Tag Archives: anxiety

Anxiety, My Dear Friend.

nyc

So, as I’ve stated before, I’m living in New York City and have somehow stumbled into the beginnings of a writing career…Something I never thought would happen.

It’s sort of like the beginning to every cheesy chick flick ever.

For real…

Chick Flicks that I know of where the lead character is a writer/works for a magazine: 13 Going on 30, The Devil Wears Prada, You’ve Got Mail, Ugly Betty, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sex and the City, Morning Glory….. The list goes on.  Anyways, moving on….

The point is, things are…going well.  People may even think I have talent. A recent article I wrote got picked up by Newsweek, The Miami Herald, Philly Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Yahoo News, MSN, Fox News, and tons of local CBS and FOX stations…it even aired on the news, like, on TV! 

On top of that, I was sent on assignment to Mexico early this month, and have a trip to London in June.

IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING? 

real?

 

If you need some context as to how crazy this is, go back and read my posts from 2013, 2014, 2015, even 2016! I was agoraphobic. I was working in retail. I felt like the ugliest failure that ever existed. I always felt like I had talent. But I also felt like nobody would ever want to hear my voice.

I felt that I was an eternal failure destined to be the outcast until I died.

Ok look…I’m still the outcast and probably always will be. BUT, I’m an outcast who is becoming successful.  And that’s worth something, right? 

jstifler

 

But, despite the growing success, I still feel anxious. And I’m starting to understand that the feelings of anxiety may never go away. I still have moments where I go “I really hope they like this article, cuz I don’t want to lose my job” or “I wonder if I’m going to lose my job someday because of the way writing careers are going…”

But, such is life in this industry.

Triumph normally requires risk. If I wanted career security, there are a lot of boring jobs I could have. I could go back to working for a phone company…cuz that was fun….(rolls eyes so hard they hurt)

 

But with accepting my anxiety, it also seems to help. Whereas I used to be convinced my life was falling apart, now I have moments where I get anxious and I feel the dread and fear that comes along with it. Then, I take a breath and remind myself that I’ve already been through hell. I’ve already felt what it’s like to have nothing. I’ve already been in a situation where I was having sex for money. I’ve already been completely alone.

I’ve already lived the life that I fear I’ll have to live if everything falls apart.

So what am I fearing?  I survived it once, I could do it again.


 

But I don’t think I’ll have to.

I have a feeling…

good

A good feeling.

A feeling that things are working out. I think maybe it’s a mixture of hope and confidence…two things I’ve lacked in the past. The more stuff I get published, the more people want my writing, and the more people want my writing, the more secure I feel in my writing, which makes my writing better, which makes more people want it, which…

you get what I’m saying. It’s a positive feedback loop. 

 

So, I guess the point is this – I felt that I was a failure FOR YEARS.

Again, go ahead and read this blog if you don’t believe me. I spent way too much time hating myself. I spent way too much time believing others that I was worthless. I spent too much of my life not living my life.

And while I still feel anxious at times, I’m not letting it control me. Anxiety is a fucking joke – it’s a cunt that will try everything it can to fuck you over. Don’t listen to that bitch.

If you need help because you’re feeling depressed, anxious, have PTSD, or any other issue – call your local lifeline (here is a list of all the crisis lines around the world)

And whatever you do.  Don’t give up. You’re better than that.

Rock this shit out y’all! 

nick

(Who is this? Is this Nickleback or something?  Hoobastank perhaps? Good lord…)

 

~ The Dark Horse

(No this wasn’t proofread. #SozBro!)

 

 

 

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I’m Getting Paid to go to Mexico!

mex

So, major, major things are happening! 

I moved to NYC recently to start interning, and since moving here, everything is just booming! One of my internships is at a travel magazine. In February I started blogging for them, which turned into writing articles for the website, and I helped edit the last issue, which means my name got printed in the magazine’s Masthead…That’s right, my name…..IN PRINTIN A MAGAZINE! (Can I officially start referring to myself as writer now?  Have I “made it” ? )

And now, I’m working on my first feature article to get published in the print magazine, AND I just found out I’m taking what’s called a press trip to Mexico.

