Tag Archives: depression

EXPOSURE THERAPY: Or, I’m Bringing A Drag Queen To Campus

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Alright everyone, so, if you’ve read my blog for a while you will know that I used to have a little problem.  This super tiny, basically nonexistent problem was that I had agoraphobia. In fact, for a while I couldn’t even walk out the front door of my apartment without having a panic attack. And then for years after that, I struggled to be in open places.  Luckily for me, I had an amazing therapist who gave me what’s called Exposure Therapy.

For those who don’t know what it is, it’s basically exactly how it sounds. You get over your anxiety by being thrown into the situations that give you anxiety.  It’s hell, I’ll be honest. But damn, that shit works!

For me, I had gotten into therapy way too late. I didn’t start until I had formed a complete fear of the outside world. Anywhere that wasn’t my house was a source of anxiety. Also, I’m gay and have always acted really weird around straight guys (because they were always mean to me) and I was especially weird around hot jock straight guys (because…you know, alpha male types are straight up cunts). Anyways, so my therapist, being the clever bitch she is, figured the perfect solution…. I was going to do my exposure therapy at the football stadium on campus…

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And not only would I be doing it there, but I would be doing it DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM AS THEY HAD THEIR PRACTICE.

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Yes, that’s right. She had me run up and down the bleachers, and then run onto the football field as they practiced and spin in circles to make myself dizzy… all right in front of the football team.  The goal was to make me feel like I was going to pass out, and then show me that I didn’t pass out.

Look people, it wasn’t easy.  In fact, as I ran the bleachers I was screaming profane things at my therapist.

“You’re a fucking cunt! You’re a fucking cunt! You’re a fucking cunt!” I screamed over and over.

She simply responded with, “You know, it’s weird, I didn’t know that people who were about to pass out had the energy to scream like that.”

I ended up really loving this girl. She was amazing and was exactly what I needed in a therapist, I just didn’t know it.

 

ANYWAYS, so what does all this have to do with Drag Queens right???? 

Well, one of my internships on campus is making episodes for a podcast. Back in January, the guy who runs the podcast was like, “Hey, can you make an event happen? An event would be great publicity.”  Now, I didn’t know much about drag, but I thought it would so bright and colorful to have an event with a drag queen.  And how much fun right? I’m all about having people learn in a fun setting. Trying to learn when you’re bored as fuck is impossible.

So, I’ve been spending the past few months making arrangements and learning everything there is to know about drag. It’s been a whirlwind, and now, it’s almost here. I am actually going to be hosting the event!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  I’m going to be the one on-stage hosting the event and asking the questions. And here’s the thing….

This is going to be my first time on stage since developing anxiety.

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That’s right. I’m going to be in front of an auditorium that seats 200 people, with all eyes on me.  This is Exposure Therapy 2.0 bitches, and I’m determined to make this fun. I’m determined to not get anxious or have a panic attack in front of a crowd. I want to make people laugh. I want them to have fun, and to enjoy themselves.

And on top of that, I’m going to keep learning. This is the next step of my journey. I’ve done a great job of getting back into society, but this is my chance to crawl out from the shadows. I’ve always been a natural entertainer. A natural people-person. The anxiety and depression just kind of masked that for like… over a decade. But it’s never too late.

Do you understand that?

It’s never ever too late.

We can always grow and always be better. Depression and anxiety does not control us. We control them.

And furthermore, this goes beyond depression and anxiety. This is true for all of us, from people with PTSD, to someone who is having a midlife crisis, or anyone who just feels like they aren’t living to their true potential.   You aren’t dead are you?  No, I didn’t think so. And since you’re alive, it means you’re able to change.

To grow.

To be better.

To be happy.

blair

If this boy from Indiana can have the balls to put on a dress, then trust me, we can have the balls to change our lives.

 

Let’s Do This!

~ The Dark Horse

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Learning New Things: Or, Learning To Soar And Never Giving Up

 

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So, I’m picking up some hobbies. I’ve grown tired of feeling stale and boring. When people ask what I do in my spare time, I’m like… “I read, write, go to the gym, drink tea at cafes as read and write…and I eat….and stuff?”   And then I sit there and I’m like… my god, I sound like I’m 90.

 

I need a little more magic in my life. I need something that takes me away from the constant cycle of “reading and writing”. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love to read and write…but sometimes I just need something else.  Anything else, really.  I love writing and It’s a great creative outlet. But it’s so silent, so isolated. I want something performative and exciting!

