Panelling the walls.

I am on my way to a convention called Anime Overload to work, like I do at most conventions. I am also doing Another invisible disability panel. 

Fun times. 

I believe this will be a solo run, not that I haven’t done that before, so this will be interesting to say the least. Also, working and panels don’t always mix so again interesting. 

My, what an interesting life I live. 

Hope to see you out here.

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Deja who

I have had 3 instances of severe déjà vu in the past 24 hours. So creepy.

I can’t explain why it happens but I will have a moment were i freeze when someone comments or does an action that triggers it. I lock into place and if I could move I would be able to tell you what will happen or what will be said for the next 5 seconds or so. It is a hard shock on me.

I have had these moments most of my life and I really have never shared. There is no explaining it. I usually have to take a few moments and calm down as I am so flabbergasted at seeing, what feels to me, the future catch up with the present. Makes me wish it was a super power.

Instead it just leaves me confused and panicky.

Makes me feel like I am loosing my mind.

#hugapony my friends

I wish I had Cancer

Cancer is a disease that people can relate to and under. The causal head nod, followed by the “I’m so sorry” makes it so people understand that something serious is going on. People hear it and recognize that a person is going through one of the most difficult things to go through. One of our closest family friends is a cancer survivor. Eight years ago she got a terminal diagnosis. She says her first thought was “Thank God it’s cancer and not depression.”

Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses don’t carry that same weight. People don’t understand and cannot see the changes. Family, friends, and even doctors all look at you and say “It is all in your head”. While they are not false, this makes it seem like I have the ability to change my illness and “Just feel and act better and you will BE better”. It is easy to forget that these illnesses can be just as deadly.

Here are some statistics on depression/suicide.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
  • The suicide rates decreased from 1990-2000 from 12.5 suicides per 100,000 to 10.4 per 100,000.  Over the past decade, however, the rate has again increased to 12.1 per 100,000. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 12.3 minutes. (CDC)
  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
  • 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS)
  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

With all this data, why is there such a stigma around mental and neurological disorders? Why are people so quick to judge? Why is it so hard to believe it IS all in my head due to my head having an illness.

It is frustrating trying to explain why you can’t focus on the happy. Your mind looks and seeks the flaws. You go and find thinks to fill the gaps in your day so the anxiety doesn’t catch up to you. You just try to stay ahead of the wave that is threatening to drown you.

And people stare at you.

They wonder why you are so different. They wonder why you can’t just feel better. They just want you to be normal. They are tired of you and all the baggage that you carry. They get tired of you and how you act.

Believe me, if I could just “Man up” and be a better person, I would have done it years ago.

No, I would never want or wish on anyone cancer. It is a terrible disease and I am glad so much time and research goes into it. I just want people to understand that mental health issues can be just as dangerous and deadly. Keeping people’s mental state in order so they can live better lives should be a focus for everyone.

I’ll step off my soapbox now.

#hugapony

A-kon panel #2

My second A-kon panel was not an easy one. I was part of a group that spoke on invisible diseases and disabilities. I was asked several months before, if I wanted to be a part of it. I jumped at the opportunity to speak. Unusual for a introvert like me. I, however, know that I have a way with words and thoughts and feelings. I know I can help people.

That I have, indeed, helped people.

We all gathered in a panel room, all unsure of what to expect. The room was almost filled. We sat down and our head panelist called everyone’s attention.

And we talked.

We, as the panelists, gave our stories. We gave our backgrounds and our illnesses. We gave our experiences. As our stories were told, I ended up passing some of the ponies I carry on me (my talisman against the evils of depression and anxiety) up and down the panel line to help every get through their stories. We gave a piece of ourselves to the crowd.

And they responded.

I do not believe there was a dry eye in the room. I saw some people get up and leave, only to come back with tissues.

Some cried for us. I had a close friend who said they could only see us as people she couldn’t help and wept. She had me in tears when I talked to her afterward. This kind and loving soul said she just wanted to give us all a big hug and make everything better.

Some cried with us. Some in the audience stood up to thank us. They were amazed that we had the courage to speak. They said they didn’t feel alone any more. We all were in a room that was a safe place, and the audience opened up.

It was awe inspiring.

After the panel the crowd came up to talk to each of us. Some wanted to know more of what we do to work through our illnesses. Others to reach out with encouragement. One will forever stick in my mind.

I have a wonderful young lady come up to me and thank me for speaking. She told me she had been fighting her own anxiety that day and had almost left several times, but she wanted to attend our panel. She said she was so glad she did. I thanked her for coming and started talking about what she had been through. She started to cry as I could see her beating herself up for having the anxiety but she didn’t know what else to do. She had nothing to help her.

