Dear Diary

February 15, 2012

Going out, staying in, and crushing so hard. Plus: Ruby’s secret obsession revealed!

Naomi

For so long I’ve been living with this thing. This thing that was casually described as “Naomi finds it hard to go out.” I don’t know why this was the case. I don’t know why it kept getting worse, or why it started to get better. Or how this thing has hindered me, and in some ways helped me.

What it felt like was this: my mind and body were weighed down, and every molecule of me was screaming at me not to go places, not to leave my comfort zone. Something that I couldn’t see or describe was blocking me, 24/7, from the outside world. Eventually I started to call it an “invisible wall.” Once I identified it as such, it had a shape in my head, and I could smash through it.

It was hard for me to do things that I was not comfortable with. That’s the definition of comfort, isn’t it? Things that are not hard to do. Thinking about going to school, or even just riding in a car, started to give me panic attacks. Then I started being anxious about the panic attacks themselves—a vicious cycle that could only be avoided by not considering leaving home in the first place. So I stopped considering it.

The less you do anything, the harder it gets to do. Ultimately, it was easier to stop fighting my urge to stay home all the time. But then, one day, that began to change.

Last year was the unhappiest period of my life. It’s when I really saw clearly all of my limitations, how deep the hole was that I had dug myself into. But I was so tired. Too tired and lacking in motivation to do anything to change my situation. I gave up before I really did anything at all.

So I regrouped, and decided that instead of trying to act differently, I would first focus on feeling better. I had been so sad for so long, and nothing was fun—I worked on alleviating my depression before I worked on leaving the house. Then when I did leave, I didn’t try to go far. I took small walks right near the vicarage where we live, then I started going to the nearby library, and those things felt good, and safe, and I stuck with those for a long time before venturing farther.

In some ways agoraphobia is just another destructive habit, like smoking, or cutting, or procrastinating. You know you are not helping yourself by staying home again, but you do it anyway. You know that you are making everything harder for yourself, but that doesn’t matter, because right now you are choosing instant gratification, where the anxiety decreases and you think that makes it the right decision. And that is what is important. You are blinded to most other things.

I don’t think I am blinded anymore. I think I actually want to go places. I don’t want to miss out any longer. I don’t want to hate myself every time I realize I can’t go somewhere. I don’t want to let the people I love down anymore. I think there is only so long you can live with something like that. It’s a continuing thing, though, with no clear beginning or end. ♦

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34 Comments

  • queserasera February 15th, 2012 7:26 PM

    dylan- your life seems to be full of drama and excitement! (hope that didn’t sound sarcastic) you live in seattle too! luckyyy

    ruby- i used to be hp obsessed too! but it was more of a family thing, we watched all eight movies in theaters (the first one, we watched it in korea!) now that it’s over, it’s a bit sad. like an unique family tradition over forever ):

    http://mercurialmanic.blogspot.com/

    • bunny2015 February 15th, 2012 9:31 PM

      I live in Seattle, how is this lucky? I feel like there’s nothing to do, I get so bored all of the time. What do you think is so great about it?

      • cherrycola27 February 15th, 2012 11:10 PM

        This kind of reminds me of a quote from Midnight in Paris, when they’re talking about going back further to the “Golden Age”.
        “That’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying.”
        I love Seattle, and I plan on moving there after I graduate. There’s tons of stuff to do! Plus it’s just way better than where I live, with horrible weather and absolutely nothing worth staying for. But you don’t like it there because it’s probably all you’ve ever known, right? I just think it’s interesting. Nobody can ever be completely satisfied with what they have.
        Not saying anything bad! Just saying.

      • Dylan February 16th, 2012 12:02 AM

        There’s so many beautiful things about Seattle, I owe so much to the fact that I grew up in a place I think of as pretty amazing. If you want any suggestions on navigating Seattle I have many, many, you can ask me on my Tumblr! I LOVE talking about that city, it’s a #1 hobby.

        dylanrupertdesign.tumblr.com

      • cherrycola27 February 16th, 2012 12:50 AM

        Thanks, Dylan! (I can’t reply to your comment, so I’m just replying here). My brother lives there now and I love hearing about all the fun stuff he does. Like sledding in the streets! Haha. I can’t wait to go back this summer, and hopefully move there soonish. :)

      • cherrycola27 February 16th, 2012 12:50 AM

        Oh, I’m an idiot, that was me replying to your comment. I’m so tired!

  • Chloe Elizabeth February 15th, 2012 7:40 PM

    I’ve never got into Harry Potter, mostly because I have a tendency to get obsessed, especially with book series, and I’m afraid of what might happen if I do!

    http://www.othersuchshenanigans.blogspot.com/

  • Thepunkrocker February 15th, 2012 7:48 PM

    so how old are you, ruby? 15? Because I am still obsessed with harry potter. it’s ok.

    • Ruby B. February 15th, 2012 7:57 PM

      14. And yay for Potterheads!

  • Adrienne February 15th, 2012 7:50 PM

    Ruby. I’m so obsessed with HP!! My friends and I went to the double feature premiere of Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2 and we dresse up haha! Just wondering, do you have a Pottermore account?