I never knew what a press trip was.

I never knew how much money could be spent by companies. It’s literally mind-boggling.  As someone who has spent my entire life bored out of my mind working in restaurants and retail, working 9 hour days only to have a 30 minute break, just to make 8 dollars an hour…. It’s seriously fucking crazy. Our magazine is sent gifts ALL THE TIME by places and companies wanting us to write about them.

And a press trip is where a tourism company, hotel, or airline, PAYS REPORTERS TO TRAVEL THERE in exchange for having an article written about it.

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So….

I get to travel.

AND GET PAID. 

Is this even real life?

 

People around the world, listen to me. Hard work actually does pay off. I spent so many years thinking I’d be bored and miserable forever. Thinking I wasn’t good enough for a job I loved. Thinking I wasn’t smart enough to make my dreams come true.

I didn’t start grad school until I was 27. I won’t walk and receive my diploma from Harvard until I’m 30.

And up until I got back in school, my life was a raging shitshow (as any of you will know if you’ve been reading my blog before then)

I was a late bloomer. Depression, loneliness, anxiety, self-doubt, and self-hatred controlled my life since I was 10 years old.

…since my life went to hell.

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But you know what, I didn’t give up.  And if any of you out there feel like you’re the outcast, or feel hated, or even if you hate yourself – It can get better. 

Hope is real. And hope can get you through.

And I know it’s hard. I fully understand that believing in yourself, when all you hear your entire life is how shitty you are, is basically fucking impossible. It takes so much strength. So much hardship. So much perseverance.

But it’s so worth it.

You deserve happiness. You deserve success. You deserve it all.

 

So the next time some bitch comes along and tries to put you down, rock some hardcore Miranda Priestly realness…

mex5

 

And remember…

mex7

You’re better than them.  You always were.

 

Travel on my friends,

The Dark Horse

 

(This was written out of passion, not logic! So, no, this wasn’t proofread)

Spring Is Almost Here…

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Alright, people… if you’re like me, then winter depresses you the fuck out. The short days, the cold weather, the lack of vitamin D from the sun, the beige color that seems to cover the world because there’s no greenery around. I love snow on Christmas, but after Christmas I’m like, Ok that was fun….SUMMER PLEASE! 

And about this time of year, after Winter has already been around for months…. I start getting restless. I start NEEDING sun. NEEDING warmth. I start DREAMING of hot weather.

But I today, I saw the first little sprouts of tulips. The true sign that spring isn’t too far off. And, I’ve done some calculations.

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It’s February 19th. That means it’s only 9 days until March 1st. March signals the death of the winter. The sun finally starts to win the battle against the dreaded cold. On April 1st, it’s relatively assured that there will be no more snow.

So, that means we only have 40 days until we can put away the winter coats and never think about them again until next November.

And then, by May 1st, the trees are in bloom once more, and the grass is getting green, and we can go back to wearing hoodies and nothing more! So, that’s only 70 days until we have green buds on trees and hoodies or sweaters.

We can do this.  YOU HEAR ME?  WE GOT THIS! Winter is on it’s way out!

spring4

 

Just remember that.  Armageddon ends in 9 days

Winter coats can officially be stowed away in the closet in 40 days

And we are only 70 days away from green trees and hoodie weather.

 

Eye on the prize, eye on the prize, EYE ON THE PRIZE!!!!!!!

 

~ The Dark Horse

Living The Dream… And It’s Truly Surreal

nyc

So, I’m here in New York City, and everything has spiraled out of control into the best thing ever. I’m here because I recently got an internship in television. Then, last week, I was published for the first time. Now, I also have a paid position blogging for a travel magazine. I had no idea when I started blogging back in 2014, desperate to reach out to others because of my depression and anxiety…that I would ever get a paid blogging job.

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE MY LIFE WENT? 

WHO IS THIS NEW GUY I SEE IN THE MIRROR? THE ONE WHO IS MORE CONFIDENT TAHN I EVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED? 