 

Years and years ago I bought a banjo. A banjo I have hardly touched ever since because when you’re consumed with depression you don’t feel like you have the energy or brain power to do anything. But, I’m better these days. And it’s time for me to start doing all the things I spent so many years not doing. So, I’m gonna’ pick that bitch back up again. I love music and I wish I was better at being able to make it. And then I was like…

Well, I own a fucking instrument!!! Why don’t I do something about it????

banjo.gif

 

I’m working on this huge project right now at school where I’m writing a podcast episode on Drag. And even though I’m gay and have had a few experiences where I’ve seen a drag queen walking down the street or something, I’ve actually never been to a show, nor have I ever watched Drag Race or anything. So I’ve been doing a crash course in Drag lately and have been discovering a whole bunch of really talented people. The crash course is what’s gotten me into the UK Big Brother season that Courtney Act on it (who thank god won, cuz everyone else in that house was a bloody cunt to her)

Anyhoo, there is this drag queen named Trixie Mattel. She sings folk/country/alt/singer-songwriter something type of music or something? I’m not sure how I’d classify her style, but anyways, she’s super talented. She can play instruments and sings really well.

trixie

I had reached out to her for an interview for the podcast episode I’m working on, and she totally blew me off….which kind of sucks….BUT I’M NOT BITTER AT ALL..….WOULD A BITTER PERSON TYPE IN ALL BOLD CAPS????? I DON’T THINK SO!

But anyways, I was like, look: If this sassy cunt has the balls to put on a dress, wig, and makeup and then rock an autoharp on a stage….then god dammit I can learn a fuckin’ banjo!  And so, learn a banjo I shall!

 

 

On top of that, I’ve also started learning Mandarin.

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I have an internship in Shanghai this summer, and I’ve also been selected to do some travel blogging while I’m there, which is insanely cool!

The internship says I don’t need any experience speaking Mandarin, but fuck that. Goin’ to a foreign country without knowing any of their language is white-fuckin’-trash.   Ok…actually, I take that back. If someone is going to a tourist place for a week, then I can see them not needing to learn the language.  I don’t think anyone going to Cancun for Spring Break would have any need to learn Spanish (however, America is rapidly changing, so learning Spanish is becoming more and more useful in our country and I may argue should be a mandatory secondary language taught in schools).

Anyways…. what the fuck was I saying? … Oh right. So yeah, I’m going to be in China for the summer. And when you settle and live someplace for a while and have a chance to really just get into a groove there, knowing the language and culture is key. Especially since I’m going to be venturing out on my own to explore the city to write these travel pieces on top of the internship.

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So, I’m doin’ this! 

I’m living my life. I’m done sitting passively as life passes me by. Any of you, go back to my early blog posts. Read some posts from back when I was agoraphobic. It was insane! I literally let my youth slip by as I struggled and fought against the issues I was having. It breaks my heart when I go back and think about my years in California, Australia, and New Zealand. I was running and searching. I was looking for myself. I was trying to find who I was. But I was so hurt from my past and had nobody there to help me move forward, so I just stumbled tumbled and crashed.

But, that’s growth right?  Growth is moving forward and learning from the past so you can become better for the future. I remember a great line from one of my favorite movies, The Time Machine. The main character keeps trying to go back in time to save his girlfriend who dies, but no matter how many times he goes back and tries to change the situation, she always dies in some way. The past is cemented. There’s no changing it.

At one point he says “The only way to go is forward”.

~ The Dark Horse

What Does This Dream Mean?

dream

Alright everyone, I have some questions for you that I want answers to. For the past few weeks I’ve been having dreams – Weird and stressful dreams.

 

The first dream I’ve been having for every night for the past few weeks.  This is a “chase” dream.  There is always some man (sometimes with a knife in hand) chasing me and a group of other people around.  I always end up somehow on my own, and nothing ever goes right.

There will be locked doors I can’t get into, no police in sight, no weapons for me to sue to fight back, and of course it’s ALWAYS dark outside.

The feeling in these dreams isn’t so much fear as it is stress.

When I’m running from this man, and I try to knock on a door, screaming my ass off, trying frantically to open it – the thought going through my head isn’t “Oh my God Im going to die!” , but it instead it’s, “Of course this door isn’t fucking opening because this is just how the world is!  Nobody is ever fucking there to help me!”

dream1

 

There is nowhere to hide.  All I can do is try and outrun him.  All I can do turn left down a street, then right, then left, maybe hide next to a dumpster in an alleyway.  But of course, he always walks down that alleyway, so it’s only a temporary solution.  There are never any people on the streets in my dreams, and the group of people I’m with in the beginning always run off in some opposite direction and I never see them again.   It’s me playing a constant cat-and-mouse game with the killer.