She didn’t have a talisman against the dark.

I pulled out my mini Fluttershy and handed it to her. She took it as she wiped away tears. As she started to calm down, I asked her if she had heard of stuffed therapy. She said she had during my presentation but didn’t know much more than that. I told her that the plushie she held was the first step in helping. I showed her how much she had calmed down just by holding it and petting it. I showed her a weapon to fight with.

And I gave her my talisman.

The room stopped. Many there knew my symbol of stuffed therapy. Some knew it was my first plushie in this adventure. They knew it was my mini Fluttershy, and how special it was to me. Tears started to flow from my friends who were still in shock.

This wonderful person who clutched at the plushie started crying and hugged me tight. She thanked me over and over. She took a step back and looked at Fluttershy again. As she looked, I explained that that was my first plushie. I told her that I had it when I first went to the doctor. She look on in shock as I explained how much love and help that mini had given me. Shock then spread to the rest of the room as everyone saw me tell her that I wanted this dear girl, who was suffering, that I wanted her to take care of Fluttershy.

She broke down crying and hugged me again even tighter.

I said a quiet goodbye to one of my dearest friend who brought me so much strength and love. I passed her on to the next person to take care of her. I strengthen someone else to help them through life. I started to cry myself.

Everyone started to cry.

I am tearing up thinking about it now. I wonder how she is doing? I wonder how her mini Fluttershy is doing? I wonder if I helped enough?

I believe I did.

Goodbye once more, my dear friend. May you bring happiness and peace and love and joy to another as you did me. You were there for countless panic attacks. You were with me at my first doctors visit. You were there in the hospital when I was sick. You were there in the lowest times of my life. May you do well and do the same for her.

#hugapony my friends.

Post A-kon Report

I had a time. It was grand and terrifying. I worked longer and hard than at any other convention I had ever attended. I worked with some of the most amazing people. I cannot thank them enough.

I had a chance to be a part of two fantastic panels. I plan on sharing my thoughts on those in my next post. There was so much fun to be had and many a tear shed in one.

I even gave away something very dear to me.

I am trying to recuperate and get rest while getting ready to move again. I want to thank all of you who read this and follow me on this journey. I checked my twitter and I had over 95,000 impressions in 28 days with a one day of 33,000 impressions as a top day for me. I am humbled beyond reason.

Thank you and love to you all.

The quickest of post

I am packing as I write this. I had a few quick updates to share with y’all (i am from the south, it’s how we talk).

1. A-kon.

I will be at A-kon for the next week. If you see me out there, please introduce yourself and say hey. I will be working some of the time and I have 2 panels that you are asked to see me if you would be so inclined.

2. Themighty.com

I have be published a SECOND time on their fabulous website and I could not be prouder. I am so happy to be able to reach out and help others. I am truely honored and touched by kind words on all sides. Thank you all. Link is below.

http://themighty.com/2016/05/stealing-joy-leaving-comfort-zone-to-treat-anxiety-and-depression/

3. In the midst of all the madness, I am moving right after this convention, so there may be a lapse in post due to life, the universe, and everything. I will be doing short A-kon posts for the next week. Soak up all of me that you can.

#hugapony my friends.

A-kon panels!!!

I will be at not just one but 2 (!) A-kon panels this year. I invite anyone coming out to see me at either one!!

image

Two men walk into a bar presents:
Middle of nowhere!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1735882090025164/

This is a panel with my friends Nick and Ronin (with guests) and we talk everything from My Little Pony to video games and everything in-between. We have combined years of social media experience and helpful tips from running blogs to promoting music and more!!

Then my second panel.

Check out Non-Visible, Otaku with non-visible disabilities at A-Kon 27.

“Making friends in the con community can be hard, but doing so with non-visible disabilities is harder. Being nerdy can be hard when you don’t fit in in your own community.

Come to this panel to learn ways and tips to help make friends, not seem too overbearing, help in anxiety and panic attacks, and anger management tips.”

I AM SO EXCITED!!

I hope to see anyone out there. If are able to make it, stop by and see me!! I would love to say hi and share a moment.

See you at A-Kon 27!!

For more info http://www.a-kon.com

Gone baby gone.

I have been so sick I don’t remember the last 2 days. I have been trying to sleep but a fever has kept me in the mid state of sleep/not sleeping. Not my favorite way of enjoying myself.

I did want to share that I have been hired by a subcontractor company for Google as a website reviewer. I passed all the testing and I can’t be more happy.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I am going to go eat for the first time in forever.