Category Archives: self help

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)

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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? 

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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.

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

~ 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.

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

 

 

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

The After-Christmas Blues

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Ugh….  The Christmas music is gone.  The family has all parted ways… The presents have been opened… and now here we are.  Stuck with the post-christmas lows.

 

Its always weird for me.   Everyone always acts so busy at the holidays.    Like, “Oh I just couldn’t possibly stay any longer, I just have so much to do I have to go right now!”

Does anyone else feel like thats how everyone is?  Even at the family Christmas there are people who come, eat the food, and then are like, “Ok everyone we have to go, bye!”.   And I’m like… Where exactly is everyone going all the time?

If you’re going to come into town Christmas eve night and leave at 8am the day after Christmas what exactly are you even coming home for?     Like, seriously people… if you’re lives are so full-on that actually breaking away from your job for JUST 1 DAY  is now a chore, don’t come home!

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But as I grow older thats how life has become.   Christmas is this whirlwind now consisting of 1 day.  Where I hear nothing but family complaining about how tired the holidays make them, how busy they are, how quickly they have to rush out right after Christmas…. and then before you know it, its December 26.  Everyone is gone.  The mad dash to go somewhere else is in full-swing.

We spend 2 months putting up lights, listening to Christmas carols, buying presents, baking cookies….. all for one day where EVERYONE ON EARTH just complains about how tired these two months have made them.  How they’re just too stressed right now… and how they have to leave immediately.

Well human population:  You’re negativity, lack of enthusiasm, and commitment to your jobs which must be working you 60 or 70 hours a week with how much you complain about them, has left me now tired, depressed, and empathetic.

Your Christmas has ruined mine.  I hope you’re happy.  

And now you’re all gone.  Back to your jobs which you hate so much.   Back to paying off your mortgages, your kids, your cars, and the presents you couldn’t afford.    You’re back to living your lives you complain about so much.     And Why? 

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Now don’t get me wrong.  Im not some unemployed welfare muncher.  I work as well.    And no, I don’t like my job.  But you know what people, I’m doing sometime about it.  Im going back to school.  Ive never invested in things that would keep me tied down to consumerist culture like buying a house, buying the newest car, or  the crappy gadgets that don’t do anything (talkin’ to you fitbit and apple watch people).     Because without having any of that hanging over my head I’m free to switch up my life.  Im free to change things.  Im not tied down.  I don’t have anything looming over my head.   I am not happy with my life, and therefore I am changing it.  You people are not happy with your lives, and yet you just sit in your filth.   You tie yourself down.   You get stuck, trapped, and captured.

Then this one time of year comes around meant for family, fun, and friendship.   It could be so beautiful.  The lights, the trees, the time spent together….but no.   Instead you’re so frazzled that the holidays have become a pathetic spectacle.   Christmas is now just one more day in your life that has clearly become so boring, so routine, and mundane that you just could’t give a fuck anymore.

And thats sad.     And it makes me sad.    And what makes it even worse is that you’re all convinced thats just how life is.   Working a job that doesn’t really make you happy is something you believe everyone just does.    Buying too many presents for people who don’t actually need them is just part of the season.   Getting fatter and fatter every year is just part of getting older…and so on and so on.    If your 15 yr old self saw you right now, what would they think?

Apparently to most of you, adulthood is the end of your life.   All you have is the memories of your youth now.

I don’t want that as my life.    And I’m sorry that so many of you have let that become you.

Sorry for the horribly negative post, just something Ive been noticing.

~ The Dark Horse