Category Archives: therapy

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

A Positive Voice Can Make All The Difference

mentor

 

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??

 

Wishing I Could Restart Life

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So I’m back home in Ohio because my visa for New Zealand expired.   Im living back home, on my little street, back in my childhood room, and all my movies and books.

Im working part time in retail until I figure out what to do with my life, but I will say working part time has been amazing.  After 50 hour work weeks for a full year in New Zealand, going to only working 25 has been amazing.   I can take time to go to the gym,  take time to cook from scratch, and take time for one of my guilty pleasures: A nice relaxing bike ride.

These bike rides however have become filled with intense and deep thoughts on life.    You see, at the end of my street there is a park, and next to that park is a high school.  The high school football team uses the park to practice since its a big open space.     So when I go for my bike rides in the park, I bike right past the football team.

 

This has got me thinking:

WHAT WOULD LIFE HAVE BEEN LIKE TO BE LIKE THEM? 

AP AP10THINGSTOSEE- SHAMOKIN SOUTHERN COLUMBIA FOOTBALL S FBH USA PA

What would life have been like to a popular and athletic kid in high school?

BACKGROUND ON ME: Gay, liberal, interested in travel, green-tech, geography, and my dream was to go to LA to be in movies…..

So, as you can imagine, growing up in a high school in Ohio was fucking hell.   I was constantly made fun of, beat up, and nobody would speak to me because it was considered social suicide (Well, they would speak to me if it was to call me fag or tell me that I was going to die of AIDS one day).  My parents were ashamed of me so I couldn’t talk to them.   My guidance counselor at school wanted nothing to do with me (because she was equally as redneck as everyone else) and the only advice she ever gave me when I told her I wanted to go to LA for college was, “Have you ever considered staying in Ohio and going to a Community College?”

** Also, a side note: for anyone out there wondering if I was just a deadbeat, the answer is No.   I graduated with a 4.0 and I did go to LA for college with absolutely no help or support from anyone, so take that Ohio, you bunch of bastards**

But I have to admit.   That experience has always made me wonder: What if everything was different?   Because you see, being strong and brave even when everyone around you tells you you’re weak and pathetic comes with a price.   As you grow up, you become jaded.

That little fucker of an emotion (or thought pattern I guess?)   You see the world differently forever.   Its hard to not view yourself as an outcast.  Its hard to not brace yourself for everything around you to fall apart at any moment.   Its hard to believe that anyone you’re talking to you now would have been nice to you in high school if they would have grown up in your hometown with you then.   There is a permanent stain.  A smear of hatred, fear, resentment, and agony that will never go away.

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Which is why these boys at the park capture my emotions.   As I bike along the path my eyes almost glaze over as I watch them.   I just look at them.   They must be friends with each other.   The school has signs up in the windows where people have painted big letters that say “GO EAGLES!“.    Can you imagine being that popular?

They run and jump and kick and tackle.    Their dads must be so proud of them.  The spitting image of what every Ohio boy should be.   Their fathers get to live out their ‘Friday Night Lights’ fantasies through their boys.    My father never looked at me with pride.   I was always the black sheep of the family.   The one they had to always keep from saying or doing embracing things.    The one that was a hard worker, but had his head in the clouds.   The one who, as my mom would always say, “needed to come back down to Earth and grow up”.

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These guys probably play grab-ass in the shower, fuck the cheerleaders, get drunk at parties, and form bonds that they will have for the rest of their lives from doing all that as a team.  I have no idea what I just said by the way.  Thats just what I see in movies and stuff.  I was never able to be immature and stupid in my life because I was always alone.   I had to look our for myself because nobody else would.   I also don’t know what having a “bond” with another person feels like.   I imagine it must be fun though.  Must make you feel good.   Must make living a lot more fun.

So as I ride by I just stare and imagine.   I think of all the things they must do and how great their youths must be.   Then I like to imagine me being in that situation.    What if I was ever part of a team?   Can you imagine how much fun it would be for someone to have your back?    To wake up and look forward to high school in the morning?      To believe that you mattered?  To even have other people tell you so?

