The Blues. (Depression Awareness)

Mental Health is real, and depression is a bitch. Mental health/illness looks different for everyone from anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance-abuse disorders, etc.

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with my mental health. I’ve experienced both severe anxiety and depression. There were days when I thought the world would be a better place without me in it. Some days I can’t get out of bed, some days I sit in a dark room and cry and then they’re days when I’ll play sims for 20 hours. Though I have these episodes far less than I used to, I’m never able to prepare myself for the darkness depression brings.

Depression affects me in ways that I can’t explain. Honestly, I feel like my anxiety and depression join forces to kick my ass and break me down mentally and emotionally. I can start my week off in the highest spirit and by Tuesday afternoon I’m questioning my worth, my looks and if people actually like me. It’s crazy how broken I become. I question everything. I trust nothing, so then I escape the “real world” and run to my safe place, my room and stay there until I’m healthier.

I suffer from seasonal depression; Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. For some, they might just become “moody” but I am EXTREMELY moody. A few friends know that I’m a crier and sometimes I cry for no reason. I just feel the urge to cry. ALL THE TIME!

When I’m shacked up in my room, I evade all of my responsibilities and friends/family. I especially ignore everyone because I feel no one loves me and there have been a few times when I thought my closest friends hated me. Feeling like shit sucks!

I wrote this the other night, but I didn’t finish because it overwhelmed me with gloom. 

“Is it just me?

IS ANYONE IN THIS WEIRD SPACE? Didn’t retrograde end last week or not?

I returned home this past Monday from New York and ever since I’ve been in a slump. But I’m not sure why. Initially, I became upset because I missed so much of my work over the weekend. Irresponsibly, I missed classes and two midterms because of getting my days mixed up. I came back home with the mindset of getting my shit together so I could be able to move to NYC, but fucked-up-ably, I messed up my life. I now have 3 C’s out of my 5 classes. OMG! If I don’t change that I’m kicked out, then what?? I can’t afford an L that big, but I have to do better. I just can’t shake this feeling that has come over me. I don’t want to work out, talk to people and do any of my assignments that are due.

To make matters worse, I’m eating the most unhealthy foods and I feel like I’ve gained 1000 pounds. So not only do I feel like shit, I look like shit, too. What are we going to do, Tarrion?”

I decided not to finish because I didn’t feel like acknowledging my honest feelings. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I’m not okay and that I feel like my life was falling apart. Since returning to New Orleans, I’ve been unhappy and sad. Honestly, I’ve had to MAKE myself, get up and do things that I really don’t feel like doing. After settling, I had to take adderall just to complete my work, and well to begin my work. I have limited my communication during this time and I’ve kept my phone on DND.

I’ve spent a lot of this time staying to myself, cuddling with Mel (my cat) when he feels like it. These past few mornings, I’ve tried to shake this darkness, but I just can’t. Every day, I have to put this face on and act as if I’m okay. I thought I was doing a decent job until my boss asked if I was okay and said I looked as if I wanted to cry. I did. Truly, I wanted to cry at that moment. It honestly made me feel worse because I felt exposed, when I was trying to my damn best to hide how I felt.

Acting okay makes me feel even worse because it requires so much energy. I haven’t been to the gym; I haven’t gone for a run or really done anything since being in this funk. Most of the time, I just want to lie in bed and cry. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to just cry and be sad all day. To put myself in a position to get up and leave my house, I have to start my morning with a prayer to God and the Ancestors, open my blinds and let the sun in, then recite/ repeat my morning mantras.

I just wanted to share a bit of myself with you all. You never know what someone is going through, no matter what they show or post on social media. Be kind to yourself, be patient and love yourself. If you’re able to seek therapy, please do. I see my therapist regularly and I damn sure can’t wait to see him this Friday.

October is “Depression Awareness Month” if you or anyone need access to resources visit, https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.       

— With love,

Perplexxed <3.

“Acceptance”?

What is this acceptance thing that straight people throw out? What is there to accept with MY sexuality?

I really wish that my sexuality wasn’t something to be discussed. Straight people don’t have to sit down and explain why they’re straight, so why do I need to explain why I’m gay? Why is it a concerning factor in your life? It’s also the sense of agency that straight people think they have over gay people. Who and why do you think you’re important enough to explain anything to; who are you to judge?