 

Now here is where it gets even weirder:  Twice in this span of a few weeks where I’m having this chase dream, the killer hasn’t been a man….but dinosaurs.  Namely, the T Rex.

dream 2

 

 

The first dream was very Jurassic Park.  Except, just like the dream before, it was like Jurassic Park in the worst case scenario.  There were no cars or jeeps in my dream.  The compound was (of course) locked.  We had no weapons of any kind, and there was no way off the island.  It was once again me against the elements…and dinosaurs.  Having nowhere to hide…only to run.  And no matter where you’d go… you’d begin to hear the footsteps coming closer.

The sounds of rustling, and the roar of a large dinosaur.  Then when you knew it was close, you’d have to run again.  Always running.

 

The second dinosaur dream I had was more of the Jurassic Park: Lost World, or more precisely, a Cloverfield plot. We were in a major city with a T Rex (amongst other dinosaurs) running amok.  It had all the issues of the first dream, expect this time it had all the problems of your standard post-apocalyptic story as well.

You could run and ask someone for help…but would you trust them? …would they even trust you?  And if they did invite you in, we’re they wanting to help…or were they just hoping that they could throw you in front of a dinosaur to ensure their escape?   At one point we were on this guy’s boat floating down a river and watching people on the streets of the city.  People were begging to be let into boarded up houses and the homeowner would shoot them straight through their boarded up doors.

 

+++Now that I’m writing this post, I’m pretty damn these dreams must have centered around my trust issues and feeling of societal abandonment. +++

I wake up rom these dreams exhausted.  I have after all, been running for my life all dam

 

 

And here is the second weird dream.  This a reoccurring dream I have been having for years.  And every few weeks, I’m guaranteed to have it again.

 

I have a loose tooth in the dream.  A very, very loose tooth.  A tooth so loose that it’s literally hanging on by a thread.  I can move my tongue and feel the indent in my gum where the tooth should be.  I can move my tongue underneath the bottom of the tooth as well.   It’s literally only being held into my mouth with just one little vein attached.

I sit there, stricken with fear.  What does this mean, I ask myself in the dream.  Am I sick?  Am I diseased?  Why is this tooth falling out?  Am I so unhealthy that I’m losing my teeth???  But, I’m in public.  Always in a classroom or out to dinner.  I’m desperately trying to control my anxiety so those around me don’t notice my distress. I’m doing this because I know that they don’t want to hear my problems…nobody is ever there for you..

 

…WOW… ok.  Well, I think I know the meaning of these dreams now. 

 

Does anyone out there know more?  Anyone out there hip on the whole “dream meaning” scene?  I’d love to know people’s thoughts as to what this all might mean (aside from the glaringly obvious I suppose)  or more importantly, what to do about these feelings?

 

Dream on! (In the good way I hope)

~ The Dark Horse

 

We Need To Relax, Right Now.

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Ok everyone let’s all take breath and be real here:  For those of us who are already prone to depression and/or anxiety, the current world is too much.  From Donald Trump, to North Korea, to Russia.  Even things that are supposed to be helpful like #MeToo is incredibly stressful and exhausting.

 

 The world right now kind of feels like Singapore in the Independence Day sequel.

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And I don’t know about you guys, but I’m totally torn, and it’s killing my energy.  Part of me says, “I need to know this shit!  This is important.  This is the work we live in.  I can’t bury my head in the sand”

But then the other part of me is like, “You’re one person and you’re prone to depression and panic attacks.. TAKE A NIGHT OFF FROM THE WORLD AND DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU SMILE YOU DUMBASS! 

 

And you know, that second part of me is right.  Yes, this is the world we live in.  And yes, a lot of people are saying a whole lot of mean and stupid shit right now.  But stressing myself out by thinking about it every night and asking how can I fix this isn’t going to fix the it.  In fact, all it will do is make my life worse.  So, what to do?

 

I think a balance is good.  Balance is always good right? So say most religions and philosophies least.

So, I’m working on a few articles that I want to try and pitch to HuffPost or something, or at least put on Medium (I’m like 99% sure they’ll all be rejected).  But that way I can at least try to have my voice out there.  But I also need time where I simply turn off.

This week I’ve been taking time before bed.  For 30 minutes I read Eat, Pray, Love (don’t judge, it’s actually a great book), and then the other 30 minutes I watch an old show called Strangers With Candy.  It’s insanely hilarious and offensive, but in this way where you always know it’s a joke. It’s one of those beautiful examples of something that can shock you but also make you feel really good inside.  I find myself laughing out loud when I watch it, and damn that’s life saving.  

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If any of you are interested, it’s about a 46 yr old high school drop out, ex-hooker user, boozer, and loser – who goes back to high school to pick up right where she left…

good times!

