Tag Archives: therapy

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.

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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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How Im Getting Rid Of My Anxiety

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So Im writing this because I love my therapist and with her help I have been making such huge intense changes and have been getting so much better.

However, I totally believe in the power of some light-hearted bitching and I think its rather humorous as well.

I forget what its called.  Its like Active Behavior Therapy or something like that?

Anyhoo,  her goal for this form of therapy is to ruin my life.

She finds new and fun ways to torture me and put me through these sick little SAW-style traps and then goes, “See you survived that you an surely survive your next panic attack right?”

For example, the other day we went to local University and she made me put everything down.   No phone, no wallet, no water, nothing.   Anything that could make me feel safe had to go.  We walked to the football stadium and then she sits on he bleachers and goes, “ok, walk up and down these bleachers”.

….?   “Why?” I ask

“Just start doing it” she replies.

So i do…. many, many times.

I do until I’m annoyed, out of breath, and telling her how much I hate her.  (I don’t actually hate her, but trust me, when she puts me through this shit nothing feels better than being able to just start yelling at her).

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This however isn’t enough for the sadist that lives inside my therapist.  She then decides its time for me to walk to football field with her where she says, “Ok, now, start spinning in a circle until you’re dizzy”.

I look at her with all the fires of hell.  YOU ARE FUCKING JOKING.

She simply smiles and respond with, “No.”

So I do.  I do until I’m dizzy, annoyed, hot, and thirsty.

“Ok, now start going up the bleachers again”.

I thought I was going to die.

I was so insanely uncomfortable.  I was tired, annoyed, hot, my legs were wobbling, and now I was dizzy.

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But, I do.  I do I do I do and god fucking damn wouldn’t you know it works.

I start to just breakdown and become insanely giggly and and am just yelling at my therapist like a crazy person as she just sits on the bleachers smiling and laughing at me.

and at one point i scream, “GOD THIS IS EVEN MORE ANNOYING THAN A DAMN PANIC ATTACK”

“can you say that again?” she yells up at me.

I give her the stink eye and say, “I said, this is worse than a panic attack”.

And she goes, “exactly…”

“…. AND YOURE STILL ALIVE.”

At the end we walk back to her office, my legs trembling (And I can tell you by how my calfs feel today, it was quite a workout).

The whole way back…. “I hate you”….followed with, “I know, its fine”.

And the banter continues.

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Its funny how therapy drives you crazy, but at the same time makes you un-crazy ya?

~ The Dark Horse