Recently, I had an argument with a family member after he asked someone if I wanted to be a girl or wanted to be Trans. This question confusing because WHAT? I am a man. My pronouns are he/him. I dress like a man. I’m just a man that likes men. It’s because I “wear” nails (I get manicures regularly, not fake nails) and I get lash extensions. I guess that’s the starter pack for transitioning?

Not only was I offended, this assumption hurt me because this is someone that I am close with, someone that I confide in and trust. But, there have been sly comments/ homophobic comments and questions like these in the past that I’ve let slide. This time it’s different for me. I’ve been out for years and that’s not changing. Me getting manicures and lash extensions isn’t signaling a transition.

I’m not sure if people are aware of how hurtful, hateful and mean they’re being when they say things. This family member just so happened to my older sibling. What makes it more upsetting is that they’ll be people who will hate or not like me because of my sexuality. I don’t need it from someone so close to me. Although, I don’t experience homophobia regularly, it’s something that I have many times before.

When confronting my sibling, I got hit with the “being gay is a choice” argument. Also, I can’t forget the “I don’t like it” and “I don’t have to accept it” shots. These comments had me perplexed by the passion behind those arguments because I’m still trying to figure out why these things are so important to you. No matter how much you don’t like it, nothing will change, but what will change is how I view you and your access to me and my life.

I was then told by someone else that I need to “teach him and educate him on what my gay is”. Not only is that disgusting, it’s oppressive as fuck! Why am I responsible for teaching and/or educating someone that’s almost 30 when Google exists? That’s NOT my job. What they should have taught him was to love and respect others, and that should’ve been by his parents. Me teaching someone to accept or understand my sexuality is the equivalent of me explaining myself to a white person so that they’ll accept me. It’s a hard NO. I’m not responsible for others, but I am responsible for myself and my peace. I’ve come a long way with loving myself and building confidence, and I’d be damned if I let things like this happen in my life today.

Why do straight people always think we owe them an explanation of why we’re gay? Why are they so eager to dehumanize gay/queer people by demanding that we explain our existence and our “reasons” why we’re gay. They’re people who I’ve met one year ago or 3 weeks ago that treat me with respect. In reality, no straight person secure with themselves cares about another man’s sexuality. So why are you so invested in mine?

Earlier this year, I released “Pride of Myself” in June and I talked about how far I’ve come with my sexuality and confidence. I shared my struggles, how I felt in the past, and how that affected my personal relationships with people. These days I’m super serious about protecting my peace. I’ve lived in a shell far too long for me to allow anyone to put me down. I’m not out here selling drugs, shooting people or having kids (out of wedlock), but I’m being hated on because I like a little dick, chile.

Until next time & with love <3,

–Perplexxed.

Good Days.

I think I’ve sung SZA’s “Normal Girl,” “This time next year, I’ll be living so good..” into existence.

My life has done a complete 180 within the past year. I’m happy, healthy, paid, vaccinated and blessed. Last year was a struggle. My mental health and health were awful. Acclimating to pandemic life wasn’t very easy for me. Sure, getting those unemployment checks weekly was great, but other than that, I was going through the motions.

Recently, I quit my day job that was like my current career path and few months ago I dropped out of one graduate program to pursue a completely different one. I told my friends about quitting my day job, but I struggled with sharing switching career paths with friends and family. I felt like I would look like a failure in their eyes, but inside I knew I made the best decision for myself and my mental health. Still, I was too ashamed to tell everyone, but maybe 10 people. I questioned myself daily, debating on if I made the right decision or the easier decision.

What this pandemic has given me was TIME. When the world stopped, I felt like I could pause and breathe. Before then, my days were the same.. school, work, school, work and so on. I never gave myself the time that I needed to “relax, relate and release” my favorite quote from my favorite tv show, “A Different World”. During the pandemic, I didn’t see or talk to my therapist as frequently. I felt depressed for a good part of quarantine, like many others. After a while, I dug myself out of the dark slump that I was in. Thankfully, I started my blog right before the world shutting down; finally I could sit, write and share my feelings, thoughts and life with the world. I healed myself from heartbreak through writing and sharing on my blog. I ran every single day of the second half of quarantine, skateboarded and picked up new hobbies while at home.