For a few brief moments Im filled with a small amount of joy.   The illusion and the fantasy seems so nice.   For a few seconds in my day I can erase the past and refill it with how I wish it would have been.    Bright sunny September afternoons.   Playing football with all my friends.   Looking forward to the big game on Friday night.    The party that would happen after, and all the great memories Id have forever.

But then I bike on past and its all gone.   And I’m me again.

A 26 year old who just went catatonic while looking at a bunch of high school kids.  Im sure they all think I’m some fucking weird child rapist or something.   Or maybe since I’m 26 I’m still too young to look scary (Im hoping thats the case at least).

But you see thats my life, and thats what its like to be gay.    You always wonder if people think you’re a sick perv.   Why?  Well because I was a gay kid.  In Ohio.   Who was never shown a single ounce of kindness.   Who was always told I was a dirty pervert.   Someone worthy of hell.

My mind is forever stained in negativity.

I arrive back home, go up to my room and feel the weirdness of all my mixed emotions.    The tingling I still have from that brief moment of imagining a happy life.   The anxiety I feel, wondering if they were all looking at me as I looked at them.   The dread I have for my future.   And the sorrow I feel because of how fucked up my youth was.

But you know what, for a few brief minutes in my day, it was nice to imagine a better existence.    It was nice to imagine myself as one of the high school Titans who had it so well.

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~ The Dark Horse

Stop Dreading The Future!

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When you think of the future does it look like this?

 

I know mine does.   Sometimes I lie in bed at night and can’t sleep and all thats going through my head is:

~ Im going to never have a job that makes me happy

~ I will never find friends who like me for who I am

~ I will never be in love for as long as I live

~ Im going to get stuck working 50 to 60 hours a week like my parents and my life will be nothing more than slaving away for a corporation that doesn’t care about me, and my job will bring me no pleasure

~ I will gain weight and be unhealthy just like every other American stuck in the rat race of their mundane fucking lives

~ Everything I find meaningful in life: A life lived to fullest, changing the world, adventure, love, friendship, travel, and being larger than life….it will never happen.  its a dream and nothing more.

 

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Just like Godzilla destroying Japan, after a few minutes in bed suddenly any hope I have for life is crushed, destroyed, trampled, and left lifeless.

BUT WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?

Well I think a big part of it is other people.    When we tell our dreams and hopes to others, for some reason they LOVE TO PLAY DEVILS ADVOCATE.

You:  Hey I really want to write a book about my experiences in life, I think it could really relate to a lot people out there who are struggling.

Others:  Do you know how many books actually get published?  You have a 1 in 100,000 chance.

Is writing really a stable career?

Are you even a good writer?

Im just worried….. Its nothing against you, Im just looking out for your best interest….

You: …..(walks into bedroom and decides to just not live the day because watching a movie under the covers will inspire you more than any actual human in your life will).

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE?  

TELL

THEM

TO

FUCK

OFF

 

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Thats right, be more like Cookie, and put those cunts in their place.

 

For real, think about it.  Listen to any person who achieved great success:  actors, writers, advocates, politicians, ANYONE…. When they give interviews do they sit there and go:

“Why oh yes, I told my family I wanted to direct films and they were always supportive and everyone I ever encountered in life believed in me.  My first day in LA I got a job at a studio because they just thought I was talented and loved me…”

 No.

They give interviews and say things like:

“Nobody ever thought Id be anything more than a waiter.   I was in New York living in poverty for 5 years before anything good happened, and there were so many days when I thought they were all right and I should just give up”

 

Think about this, Steven Spielberg was rejected from the film school at USC…  yeah suck on that USC.

 

 

We control our future.   We have the power.  Not your parents, or your friends, or your boss.   I don’t care if your dream is to be a writer or an actor.  Or if its something like wanting a career change from finance to medicine.  Or if you’re in a dead marriage and you want to better yourself and get out of it.