(touches face with hand) IS MY SKIN EVEN LOOKING BETTER? 

People of the world, I ask you this…

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

girl

 

You always see the storylines in movies and books that tell you hard work pays off in the end.  But you never actually believe it right? (At least I didn’t). I always thought that happiness was something other people could obtain. Happiness wasn’t ever meant for me. It seemed like no matter what I did, everything would blow up all around me all the time.

I kept telling myself, “I am working hard, right? Is this all in my head? Is every other human trying even harder? Am I lazy and undeserving and just don’t know it?”

But I guess it goes like this: A train weighs about 18,000 tons.

It takes a lot of energy to make 18,000 tons move. It isn’t like the flick of a pinky can make it happen. And that’s what I was. I was a stopped train. I was a chicken running around with my head cut off. I was desperate, lonely, in pain, had no connections, was working in retail (and was doing a horrible job because I was bored to death everyday) so I wasn’t exactly building my resume.

And then I started working towards making my life better. 

Started from the bottom. Got back into school, working at Whole Foods to pay rent.

Then, unpaid internships led to…more unpaid internships…which led to really poorly paid internships…

train1

 

The engines on the train were heating up, but because the train wasn’t moving, I considered myself a failure. I didn’t notice the rumbling sounds of power underneath my feet. I didn’t see the steam rising from beneath the bowels.

Then those poorly paid internships led to well paid internships, and I started putting on events at school, and then suddenly I’m here in New York City, and it seems like possibility is everywhere. Suddenly the world doesn’t seem like a place that will always oppress me and keep me down. (Well, they can try, but fuck them.)

train2

I’m on a train chugging full speed ahead, and now I’m looking out the windows as the world swooshes by, wondering how the fuck I made all this happen.

Never ever stop believing in yourselves.

We got this!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

Puppy Therapy: Puppy Bowl Edition!

bowl

So, it’s super bowl Sunday…blah blah blah, whatever who cares. BUT it’s also Puppy Bowl Sunday!  (Audience applause)

And this is very important for anyone needing some inspiration, some love, or some motivation.  Why you ask?  Well, for the simple reason that Puppies are good for you. 

Literally.

Medically proven.

Oh, what’s that? Don’t believe me?  Well, perhaps you’ll believe the Mayo Clinic then?

Click this link if you’d rather here a medical professional tell you this instead of me:

Mayo Clinic: Animal Therapy Article 

That’s right, I’m not crazy.  Now, since we’ve established that looking at puppies isn’t just fun, but is actually beneficial to our mental health…. let the cuteness commence!

 

First up we have a little Shiba puppy who is just so beyond adorable that even the darkest, grayest depression imaginable can be broken by his puppy powers:

bowl1

 

 

Next up we have a husky puppy that clearly doesn’t understand the concept of a water bowl. Or maybe he just had a little too much to drink last night, I’m not here to judge…

bowl2

 

 

I would let this little lab puppy wake me up any day. However, being honest, if I had this little pups with me, I’d probably be tempted to just stay in bed and snuggle all day long!

bowl3

 

 

Have you ever seen little baby German Shepards playing with their dad?  (Literally falls off chair, and begins convulsing at the sheer, overpowering cuteness.)

shep

 

Want more puppy action?

Want to help people as well?

Check out Vet Dogs  This nonprofit provides service dogs to veterans who return with a variety of service dogs.  From PTSD dogs, seizure response dogs, guide dogs, and more!   DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN VOLUNTEER AND HELP RAISE PUPPIES THAT GO ON TO HELP VETERANS?  

That deserves another puppy gif….

boo

 

And don’t forget to watch the Puppy Bowl!  It’s good for you, PLUS, all the puppies are shelter pups that can be adopted!

 

Enjoy the cuteness!

Puppy Bowl 

 

~ The Dark Horse

The Trouble of New Beginnings When You Have Depression and Anxiety

new

 

So, I just finished my first week at my internship in television.  And it was exciting, and crazy, and hard, and stressful, and a total learning experience.

But, looking back now that the week is over, I’m like… WAS IT ACTUALLY HARD? OR WAS IT JUST MY ANXIETY? 