 

So yeah, I guess that’s it for now.  I’m learning to not stress myself out.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was it built by one person.  We can all only do so much, and allowing the current global crisis kill us with stress won’t help anything.

 

So let’s do what we can.  Write to your congressman, write editorials about your views, volunteer to help the needy, and for god sakes get and out vote in November and again in 2020!!!!   In the meantime, do what you can, and remember to relax.  Life is hard, so let’s not make it any harder on ourselves.  We’re a lot more useful to the world if we’re not paralyzed and exhausted from depression and anxiety.

 

~ The Dark Horse

This World’s a Bitch, and Don’t Let a Bitch Hold You Back!

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So, life is insane, ya know that?  I mean like… it’s really fuckin’ crazy.

One of the craziest things is how your life can change.

 

When I was 22 and graduated from undergrad, I was lost and broken.  I had no friends, I didn’t take advantage of an University resource (because to be honest, I didn’t believe that my University cared about me.)  I left college with no internship experience, no references, and no plan.

The only thing I managed to do in undergrad was manage a Pinkberry so I could I could afford to pay for college.  However, 14 an hour doesn’t go very far when you combine living in LA + college tuition (even with the financial aid i received).  And furthermore, when you spend 50hrs a week at Pinkberry, you don’t really have the time utilize the school you’re working so damn hard to pay for!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the biggest problems with America.  This “meritocracy” is fake as fuck.

It’s a hard-ass world out there if you’re not born into money.

 

But that’s a different blog post for a different day.  The point of this post is talk about how, despite the fact that the odds are stacked against the common man, we can still overcome them.  We can still thrive.  We don’t have to bend over and blindly let the world fuck us silly.

It’s time to rise up and fight back, after all, this is our lives.  We can’t give up and accept defeat that easily.  They may have more tools and resources, than we do.  But some spunk and moxie can go a long way!

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So the past few years I’ve been wandering around the world, doing random jobs and being bored to death and feeling like no matter where I go in this world, I’ll still be bored and lonely.

I was mad because I knew I was smart.  I knew I was intelligent.  I knew I could do all the things that I wasn’t getting the opprotunity for.   I knew I just needed a chance.  I just needed some symbol that showed others to take me seriously.

So I had an idea:  The prestige of the world have more resources and reputation… so why not use those too?  So, I applied to Harvard.  I was going to FORCE this world to take me seriously.

Elle Woods became my hero.  She was a symbol of someone that the world didn’t believe in.  But she believed in herself.  She knew was smart.  She knew she could do it.

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Anyways, lets flash-forward to right now.  I’ve been at Harvard for about a year now and I’m absolutely loving it.  And no, not every second has been daisies and lollipops.  Just like anywhere else, sometimes you get professors who don’t like you, and sometimes you do bad on a paper, but overall, I think it’s been an amazing experience.  The people I know here are, in general, awesome.

 

But most importantly, I’m growing as a person and the doors of opprotunity are finally opening up for me (which for a good number of years there, I genuinely thought would never happen).

For example, I just got word that I got accepted as a summer intern in Kuala Lumpur!

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And now, next week I have an interview for an internship in China!

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Ok, also I realize this post is bordering on sounding like I’m bragging.  I promise that’s not the case.   Don’t get me wrong, Im proud of myself and Im so fuckin excited for the summer now.

But I’m writing to show an example that even raging shit-shows can work hard and make something of themselves.  It’s never too late.  You’re never too old.  You’re never too stupid.

As my therapist always told me, “Stupid people don’t know they’re stupid and even if they knew, they wouldn’t care…that’s part of being stupid.  If you’re fearing that you’re not good enough it’s most likely because you are in-fact good enough.  Usually it’s the smart people who have the ability to question their abilities.”  

 

So cmon people.  Let’s rock this shit out.  Our lives can be so meaningful.  And if you’re someone who already feels like your live has meaning, than that’s awesome!  I hope someday we all can.

 

And remember, when the world’s being a bitch….

bitch please

…put on your shades and give em’ hell. 

 

~ The Dark Horse

I do too my proofreading for school…so no, i didn’t proofread this post 🙂

KANT’S RULES OF HAPPINESS

KANT'S RULES FORHAPPINESS

 

So, I came across this quote the other day,  and I’ll admit, it’s sad that I just found this because I was literally in a philosophy class last semester and we talked about Kant!  Not to mention the fact that I’ve been blogging about depression and my lonely life for 4 fucking years now.

Anyhoo, so Kant has famously said:

Rules for happiness_ something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.

Have you all heard this before?  Because seriously, this is like life changing for me… and yet I’m worried that this quote may be common knowledge for pretty much everyone but me.

