Tag Archives: mental health

Anxiety, My Dear Friend.

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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? 

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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? 

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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…

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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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SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE

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Holy fuckbills on a stick people, Summer is finally almost here! It’s so close, so. damn. close!

The warmth. The sun. The adventure! For real, anyone else out there with depression and anxiety – how do you feel about summer? I know that back when I was younger and overweight I used to hate summer. Summer was a time for wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts. AKA: It was a time for my pasty fat to be shown to the world. And I hated it immensely.

But now that I’ve gotten in shape, I’m the opposite. Now I love summer. I love getting some sun. I love the heat, the warmth. I feel like I have so much more energy in the summer and my depression seems to not be as bad. All the cloudy, short, cold winter days take it out of me. An the summer weather seems to charge me like a battery.

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But I fully understand that it’s all relative.

How did I go from hating the summer, to loving the summer?

And not just that, but winter seriously takes it out of me.

I used to long for those sweaters that I could hide under, for the idea of “I’m not sitting around the house because I have no life…I’m sitting around the house because it’s winter. duh!” It felt like such a great excuse to myself.

But now it’s almost like I’m revolting against the old me.

Now, when I’m trapped inside on cold winter days, memories of my past come back with a fury. The sadness of not just bleak the winter days, but also my bleak past, all live inside me all winter long.

But summer, Oh man! It makes me just want to run amok around the world. Finding adventure wherever I can.

 

So, if you’re like the old me and hate summer – here are some things to be excited about:

1.) New season of Stranger Things

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I could watch Winona Ryder freak out all day long.  Plus, did you see that amazing trailer playing The Who?  uuuuggghhhh…..SSSSUUUUUMMMMMMEEEERRRRRR

 

2.) Getting outside more

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Nothing makes you feel better than a good walk in the park, am I right? You could even go for a run if you wanted to.  Even if I’m completely alone, something about being outside in the warmth just makes me feel so much better.

 

3.) Summer Travel!

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Summer is a time for adventure and a time for traversing this great planet of ours! Don’t fear the worst! get out there, hop in a plane, and go somewhere!

 

4.) The New Godzilla movie

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If the world is just too depressing, and you feel like it’s all falling apart, then stay inside a nice cozy movie theater and watch the world get destroyed in the new Godzilla movie! Anytime a giant creature destroys mankind I am a happy man!

 

5.) Summer music!

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Summer is a time for the hottest songs of the year to get released….BUT SERIOUSLY, FUCK MODERN MUSIC. Instead, I fill my summers with the summer hits of the 90’s. Blast Blind Melon, Alanis Morissette, Hole, Lauryn Hill, Smashing Pumpkins, Robyn (old Robyn, not new Robyn), and Fiona Apple.  That’s right. Teach these stupid cunts what real music sounds like!

 

Enjoy your summer everyone!

~ The Dark Horse

TRAVEL>>> There Really is Nothing Better

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Next month I’m being flown to Mexico to write an article.  This is going to be the first time I’ve been paid to do travel writing. It feels like a complete dream come true!

I honestly don’t have words – what is there to stay that could possibly capture how accomplished I feel?  Growing up, watching the Travel Channel, dreaming of escaping my hometown in Ohio… and now, I somehow have one of those jobs that everyone going up told me wasn’t real.

I’m from trash-bucket Ohio. Once manufacturing died, so did my hometown. The mentality of my hometown isn’t “Work hard, you’ll go places!” Instead it’s, “The world will eat you alive! Ohio isn’t that bad! Do you know what your chances are of actually being successful? You’re just going to wind up back here with your tail between your legs!”

Like they say, misery loves company. 

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And let me make this very clear —–> If you’re the kind of person who enjoys coming home from work everyday and sitting in your Lay-Z-Boy to watch Real Housewives….THAT IS TOTALLY OK! I have nothing against you! The problems arise because most people who live their lives like are also the types to who hate the idea of others doing something else. That hatred is the problem. 

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It almost seems like they are trying to keep others down. Like they don’t want to watch others do more with their life. That is what I hate. You should never have to be surrounded by people who clearly don’t want to see you succeed.

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Ah, but bitches, let me tell you….

Once you escape that cycle, life can get good. It can take a while, and it can be hard (well, it will be hard, unfortunately) After years upon years of having people shit on you, change doesn’t come overnight. The journey to happiness is surely an uphill battle.

 

But it’s totally worth it.

Trust me.

IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

 

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Ah Mexico… on someone else’s dime.  Me, writing the night away.

Oh , god it’s almost orgasmic…

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I may be pushing 30…but I’m finally starting to feel like my life is starting. My life is 1/3 over…and just beginning. But, better late than never, right?

Plus, I remember Steve Carell has that line in Little Miss Sunshine, where he says something like, “Your struggles are what end up making you good writer.”

So hopefully I have lucrative writing career ahead!

Hi ho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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!

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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

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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?

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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…

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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.)

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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!

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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:

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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…

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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!

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

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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….

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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