WHATEVER YOUR STRUGGLE IS RGHT NOW.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

IT IS YOUR LIFE!

 

So the next time you talk to someone and they are telling to

BE REALISTIC….

GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS…

STOP DREAMING….

Just say:

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Did that little shit not take the hint?  Still bothering you?  Still trying to bring you down to their level?  Well just remember you’re the bigger person here.  You are following your dreams.  Sometimes you just gotta smack a ho!

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Alright Cookie, show us one more time what we should do to people who doubt us?

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Damn straight bitches!   Sometimes you gotta show em you mean business.

 

Just remember, its your life.  If your friends and family want to take the safe road and stay in their jobs, and keep their life, and then desperately try to live it up on the weekends because its the only time in the week when their lives are actually theirs…. then let them.

But you don’t have to live that way if you don’t want to.    Chasing your dreams is the most admirable thing you can do in life.  just think what the world could be like if we were all living the lives we wanted.  Think of the innovation we could have, the peace the world could achieve, the excitement that could exist everyday.

 

Live it up bitches!

~ The Dark Horse

75% proofread!   ya baby!

 

 

 

 

 

When Life Gets Tough, Take It One Step At A Time.

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Ugh… yes Im aware ok…. this is the dumbest fucking cliché in the books.   And in general, when people say it I want to go full-blown Hulk and smash things.

Sadly for me…. It actually works and I think a lot of us out there really need to remember it.

 

For me at the moment, my visa here in New Zealand is about to end, and I’m about to take a big trip throughout Asia…. so when I get home Ill only have 1 month left in this country.   In my head all I can think of is:  AND THEN WHAT? 

So then I get consumed with thoughts like,

1.) Do I go back home and save money?  Which means returning to the awful shithole that is my redneck hometown in Ohio…..ugh…. no.

2.)  Save up for grad school overseas? …..Well if I had 28K lying around that would be a great idea….but…. hmmm…..

3.) Do resort work in Hawaii?  ….But really thats a temporary fix…. and will that really add any value to my life? …. ummmm…. ugh…….

4.) Move to Denver?  Seems like a good balance of outdoor life and big city feel…. but ugh….its so midwestern and average…..

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So the answer?   Well remember that we’re always children in some aspect.   Always learning how to live, where to go next, and what to do….. and these moments are one of them.   Baby steps are the key my friends….. ugh…..

fucking baby steps.

 Sadly,

are the key.

Despite the fact that I just want to run, not walk…. let alone walk slowly and one step at a time.

But then I think of it this way, how much fun will my trip to Asia be if this is all I’m focusing on?

Or, Really…… my biggest troubles in life are “will resort in Hawaii add value to my life?”….. I wanna shoot myself because I’m well aware that sounds like a pathetic first-word problem.

And if worst comes to worst Ill go back to Ohio and stay in my childhood bedroom rent free with my parents. Sure, I have no friends in my hometown, and I don’t see eye-to-eye with anyone, but really?   Am I in poverty?   No.

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You know, those of out there with depression and anxiety have a hidden gift… well its a curse and a gift to be honest.   We crave meaning.  We crave to live a real life.  Not one that is just a collection of good times.

We want the real deal.  The kind we see in movies.   Why?  Because we know how empty and void this world can be.   We know what true dread and misery feels like and so we crave to feel the other side of the spectrum.   We want true happiness.

But lets be real here, working at a resort in Waikiki?  I could do worse.    Im an able-bodied 26 year old guy who can get paid to work at a cafe that faces the Pacific ocean….  life aint that bad.

I could be in a wheelchair due to a life-threading illness.   I could be mentally disabled.   Or born to a mother who uses heroin and a dad who is in jail.

True, a waiting job won’t bring me real happiness in life.  I love writing and I love this blog.   But maybe the waiting job is a way to make money while I’m on my way to growing success through the blog.  Maybe I need to start focusing on just one step at a time.

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~ The Dark Horse