While bettering my mental, I was also growing my savings and had the income to buy just about anything I wanted (spending responsibly). I felt like I was moving into a better space in every capacity during these times. I got to learn new things about myself and learn how to cook lol. Gratefully, I also built a safe space, my blog, where I’ve made amazing friends and met so many beautiful people.

On to the better part.

A year into my new graduate program, I’m at the top of my class. I have received hefty scholarships and a few nominations. Through my work, I’ve met the best mentors and peers and access to life-changing opportunities. I could not be happier to study something that is a passion of mine and something that will always be something I find interest in, through a change in society, evolution and human development/behavior. Though I do plan on resuming my former program, I am so blessed to be where I am now. Fear was the reason for not pursuing this program initially. But you know… fuck fear!

Before quitting my day job, I picked up a part-time job as a server at a Black- WOMEN -owned restaurant. What was initially passive income and something small has become something greater. After being there for a bit, I fell in love with the environment, co-workers, customers and the BEST managers. Things at my job started going downhill for me and I quit. I was nervous at first, of course, because I was leaving a guaranteed check for a job in the service industry. (Business can be great one week and the opposite the next week). Not only was I nervous, I felt less than. This is just me, but I’m 25 and it’s not like I WANT to be a server but I just want to focus on school and this is a low stress job with flexibility. I had a bit of a fight, internally, trying to be okay with my decision to leave my job and become a server.

Anywho, two weeks in and I fell in love with this job. My second week working, I made what I would make in two weeks in less than a week in tips. I felt like a drug dealer with all the cash I had. Truly, I love everything about my job. I have/had a few insecurities and sometimes I lack in confidence. My customers built me up. I’m not being shallow or boastful, but I have never received so many compliments in my life. Everyone telling me I was beautiful, etc, really did things to and for me lol. It was strange at first, but over time I believed them and it really built my confidence. Honestly, this job has built me up. Even in the beginning, everything felt so right.

After being there for about a month, they gave me a promotion and a raise. Two weeks after that, I received another. I went from server, to lead server/shift leader, to becoming a manager. I have never felt so appreciated in my life. No job has ever shown me this much love or value. I think the best part is I get to be myself and I have been myself and people like me for me. I’m usually nervous going into new spaces and/or jobs because I never know how I’ll be received as a gay man. You never know how others may treat you (I’m no bitch) but it can be very uncomfortable and upsetting because it’s unnecessary. I’ve had a few problems before with people being put off simply because I was gay. But not with them or anyone at my job.

I appreciate my managers and the effect they’ve had on me and my life during the short time I’ve been there. This job has also played a part in the betterment of my well-being, confidence and pockets. For the last few months, I’ve felt like I’ve been ascending. My life has shifted. I thank the ancestors and God for guiding, loving, pushing me. These days I feel like I’m becoming who I need to be and also who want to be. Finally, I feel like I’ve found my voice, my footing and my light.

I wanted to update you all. Forever grateful for each and everyone of you and your support means the world.

Until next time & with love <3,

–Perplexxed.

Pride of Myself

If you see me today, you’ll see me with lash extensions, a designer bag, painted nails, and short shorts. Shit, I might even have on tinted face oil, concealer and foundation on if I feel like it. A couple years ago I wouldn’t be wearing what I wear now.

Growing up, I wasn’t always sure if I was gay or not but everyone and their damn granny knew ( :/ ). I honestly didn’t even know what homosexuality was, but I knew it was “wrong” so I tried my best to make sure that I wasn’t because I didn’t want to go to hell. Who the hell wants to burn in hell for eternity? Not I.

I’m the fourth out of five children and one out of four boys. So imagine that. As far as I could remember, my older brother always called me/ said I was gay. Before I even learned how to spell and write my name legibly, I was gay. In the beginning, I was so confused by it. I felt like before I even got to figure out who I was I was already being labeled with this HUGE word. I remember sitting in the back of the car, whining and moving my hips to Beyoncé on the radio, hoping no one could feel or see that I was moving. Did I think that was gay then? No. I was a dancer then, and heavily involved in the arts.

As I continued to grow and rise from elementary to middle and then high school, I felt confused. I wasn’t sure if I was gay or if I was scared to be gay. It was sickening. I felt like I was in this shell or all alone in my world. I was too afraid to talk about it or tell anyone, just to save myself from judgment and/or losing my friends. Who wants to be the gay kid at school? Popular or not, people are ignorant and kids are mean. I was also afraid of being outed to everyone without even being sure of myself. It was tough and incredibly dark.

