being ground inside me.   Like Im suffocating.   Like theres no point in living.

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I want to write.  I want to inspire people!  I want to motivate people to want to continue living!  I want to make stories that are full of adventure, friendship, love, and overcoming obstacles that seem impossible…. until the end when you find out that hard work, dedication and a bit of teamwork can accomplish anything.   Growing up movies and books were my only friends.  After being called faggot all day at school, after the teachers would pretend like they didn’t see kids throwing things at me, after coming home and having my parents ask me why I had no friends, I could run up to my room and watch a movie or read a book.  They were my friends.   They were the ones who taught me about life.   I could see people who were like me, in situations that seemed hopeless…but you know what?  Somehow they always managed to conquer evil.  To win in the end.  To accomplish goals that seemed impossible!   And along the way they always made friends, had an adventure, and came out better people in the end.   I want to be able to give that to other people.

The she was silent for a few seconds… and then said:

“Sweetie, then you have no choice but to be a writer.   I’m sorry about what I said before… you’re dedicated, you know what you want, and you’re intentions are genuine.  You don’t have a choice but to chase your dreams”.

The biggest smile ever came across my face.  I just thought, FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS

Then she continued, “You know you may never make six figures though right? You may never accomplish wealth…”  And I was like, “Look, If I was happy and doing what I loved and was helping people, Id be fine living in a little apartment for the rest of my life, because Id have happiness, and self-worth.  Which is way better than money”.

Then she just laughed and said, “Honey, you will be very successful in life.  You are so genuine and want to write for all the right reasons.  You should also do public speaking,  you’re great at it”…

Then I was like, ” UUUGGGHHH I’d lllllllooooooovvvvvveeeee to do TED talks you have no idea!”

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She was like, “You know what, I really like you!   Here’s what you need to do.  Stop talking about your life to people in your hometown.  You’re better than them and you know what, jealousy will probably always make then hate you….and continue put you and your dreams down.  Normal people don’t chase their dreams because there afraid.  So they settle.  Don’t ever let them influence your life”.

 

I can’t even tell you how much that talk meant to me.    It just goes to show how much a positive voice in your life can change everything.

So, here I am, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to fight the fight.

Never give up, never surrender!

~ The Dark Horse

UUGHHHH no this want proofread!  Who has the time??