Tag Archives: Australia

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!

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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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Did You Know Its Summer Here In Australia? Or, Lets Not be Sad, Lets Have Fun

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So, yes, to all you Americans reading this.  It is the middle of summer right now down under!  (and for any Australians reading thins, you’re probably massively annoyed that Im amused by that)  

But yes.  It is Summer part two for me!  Its crazy that just 3 months ago I was finishing up my Summer part one.  

But yeah, its true.  Talk about the Endless Summer! 

Anyhoo, the point of this is to talk about enjoying your time here on Earth…. which is something i massively struggle with.  But Hot days, warm night,that kind of smell that is just in the air in summer.   All the people enjoying their fun time in the warm weather.

I need to use this to motivate me.  I want to have my summer fun.  Summer fling?  Summer love?  Hey, even Summer friends.   Just kind of something to make me feel human.  Something to remind me that life is worth living

Everyone else is so busy enjoying themselves, why shouldn’t we? 

What Am I Looking For?

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So, here I am, living in Melbourne…looking to do things Ive never done before and looking to finally find some happiness and…I hate to be so annoying and stuff but, I think I’m ready for that…. i think Im ready for love.  

So there is this boy that Ive been talking to and he has been driving me completely crazy.  I don’t know if he likes me how I like him and I keep telling myself thats fine.  

That its better this way because there is less chance of me getting hurt

But in reality…I’m lying.

I want to be in love.  Im ready to find someone who cares for me and whom I care for in return.  Im ready to be completely open and spill my beans to someone, and I want someone to do the same with me.

I want to open my life to someone, as well as be welcomed with open arms into someone else’s life.

i want to look at my phone and smile when i see they’ve texted me, and I want them to smile when they see I’ve texted them too….

 

Yes, I am annoying I know… but hey, its progress right?

~ In Love and Pain,

The Dark Horse

(PS- as always, this post isn’t proof read, sorry!) 

But in reality, I’m lying to myself

 

Hello Rock Bottom, Its Me, The Dark Horse…I Was Just Leaving

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So, yes…. long story short… the boy in question from the last post hung out with me again 2 nights ago and totally broke my heart and made me feel like shit and so now Im pretty sure its over and I’m back to square 1.

So, here is where Im at.

> I am living in a new country

> I have only one friend who is only a “kind of friend”… you all have a few of those I’m sure

> Im depressed because of a combination of my past, present, and fears of the future

> im rocking anxiety and panic 

 

So, where to go from here?  I guess, I can only go up.

I need to find that part of myself that can do anything. I need to remember that person I used to be where, even when everything would go wrong, I could still find the power to do anything I wanted.  I was like a raging locomotive hellbent on success.  There was no stopping me. 

Its time to become that person.  

I found this awesome quote from J.K. Rowling,

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Maybe this is what I was supposed to know all along.  I mean, Ive always wanted to use my past to inspire others and help others.  Take my pain and use it to help people who are not as far as along as I am.  

 So maybe rock bottom isn’t so much of a rock bottom after all, maybe its more of a learning ground.  Its a time for us to learn empathy and sympathy for others because lets face it, in our modern world we seriously lack empathy and sympathy.   

So how bout you guys out there, reading this.

Ho are you feeling today?  Have you ever experienced a rock bottom moment?  Have you gotten out of it?  Do you think you’ve learned form it?   Has it maybe made you a better person today?  

~The Dark Horse 

Alone for Christmas

hey everyone… so the Dark horse is having a Dark Christmas.  

Im from Ohio and this is my first Christmas away from home.. and it is my first warm Christmas….. which is weird and quite awful.  

So I’m used to Christmas looking like this,

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But instead… It looks like this…

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which, I’m sorry to all you Australians, in general I love ya…. but this not Christmas.   This is a disaster of a holiday.

 

Compounding on that problem.  Im completely alone right now  Its about 3pm on Christmas day and I sit here alone in my apartment.  The sun shining, its about 85 degrees outside.  Everyone else in this city is having the time of their fucking lives.  Friends, family, pavlova, the beach, beers… and I’m…sad….alone….miserable…. 

I signed up for this though.  I knew that moving to Australia 3 months before Christmas meant that I obviously would not be spending it with family.  But I guess I thought id have someone by now…. I thought Id have a big group of friends or a boyfriend.  I for some reason thought my life was going to completely change here in Australia. i thought I was going to find that the grass was greener in the other hemisphere.   

The warmth is kind of good though.  Because its hot and sunny and stuff it doesn’t really feel like Christmas.  Like I don’t feel like Im really missing Christmas because it feels so not like Christmas.   

Im not ready to give up yet though.  I do believe that there is a purpose for me here in Australia. I think something good is to come…it has to be… doesn’t it?   Things can’t always stay bad.  At some point things have to get better….right?