Category Archives: suicide

Dispatches From My Agoraphobic Tower

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So, I recently stumbled across my old photos from when I was living in Melbourne, Australia.  I haven’t looked at these in years, and just seeing them flooded my mind with memories.

During my time in Melbourne, my unchecked depression and anxiety quickly developed in panic disorder, which quickly developed into agoraphobia. I was alone in a foreign country, locked away in my little apartment cube, afraid to interact with the world around me.

 

Honestly, it’s so strange. Because All me memories of Melbourne are so awful. The thought of Melbourne fills me with nothing but loneliness, dread, pain, and misery.

But then, I saw this picture:

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I took this from the roof my apartment complex. How could such a beautiful view ever have been scarred into my brain as bad? How have I always thought of Melbourne as the ugliest most miserable city I’ve ever seen?

Was Melbourne really that bad?  or was it me?

Was I the one that was ugly and miserable? 

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Look at that! How many urban areas have are quality that good?

I think this is a perfect example of how your mental health really effects everything. I mean, depression and anxiety isn’t just about being sad. It’s about feeling such a cold, dark, sad misery, that somehow, a sight as beautiful as this, was skewed into what I perceived at that time to be hell.

And that’s why we need better mental health support. Not just in America, but all around the world. I don’t ever want anyone to feel how horrible I did in Melbourne. I used to hide in my shower and cry until I could hardly breathe. I was fired from my job because I kept collapsing from panic attacks, and was blowing all my money on therapy, and take-out food because I couldn’t even walk to the grocery store.

To this day, my parents think I blew all my money in Australia partying. They have never fully forgiven me for how “sloppy” I was there. And I paid the price for it. After my time in Australia, I returned home to Ohio and picked up a job in retail. My parents thought that me having to return to Ohio with my tail between my legs, forced to work in retail for a year while I re-figured out my life, was good punishment for my immaturity and selfishness of going broke abroad.

They still have no idea that all my money was being blown on therapy and food. They also don’t know that while back in Ohio, I got back into therapy. The University in my hometown offers free-to-the-public therapy were grad students studying psychology act as your therapist.

My mom thinks that I was out running around town, when in reality I was in exposure therapy.  I know a day will come when I will need to tell my parents the truth. That in reality, I wasn’t as strong as they I thought I was. While they thought I was out having the time of my life, I was actually in the lowest stages of my life thus far.

 

But there’s also hope.

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I didn’t due in Australia. And I didn’t when  I came home and got into therapy.  In fact, I got stronger. I got better. And it inspired me to start writing. We may think that those tough moments are the end. We may think that there’s no going on, but there is. 

THERE IS ALWAYS A TOMORROW.

THERE IS ALWAYS A CHANCE TO HEAL AND BE BETTER .

And here’s how: 

Alright people, listen up. Step number 1: Call Lifeline. I don’t care if you’re not suicidal, if you’re at a point in your life when just living through the day seems impossible, call them. I literally used to call Lifeline everyday back when I was agoraphobic. They are so understanding and not scary at all! never hesitate to call and just say, look, I’m really struggling to just be alive right now. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, panic, PTSD, bullying, or any of the others. If you’re that miserable, YOU DESERVE TO HAVE AN EAR TO SPEAK INTO. AND NEVER FORGET THAT.

This is a list of lifelines around the world:

I have called at least 4 of them, and can tell you, these services are amazing

List of Lifelines

Step number 2: Find inspiration! There are some great sites out there that helped me get through horrific times.

Beyond Blue. An Australian website that is fantastic!

Beyond Blue

 

THIS WAY UP! Online therapy for the busy person. I’ve used them, they’re great!

This Way Up

 

ADAA. Resources for Depression and Anxiety

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And most importantly, NEVR EVER GIVE UP! if you ever think you can’t go on. Call Lifeline, reach out to a friend, or even write a comment on this blog. I’ll totally respond and tell you you’re a kick-ass motherfucker.

I’ll leave you with this sunset from the roof of my building in Melbourne, which, I somehow didn’t recognize as beautiful back then, but do now. 

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~ The Dark Horse

(was the proofread? ugh… I can’t be inspirational, and proofread!)

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Anyone Else Going To Be Alone On Thanksgiving?

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Ah yes, it’s that time of year again! The leaves are almost gone, the first hints of Christmas pepper the atmosphere with a hint of glee, the rouge cranberries can be seen in even the most forgotten of grocery store aisles. This can mean only one thing, It’s almost Thanksgiving!

And, thanks to a country with INSANE flight prices (Dear America, do you know how cheap it is to fly in Europe?) I’ll be stuck in Boston for Thanksgiving… yay. 😦

However, I’m trying to make the best of this. Obviously, when you’re a depressed person, being alone over the holidays is horrible. In fact suicide rates actually INCREASE during the holidays. So, in order to not be sad, I’m compiling a list of:

 

Why I’m grateful to not be going home this Thanksgiving: 

 

1.) My mother can’t cook anyways. Look, my mother is a saint, salt of the Earth that one…. but as a cook? … Well, I mean, let’s just say this. Thanksgiving for us always consisted of overly-dry turkey. Green beans from a can, jello-d cranberry sauce from a can, gravy from a dry-packet mix, corn from a can, bread from the store, pumpkin pie from the store, and “mashed potatoes” if you can call them that. It was basically potatoes boiled down so much that they had lost all structural integrity. It was like picking up a spoonful of flavorless foam. This Thanksgiving, perhaps I can make myself good food now?