 

For example, I was told to do some media monitoring. That’s where you scan various news outlets to see if your shows are getting publicity and mentions and such. When you make your report, you put the news outlet’s name, followed by a forward slash, and then the date.

I had put the news outlet, then a space, then a forward slash.

My boss was like, “I’m a stickler for formatting, so next time, no space between the outlet’s name and forward slash.”

And then I was like..

OH MY GOD. I FAILED!

I PUT A SPACE BEFORE THE FORWARD SLASH! 

OH GOD…..I’LL NEVER GET A REAL JOB! 

By 10am, I was doing a full-blown Anne Hathaway, wondering why my dreams will never be…

dreams1

 

 

But now I’m kinda like… I suppose it’s possible that I may have been being slightly, but just ever-so slightly…. a drama queen. 

It was my first time doing media monitoring, and my boss knows that.  And adding a space isn’t the same as me just not being able to function. And looking back, I don’t even think my boss sounded mad.

 

BUT THEN…..

 

I had to write a press release for an upcoming show.  A REAL PRESS RELEASE FOR A SHOW THAT WILL AIR ON NATIONAL TELEVISION! A PRESS RELEASE THAT WILL BE READ…BY THE PRESS!  Like, THE PRESS. 

Entertainment Weekly. Variety. People Magazine. TV Guide. The Chicago Tribune. The New York Times. Those places, along with every other news outlet in America (And Canada) will be sent this!!!!!

I was like, Oh my God if I fuck this up it’s all over.

I’m done.

Life destroyed.

I’ll be unemployed.

I’ll become homeless.

I’ll have to sell my teeth for money, and then get Hepatitis C and die.

Oh my God, I need anther Anne Hathaway GIF,   NOW!!!!!!!!!

dream2

 

I think Anne is the only person who truly understands my struggles.

 

So, I’ve sent my draft of the press release to my boss, and we’re going to go over it on Monday.

SO, OK SURE. SHE HASN’T ACTUALLY SAID ANYTHING BAD ABOUT IT…. YET.

But there’s always a chance that could ruin it!

I mean, it was my first major press release after all.

Do you think she’ll understand that?

Oh lord, here comes the sweats… I’m such a failure. I’m going to die.

This is it! Goodbye cruel world!

dreams3

 

 

OR, IS THIS ALL JUST ANXIETY?

 

I mean, new beginnings are hard. For everyone. Anytime you have to learn something new. Or be in a new place. Surrounded by new people. There’s always going to be a learning curve. You’ll never be completely perfect right off the bat when you’re in an unfamiliar area, doing new and unfamiliar things.

That’s just life.

But when you have depression and anxiety, making those little mistakes (what normal humans probably consider “learning”) can be really hard on us. We dwell on them. We worry about them.

Or, with the press release example, we can worry without even hearing anything bad! It’s that unknowingness that gets us. We want to be assured that we’ve done good.

That we’re safe. 

When you have depression and anxiety, instant gratification is a gift… A gift that life rarely provides.

And we have no choice, but to soldier through. We have to brave our fears.

Keep Calm

And

Carry On.

We can’t let our depression and anxiety ruin new opportunities for us. Stress and sadness will accompany us during our new exploits. But, we need to be strong. Because the payoffs that you get from taking a chance is work.

Great things come from taking risks.

So let’s take em!

Need some inspiration?

Ok watch this:

In Ohio we have a theme park called Cedar Point. The tallest ride is called the Top Thrill Dragster. It’s so tall, and requires so much energy to create enough thrust to make it over the hill, that if the weight in the train is off (like, if you have a train full of short, thin people, or a train full of overweight people) the weight imbalance causes an acceleration problem and causes the car to not make it over the hill, AND THE ROLLS BACKWARDS TOWARDS THE STATION WHERE THE OTHER TRAIN IS BEING LOADED WITH PEOPLE! 

top thrill

 

So… if you’re about to embark on something new, and are scared. Just remember… things can be much, much scarier!

 

~ The Dark Horse