 

Anyways, let’s dive into this shit.

 

1.) SOMETHING TO DO

 

For a very, very long time, I lacked this. I mean, even to this very day I’m still pretty weak in this department (But I’m making progress). But I completely agree that this is so true.  When you’re doing things that you hate and that bore you, how the fuck are you supposed to be happy? 

For example, I’ve spent so many fucking years working in restaurants and in retail. I was bored.  In fact, I was bored to death.  I was so bored that I was horribly depressed, and would break out into panic attacks just thinking about how meaningless my life was.

What made it even worse is that I would try to reach out to people.  I’d try to be like, “I’m so unhappy, I know I can do more with my life…I’m meant for more than this.”

and that was always met with:

“In this economy you should just be thankful you have a job…”

or

“Oh well you know, everyone gets bored with everything they do eventually…”

or

“What other kind of job do you think you could even get???”

 

It’s sad that people don’t try and life you up, they just try and keep you down at their level.  The lesson here is that if you’re doing something and you feel like your stuck and bored and miserable, then switch it up!  Get out of that place!  (Granted this is something that can take time…but don’t let that deter you from doing it!)

 

 

2.) SOMEONE TO LOVE

 

I think it’s pretty obvious that this doesn’t just mean love in a romantic sense.  I think this is more about having people in your life.  Friends, family, and romance.

I’ve talked about this with a lot of people.  I never had anyone there for me growing up, and it totally killed me inside.  Living in social isolation is absolute hell.  And what’s even worse is when bad things happen to you.  In general, most people get through the bad times by being surrounded by those who care about them.  They use the shoulders around them to cry on.

And when you don’t have any shoulders around…when it’s just you vs. the universe, the world is a horribly crushing place.

Having people in your life…people who actually care… is life changing.

In fact, something pretty amazing happened the other night.  I’ve started to make some friends here at Harvard.  We met through a board game club on campus.  And last month it was brought up that when Star Wars came out, we should all go see it.

SW

And sure enough, on Thursday, opening night for The Last Jedi, we all went and saw it.  I was standing in the T, with seven of my friends around me… I looked around and I thought to myself… “Wow, this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever gone somewhere with a group of people!” 

I don’t want to sound stupid, but it was a completely profound experience. I, at 27 years old, had finally done something that I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was a kid.  I was hanging out with a group of friends.

We did all the things that people with social lives do.  We were all texting each other about where to meet and stuff, we all sat in a group at the movies, and we even had an issue where the car broke down, so we had to flag someone down to jump the car at 1am… look at that, a night complete with wacky surprises!  This may seem like normal stuff you guys, but for me, this was a totally new experience. It’s crazy how something that seems so meaningless to most people can be so moving to others.

I actually really like how Star Wars has a way of bringing people together.  It’s almost like it’s mankind’s favorite story.  It teaches us to be better people and to never give up.

 

3.) SOMETHING TO HOPE FOR

So, I see this as also meaning something to look forward.  Something that makes you want to keep living.  Something that makes you believe fun and happiness is on the horizon.  That something will better your life. 

And… hmmmm… this is becoming a Star Wars post now.  Because you know, Star Wars is all about HOPE. The entire plot-line of Star Wars is the hope that good will overcome darkness.  That is the rebellion.

And I don’t know if any of you have read some of my earlier posts throughout the years, but there have been times when I literally have had no hope.  There have been times where I was just wishing that I’d die through the night so I wouldn’t have to go on living another day.

But now…things are different.  Since starting at Harvard, it’s like my life has turned around.  I have internships now… I have a sense that I will actually make something of myself… I think I could become a good writer at some point… and I even have friends now (wtf right?  How did all this happen?)

Well…I needed hope.  I needed hope that my life could become better.  I needed hope that things weren’t over yet.  I needed to believe that I could do it.

And now, that small sliver of hope, that small flame in the eternal darkness… It’s lead to more hope.  And now, hopefully this post is bringing about more hope.  Because like Kant says, we all need hope.

 

 

So, what does this mean?  …. good question.  This post was not put together well at all.  My writing professors would be annoyed, but you know what fuck them.  This isn’t being written for a class, this is being written for catharsis.

But here’s what I can say for you.  If you have people who are bringing you down, well then, you gosta’ slap a bitch.

slap

 

Cuz you got this.  You can do it.  Yes, this world can be unfair, and sure, some of may be missing some or all of Kant’s 3 sources to happiness, but this is the only life we have.  And so we gotta rock shit out.

Go for it.

Never give up.

And may the force be with you.

lightspeed

 

 

Light speed bitches!

~ The Dark Horse