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2.) I’m in Boston. Surely the Black Friday shopping here will be much better than it would have been in Ohio.  I mean, Walmart and Best Buy? Oh, please, let the trailer trash have their fun. I’m going to go stalk the sales at Gucci and Canada Goose. Get some real deals from real stores. PS- I literally don’t have the money to shop anyways, and I’m sure Gucci doesn’t do Black Friday deals anyways… but at least I can window shop for deals at the fanciest of places I can’t afford right? Perhaps I’ll buy a pair of socks.

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3.) Can you imagine what the airports will look like anyways? Do I really want to be crammed in a flight full TOC people? (TOC is Thanksgiving Or Christmas, they’re the people who only fly once a year at most, either for T or C. And Therefore they’re completely lost in the process; move slow, breathe through their mouths, trip, bump into walls, fart constantly, and so forth…) Then the plane will be filled with screaming babies, and people with their Panda Express smelling up the whole plane.

No thanks!

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4.) I’m literally going home for Christmas in a little over a month anyways. Sure, this will be a super lonely week, but you know what, I’m going to get to experience all the fun and joy of hectic holiday travel in one month. I CAN DO THIS! ONE MONTH.

just say it.

ONE MONTH

ONE MONTH

ONE MONTH!

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5.) Thanksgiving is deadly anyways! Have you ever heard of a movie called Thankskilling?

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Why, Thanksgiving is downright dangerous! I should be thankful I’m not able to go home and experience the atrocities that await.

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Now that’s what I call Murder Most Foul  (Rimshot please!)

 

~ The Dark Horse

I Long To Be The Younger Me Again

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Does anyone else out there look back on their past and wish they were young again?  I mean, I didn’t even like being young.  My life has been a raging shitshow since about age 10

But at the same time, there was the spark back then.  This magic all around me. 

I believed that everything was going to work out.  I thought that one day I’d fly away and be surrounded by people who loved and cared for me.  When I was 20, I was so much more jaded than any other 20 year-old around me, but now, at 27, I’m even more bitter and jaded than I thought humanly possible.

 

This one memory has been popping back into my head for about a month now.

It’s the memory of being twenty years old and being back in undergrad.  Back at a school called Loyola Marymount University.

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Loyola Marymount is located in sunny Los Angeles and it’s campus is beautiful and pristine.  Being from working class Ohio, I always felt completely out of place surrounded by all the kids from the OC and the Bay who drove their BMWs and Range Rovers around campus.

Back then I hated that school.  I had no friends.  I didn’t connect with the coke-snorting millionaires from Laguna Beach who partied in WeHo rather than did homework like me.   It was so isolating and lonely.  I remember it was so bad that I moved to Westwood to live with UCLA kids.   Then I had about a 2 hour bus commute every day there and back on the Santa Monica 3 bus line.

 

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And yet, these days, I look back and miss those days.  I miss being in undergrad. I miss being that young.  I miss looking out my classroom windows and seeing palm trees and the LA skyline.

But you know, what I really miss is being surrounded by peers.  There is an experience in undergrad that you’ll never get in anything else you ever do in life for as long as you live.  Its you, being young, and being surrounded by a bunch of other young people.  There is just this feeling like a new friend could be around every corner. Maybe a potential boyfriend is sitting next to you in class.   You just always think that something good may be coming.

So that’s what I’m remembering.  I keep thinking of sitting in this history class I had.  There was this really cute straight guy who sat next to me.  I used to sneak looks at him when he wasn’t looking.  And sometimes, he’d catch my looking and I’d smile like as I was just looking around the room and happened to make eye-contact with him.  He’d give me this bro-like “sup” motion with his face.

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I’ll never have that again.   I’ll never feel like a new friend is around every corner.  I’ll never feel like I’ll fall in love ever again.   I just rot.  I just got older and more isolated and my body crumbles and fades with age.

You’re only young once.   After that it’s all over.  Now, everyone is settling down, getting married, getting fat, plopping into their 9-5 (which in America has quickly turned to the 8-6), and they wash their adulthoods away at bars on the weekends talking about life as “grown ups” as they discuss buying homes and other such bullshits.

I think I actually hate them more now.  At least back when we were 20 and they didn’t have anything in common with me, I could still have some eye candy.  But now, that glow of youth that all the hot guys used to have has been replaced with a growing belly and back hair.   I wonder how they look at themselves in the mirror everyday without wanting to commit suicide.   How far they’ve fallen.

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But despite how awful life becomes, I will still have my memories.  At nighttime as I sit in my bed unable to fall asleep, I close my eyes, and think about my past.  I replay those days at LMU on loop in my head.  My bedroom provides an escape from my present.  I’d rather be lost a delusional fantasy of what my life used to be, than sit in bed at night and dwell on how it only continues to get worse.

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Anyways, does anyone else feel that way?  Does anyone else feel like even though life was never good, it was somehow less bad when you were young?

And where do we go from here?

~ The Dark Horse

(This was…perhaps 30% proofread?)

The Importance Of Having Role Models With Mental Illness

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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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?  

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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

 

 

 

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