I didn’t do any exploring in middle school, let alone high school. High school started off pretty terrible because my brother, who had just graduated high school the year I started, told his friends that I was gay. His friends told their friends and their friends told their friends and on my first day of school I was “Tori’s gay little brother” and not just Tarrion. Imagine that. Once, I think I probably tried to talk to a guy my junior or senior year. I couldn’t go through with it because it was verrrry weird. I’m not sure if I liked it or disliked it. Nothing happened we just texted and talked on the phone and shortly after people at school knew. While, I was already being called gay for just simply being me now people are going to know. I wasn’t happy about any of this. I just thought that it was insanely unfair for me to not have the chance to figure me out, privately.

I graduate high school and now I feel like I now have the room to explore without everyone in my business. And that’s exactly what I do. Finally, I now have the space and opportunity to figure things out. I download the apps (I’m not listing them because ya’ll know them) and I met new people. I’m going to give myself the chance to meet people and see if this is what I like. Now, I’m meeting guys and mind you, I ran into a lot of familiar faces. Boys from high school, my brother’s friends and people that made fun of me. I learn about the different gays, the masc, fems, tops and bottoms. I was so lost in these labels and titles and couldn’t understand any of it.

I test the waters and begin dating around, privately. I was nervous about a lot of things and during this time I was a virgin. Sex was not something that I was interested in and it had nothing to do with the people. I just didn’t want to have sex with anyone. There were some scary moments where I’ve had to fight people off of me and/or run away. There were things I wanted to share with my mom, but it scared me to come out to her.

I move to New Orleans and transferred schools to finish undergrad. I’m finally free. Now, I’m in a place where no one knows me or anyone that I know. This is my chance to introduce myself as the Tarrion that I want to be. I wasn’t nervous or too scared to be gay because I didn’t know anyone and if they didn’t like it, oh well. And it didn’t matter because this is who I am. I instantly make great friends I find my tribe at my school and at my best friend’s school. I explored and openly dated around and I met so many people. Some good, many not worth mentioning. I now felt like I could be ME!

Ironically, shortly after moving, I dated someone. This was the first person I actually gave a chance and eventually who I had sex with. This is the start of a very toxic relationship, but it’s a part of my journey and story. I began learning about the dynamics of gay relationships, roles and positions. In the beginning, it was a whirlwind. I was 21, but I felt so childish and uneducated because of my lack of experience. Later, after that relationship tore me apart, I finally came out to my mom. I felt like I had no one to talk to or no one that could tell me what I needed to hear, but I knew my mom did. I needed my mom. There were many days where I cried and was so sad because I felt like I couldn’t tell her because she wouldn’t be accepting. Eventually, I was left with no choice and during a visit back home to Houston; I told my mom that I was gay the night before returning to New Orleans.

It was extremely hard for me but so relieving to tell my mom. I hated when I couldn’t confide in her or receive her advice. The moment that I told her was intense. I remember it like it was yesterday, but I also felt this weight lift off of me. I felt free. Anyone that knows me knows my mom is my best friend and I couldn’t even be honest with my best friend out of fear. No more. Eventually, I came out to my mom, and I told her everything that I was going through. I didn’t know what I expected, or that I had expectations for our conversation. I was just glad that I finally told her. Sure, many others knew, but my mom is who I wanted to talk to and share things with. I was just afraid of facing rejection.

I tell everyone all the time that I didn’t start living until I was 21. This is when I chose myself and my happiness over what others thought. Back then I wasn’t wearing bags or doing anything that I am now, but that was when I explored my sexuality. For so long I was so afraid of being gay out loud. I didn’t want to face judgment or scrutiny. I didn’t have fun like I wanted to; I didn’t dress how I wanted to and I never really tried anything that I really wanted to try. Truthfully, I was just so scared of what people had to say. During that time I was so jealous of those who had the courage to be themselves unapologetically. Honestly, I was also a big hater because I wanted to be just like them.

