So, About Last Year

I get it, 2016 was a shit show for a lot of people. The majority of the North American population was glad to see it go. We lost a lot of music legends, actors and personalities that many people had grown up with. It was also shitty for a lot of people personally. And obviously, Trump happened. For me on the other hand, things went pretty well.

The year started as usual. I hit the after Christmas slump that I’m used to. Once the lights come down and reality sets back in, I tend to get pretty blech (that’s a word, I promise). My birthday is early January so usually after that things go back to dull reality. Add to that the fact that I turned 30 and I was even more shook up. A 30-year-old living with mom…nice.

I had bought an electronic keyboard in hopes of learning to play. I found out shortly after that lessons are expensive as fuck. Luckily, the internet exists. I subscribed to a few teachers on YouTube and even bought a subscription to a midi based learning program. I had every intention of learning, I just never managed to find the time. The internet sucks as a teacher, there is too much other stuff to look at. I started to drift away from it. I didn’t have the motivation. I just wanted to be good, not to have actually work at it. I’m part of the instant pay off generation. I want it and I want it now.

Later in the year, I made a resolution that I would either learn to play piano or learn to drive before the year was over. I highly expected the one I would achieve would be learning piano. I didn’t have a car and I sure as hell didn’t think my anxiety would let me even attempt it. In May, I bought a car so it would be easier for mom to get to and from work, later that month I went for my learner’s license. In October I took my test to get my Novice license. I don’t think I have ever accomplished something so fast. My mind is still blown that learning to drive was what I accomplished. How insane is that?! This is something that I thought I would never be able to do because of money and anxiety.

I also managed to snag a promotion in 2016. I went from getting paid by the line to getting paid hourly. That made my income shoot up dramatically. I have never kept a job for more than about three months. I have kept this job for almost 2 years now. Insanity. More money leads to a car which leads to a license which leads to independence and spending way more money so now I don’t have money…What a circle.

I also jumped off the imaginary anxiety cliff and went to a concert. I wouldn’t have risked it for any band other than Twenty One Pilots. They were worth the risk. That led to more concerts, Awolnation, Alice Cooper, Rob Thomas and have USS coming up in February.

Of course I couldn’t have done a lot of this without my mother. She has been a constant throughout all of this. She is by my side when I need her and reassures me when I feel like everything is ending and horrific things are happening (when in reality, I’m lying in bed having a panic attack).

Having said all this, the end of the year was rough. I had all the usual stress of Christmas and family coming over but I also had the added stressors of a half ripped off eaves trough from all the snow we have received this year (which still hasn’t stopped) and Daisy’s vet bills skyrocketed in December. She had some issues with her paws and then more seizures and she is due for her vaccines and all sorts of things happen with her in December. Christmas snuck up on me. I was still wrapping the night before.

I finally feel like I’m starting to relax after all that mayhem. I have finally been able to just sit on the couch and veg out to crap TV. Daisy is back to herself, the eaves trough is back up, I have my license, I have my mom, I have my animals, I bought a new bed so no more shitty sleeps, I have managed to pull an incredible amount of bravery and confidence out of myself that I didn’t know was there.

To think that all of the changes I made this year started with a bored day on the couch listening to Spotify is insane. Here’s hoping for an even better 2017 (for all of us).

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Sold

The Blink 182 concert is tonight. It’s happening right now as a matter of fact. I’m sure that place is going insane with the opener…unless Blink have already taken the stage. I had tickets to the concert but after thinking about it, decided to sell them. I sold them for a few reasons.

Firstly, I was stressing out about it. Sure I was excited about it, but that is a huge venue for a band that I’m not absolutely in love with. I listened to their new album a while back and it had one or two good songs. Seems to not really be my type of music anymore. I do like some of their older stuff though. I’m sure they will be playing a ton of the old music as well as the new. Maybe if they were aisle seats I would have been more inclined to go. I had enough trouble at the Twenty One Pilots concert and that was a way smaller venue and I had sight of the exit the entire time. I have been trying a lot lately to face my anxieties and not let the fear stop me. By doing this, I have discovered that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for. If I at least try, chances are I can do it. This just wasn’t really worth the immense stress for me. It would have been really hard on my body to sit through that. Maybe next time they will be at an even smaller venue.