    AND OMG A VERY POTTER MUSICAL IS LITERALLY THE BEST THING EVER. Favorite way to say red wines in a German accent? RED VINES. Portkey portkey portkey!

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

    • moonchild February 15th, 2012 8:03 PM

      Floo powder power! floo powder power!

      Less than… three? oh. it is a heart.

    • rhymeswithorange February 16th, 2012 9:50 PM

      I’ve been accepted to Pigfarts!
      and- REDVINES!!!

  • MissKnowItAll February 15th, 2012 7:58 PM

    Dylan, I’m truly sorry about your disappointment with CB. Incidentally my very own crush boy disappointed me on valentines day. Our school has this thing where we can send roses to each other. I chatted him up for weeks, so that I could send him a rose without being creepy or stalkerish. He sent me a rose too… except on the note he wrote “Let’s just be friends”.
    Ruby, you lucky duck!
    I went to Universal studios the week before they unveiled the HP park. But I made up for it by going to see Daniel Radcliffe in “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” I nearly died of happiness when I saw Harry Potter singing and dancing!!

  • moonchild February 15th, 2012 8:01 PM

    HARRY FREAKEN POTTER FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD I AM SO POTTER OBBSESSED YOU WOULD NOT EVEN BELIEVE IT. I ALSO CRY ALL THE TIME BECAUSE OF HARRY POTTER… I HAVE SPENT MANY LONELY NIGHTS CRYING BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE THERE, WITH RON, HERMIONE, AND HARRY… BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IT WAS SO UNFAIR THAT I KNEW NEVILLE AND LUNA AND GINNY AND FRED AND GEORGE BUT THEY WOULD NEVER KNOW ME. I CRY EVERY TIME I HEAR HEDWIG’S THEME OR READ ANY OF THE BOOKS OR WATCH *shudder*ANY POTTER MONTAGES. TRUST ME. THOSE ARE HEARTBREAKING.

    OH HOLY GOD I AM SO WORKED UP RIGHT NOW. *calm. down. calm down.*

    okay.

    Pardon the capslock key. Harry potter has really changed my life. Especially when hard things were happening in my life, I knew I could always go back to Hogwarts

    *gotta get back to Hogwarts! Gotta get back to SCHOOOOOOOOL*

    ahem… and nothing would be any different. I knew that nothing had changed since I last visited. It has really been a best friend, a mother, a home.

    *end rant*

    Gwen
    http://under-a-bridge.blogspot.com/

    • moonchild February 15th, 2012 8:06 PM

      Oh and by the way, I got tickets for the last performance of HOW TO SUCCEED, and I got SICK.

      CRUEL WORLD.

      Also! Pottermore rocks! woo early access and staying up till two in the morning!

      • MissKnowItAll February 15th, 2012 9:23 PM

        The performance with Daniel Radcliffe was truly amazing. But who knows, maybe Darren Criss and Nick Jonas will live up to his standards. We can only hope…

    • TessAnnesley February 15th, 2012 8:46 PM

      I agree Gwen! I’ll be 18 this year and I’m a Potterhead forever!!!!

      also I just looked at your blog… Meadham Kirchhof bracelets… polka dots…

      YOU WIN AT EVERYTHING

    • Ellie February 16th, 2012 9:53 AM

      …let’s be friends. *nod*

  • I.ila February 15th, 2012 8:06 PM

    Yay for flutes!!!! We rule! I am the last or second to last seat in high school orchestra other than the piccolo player, but I am a freshman. And I play the second oboe part in one piece. But anyway. Flutes are awesome.

  • Abby February 15th, 2012 8:35 PM

    Ruby… Seriously, I am so sad that Harry Potter is over. It was literally my CHILDHOOD. The first book came out when I was two, and the last movie came out this school year, in which I’m a senior. Now I’m graduating from high school… and I won’t have any new stories anymore. :*(

    P.S.: I cried during like all of the books and the movies. When Dumbledore (SPOILER ALERT) died in the book, I literally threw the book across the room and started crying. No. Joke. It was bad haha.

  • funforever February 15th, 2012 8:35 PM

    Naomi, I’m really happy about your progress. I’m also going through a big transition period in my life after years and years of feeling horrible, some my fault but mostly not. For the last two years I’ve been slowly making positive changes and I feel better than ever and I wanted to give you some friendly advice, even though I’m still far from my ultimate goal of daily pure godly happiness:

    -Simply focusing on feeling better is the first, easiest, best step you can take! even if you do it at home where you feel safe. Easy things like making art or baking or simply drinking your favorite tea can help. If you can identify what really puts you in a good mood, and best of all makes you feel great about being YOU, then you’ve accomplished something. Doing these things will help make doing other stuff outside of your house easier, I promise. If you can associate feeling good with doing something..like watching a movie, then going out to a movie theatre won’t seem so scary eventually. And you should always remember to give yourself a pat on the back for doing something that makes you happy (even if you’re home) because you’re doing something really positive with your life :)

    -Getting better on your own can get tough. I’m really proud of all I’ve done for myself on my own, they were HUGE BIG scary things to do. But there came a point where I hit a wall. I began seeing a therapist because I just didn’t know how to get over this very specific hump which ended up being the root of all the other craziness I had going on. Everyone has their limits (this is the first thing my doc said to me that really hit home). It can be terrifying revealing everything to a stranger, but it’s also really freeing. I kind of expected this magic Ally McBeal bond with my therapist where she was going to give me all these crazy ideas to make me better. But in reality..going to see her is just as much work as anything else I’ve done. That being said..I’d like to encourage you to talk to someone, a counselor or therapist and see how it goes. It’s kind of awesome, it’s like talking to a less judge-y, nicer, clear headed version of your self.