At 25, I’m PROUD to say that I am extremely happy and comfortable with myself and I no longer care what anyone says or what face someone makes when they see me and my friends out. And maybe people are right and I know that I’m that bitch because, yes, I am. It took way too long to become who I am, so sure, they’re right. I love that everyone else knows it too. Sure, I’m confident, but I can always be more confident and more secure with myself. It’s difficult, people are cruel and just evil. I see so many trans women and young gay boys killed by their family and by random men in the streets.

I am super blessed to have amazing friends. These people gave me the strength, courage and the space to freely be myself. Their love and support is everything I need to love myself. I am happy, grateful and healthy. I wanted to share a bit of my story with you all in honor of Pride month. Obviously, I know that there are many people who are still struggling and I understand. Find your people, find your tribe and create the family that you wish you had, if need be. It’s so beautiful on the other side. Take your time but please, always choose yourself.

With Love & Pride,

–Perplexxed.

Ugh, Those Feels Again.

I didn’t plan on posting this, but after talking to my friends; I feel I need to. We often discuss heartbreak, but in my experience, we rarely share how to heal or how we’ve healed. Me personally, I know that I’ve been too proud to express how I feel; I was embarrassed and in disbelief. In all honesty, I thought I was above all the things that I went through and thought those things would NEVER happen to me.

It’s amazing how my friends and I can talk about guys, our relationships and heartbreak, but never really talk about how we get through things. I think we take it day-by-day and probably sweep it under the rug because of other pressing issues. My outlets are running, journaling, playing sims, venting to my mom/ friends, and sometimes cooking and cleaning. None of those are effective. Ultimately, those activities help me bypass time and take my mind off of my feelings but haven’t helped me get over it.

I’m going to start over and start by being honest about how I truly feel and not let pride stop me from seeking the peace that I deserve. After talking about it so much, I realized how many people have been through the same things. I think it’s crazy how similar people’s stories are. So, I’m sharing this with you all.

Just took a break from studying to write this because I had this heavy feeling. I’m heartbroken, I’ve shared this with my friends, mom and with you all (to an extent). I’m hurt and I’m hurting. My heart hurts, my head hurts, and my eyes hurt from being so dry because I’ve run out of tears to cry. It sucks and no matter what I DO, I can’t shake this feeling. How do I heal?

I’ve journaled, gone to therapy, I run and I play sims just about every day to escape my world. Nothing works. I forgave him, and I forgave myself for what I allowed. And I still feel the same. I cry all the time, I’m sad all the time and I’m in a depressive state all the time. I want to be okay; I want to be happy, but how?

I hate the tweet “Everything reminds me of him.” Because this is my life. Except mine is heartbreak. This ugly dark place that I’m taken when reminded of someone who is dead to me. I had a tarot card reading last week (someone I go to) and she said that I was healing from heartbreak. Something we talked about the last time I saw her. It’s disgusting feeling the way I feel inside and for her to know I feel. I rarely discuss my genuine feelings with people. I’m tired of talking about the same thing!!! It’s been years. Why am I not over it? Why am I not okay?? I deleted the last pictures of him a week ago and I also deleted videos I didn’t know I had :/. But, yeah, sometimes I cry or I’m just really sad when reminiscent. I just wish I could erase those times out of my mind and heart. I don’t want to be damaged or carrying baggage. That isn’t Tarrion.

This was someone that I thought cared about me, wholeheartedly.. Truly, I “thought”. I stayed, and I continued dating him after taking many breaks throughout the duration of our relationship. Fighting myself and my better judgement, knowing that it would not work. EVERY TIME it failed. Whether we were good for two days, two weeks, or two months — in the end the breakup was inevitable. But we’d really miss each other when we’d be apart for too long.

I would really battle with myself, debating on whether I would go back. And I had always hoped that he changed, I hope that he really realized what he had in front of him. I would’ve thought that he had learned after a while that I wouldn’t go anywhere. I would not leave him like everyone else has, and that I would not hurt him. I wanted to be there for him.. I wanted to love him.

I got a text from that person two weeks ago and I wanted to throw my phone. I was so upset and just started crying because why are you playing with me? What hurts the most, and the messed up part is this person gets to go on with their life and here I am stressed, depressed and crying. Why not just leave me alone? You didn’t want me when you had me! You broke me down, made my accomplishments feel like shit and just made me feel like I was this ugly person. It’s f*cked up and I want to be over it, but how?