    -Don’t beat yourself up. This is something I’m still working on. I can totally relate to feeling guilty about making yourself miss out on stuff (which in turn makes you hate your self which makes you not want to do anything..ever STUPID CYCLE!!). Just remember you are soooo awesome for WANTING to get better. and that’s enough to feel okay about everything. Even if I’m having a I’m-not-getting-out-of-bed-for-like-…ever-day I remind myself that it’s okay to be bummed or whatever I’m feeling because man I totally rock some days super hard and get out there and am CRAZY positive. And remembering that usually makes it easier to at least change outta my pjs.

    -This one’s a little unconventional but if you have the means ($$$) I highly recommend searching out a naturopath in your area. This was the best choice I ever made. A healthy body is a step closer to a healthy mind and life. I’m not one for regular western medicine (chemicals and yuck) so going the natural route seemed so..natural (ha). My life really changed. I found out all the imbalances in my body were a huge part of my the imbalance in mood and mind. For years I blamed myself for destructive behavior…but it wasn’t my fault!! Boy, was it freeing finally knowing that.

    I just wrote you an entire article. But I want you to know if you (or anyone here on rookie!) can write me and I’d be happy to share more. (saw.tooth@yahoo.com)

    You’re one an awesome journey…be proud and good luck.

    -LT

  • LittleMissE February 15th, 2012 10:21 PM

    *Does little dance* I found another Starkid! I love A Very Potter Musical ^_^

  • haleybe February 15th, 2012 10:36 PM

    you guys, you’re all so quaint! i love the way you write, i could only hopelessly wish to be as intriguing. and naomi especially, i appreciate you talking about your agoraphobia. it’s something i’ve been learning to cope with my entire short life, among other psychological setbacks, and in a sort of terrible but honest way, it’s nice to know i’m not the only one, you know? kuddos on your progress and thank you for sharing <3

  • Narita February 16th, 2012 12:50 AM

    Ruby!! I’ve had exactly the same when I was younger. There’s that show called Winx club, don’t know if you’re familiar with it but it’s pretty much like HP but the girls are fairies (and waaay too thin and fake and most of it, drawn.) and save their magical world about every episode. I collected the trading cards, games, DVD boxes, candy boxes etc. It was kinda weird and stopped somewhere in fifth grade in order to be replaced with my hannah montana (this is not a joke) obsession that lasted until seventh grade. After that, I finally grew some common sense.

  • SweetThangVintage February 16th, 2012 1:33 AM

    Dylan, I just love your writing so much.

  • norienoire February 16th, 2012 1:49 AM

    Pshh, Valentine’s Day… more like Anna Howard Shaw Day. :D

  • Dayzee February 16th, 2012 4:22 AM

    it’s odd seeing ron with an american accent…

  • marimba_girl February 16th, 2012 4:03 PM

    I also completly freaked out when I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter when I turned 11. It was sooooo awful I cried all day. My friend also freaked out when she didn’t get her letter, maybe it’s a band geek thing?

  • Moonshoes February 17th, 2012 2:03 AM

    A VERY POTTER MUSICAL. omfg I have been waiting for this moment ever since rookie has started. I love you ruby and we should hang out sometime :)

    “when I see her I get these pains in my chect and i know it’s her fault that BITCH”

    “that is a BOSS Zefron poster! ”

    Squirt!
    REDVINES

    OH MY GOD I’M SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW

    • Meara.L.Lovegood February 28th, 2012 11:40 PM

      I agree. I (sadly) only just discovered rookie, though I knew about style rookie before… but now it seems that my two favourite things right now have magically collided! ITS GONNA BE TOTALLY AWESOME!

  • Hedwig February 18th, 2012 3:09 PM

    Since potter has ended I try to channel this quote to stop me from thinking about it too much: “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

    ahaha so unhealthily healthy

    • Meara.L.Lovegood February 28th, 2012 11:17 PM

      Oh my goodness this is totally going to be my new mantra whenever i’m sad.
      Thankyou very much!

  • Tourdivoire February 21st, 2012 6:39 AM

    Ruby- I’m the same age as Harry Potter, my father gave me the first book when I turned 11, which was just as magical as getting a letter from Hogwarts… I’m so happy I’ve had those great books and films to grow up with and obsess about, but also to know that they’re fictionnal: possibilities are endless.

  • Meara.L.Lovegood February 28th, 2012 11:13 PM

    Luna Lovegood is my idol. Forever and ever. And I’m going to create a photo album one day of all my Harry Potter/ A Very Potter Musical quotes and pictures scribbled on margins and backs of school worksheets!
    <3