The second reason is that quite frankly we can use the money from the sold tickets more than we can use a Blink concert. Things are tight right now (they always are) and money is better than the stress it would cause, that’s for sure. I tried selling them for more than they were worth (only $20 more) but was nervous that they weren’t selling so I lowered them to cost. I won them so they really didn’t cost me anything. It’s money in my pocket (well, mom’s actually). Once I lowered the price, they sold pretty quick. Still waiting on the money to come through from StubHub though. But I know PayPal is extremely slow. Hopefully it will come in this week.

The third, and most important really, is that mom has come down with pneumonia. She is coughing constantly, can’t sleep in her bed because of coughing and has been sleeping in her chair in the living room so she can breathe better. I sure as hell can’t drag her to a punk concert in a huge venue with people everywhere when she has pneumonia and can barely walk around without coughing up a lung. I got sick after the Awolnation concert (of course) and she ended up with it. She got a bit better and then all of a sudden got smacked with pneumonia. She seems to be really struggling with it, plus her coughing all night is keeping me up all night too.

Even though I have what I think are legitimate reasons for selling the tickets, I still feel a bit of FOMO. I feel like I should be there regardless of anxiety and that it’s a failure in the fight against it if I don’t go, even though there are reasons other than anxiety. Just something I need to get figured out for myself I guess. The last time they came and I chickened out at the door, I was devastated and was convinced that I would never get another chance. They have come back twice since then, to smaller and smaller venues. Hopefully next time they come to the QE or something. I will most likely get another chance and if not, it’s okay. At least this time, it wasn’t only my anxiety stopping me. I am trying to hold on to that thought.

Acoustic?!

Last night was a bit of a dud. I went to see Rob Thomas at the Hard Rock Theater. I went to that same venue for Three Days Grace a few months ago and it was pretty awesome. I guess the venue itself was alright. But some strange things happened. Not to mention I waited in line at the bar for 20 minutes for a bottle of water. Slowest bartenders in existence. If I remember correctly, I had that same issue the last time I was there. Anyways, on to the concert.

As soon as I got there, I noticed a trend. A bunch of middle aged soccer moms out for a night on the town with that hunk Rob Thomas. I think I was probably the youngest person there, or at least one of the youngest. I got in line at the bar at about 7:45 and stayed there until after 8…so shitty.

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Not exactly a full house

The first thing I saw when I walked into the actual theater, was a woman sitting on the floor with paramedics surrounding her. I figured maybe she just had a bit too much to drink. Not used to the hard stuff or something. It was surprising though because the show hadn’t even started and there was already someone laid out. I moved on, took my spot along the wall and waited for the show to start while trying to remain relatively calm. Even though I have been to this venue before, it is very close to my house and it was the second time I have been to a concert alone, I was still a bit of a wreck. Fucking anxiety. After a few minutes, the woman on the floor was escorted out to a waiting ambulance.

Suprisingly, Rob didn’t have an opener. In the states he had the Counting Crows open for him. I think Daughtry even played with him once. Not at my show though. I guess no one wanted to come to Canada…or maybe they weren’t allowed….He was supposed to go on at 8 but ended up going on at about 8:15 ish..which is fine cause I was still in the line at the bar at 8. I was a little surprised to see him walk on the stage with just an acoustic guitar in hand. There was no drum kit on the stage. There was a grand piano and two other guitars. I talked to a friend that had gone to the concert in her city and she stated it wasn’t an acoustic event. The tickets certainly didn’t say acoustic. Not sure if I would have spent that much on the tickets had I known it was going to be acoustic….It was acoustic, or at least what I consider acoustic. I just said acoustic way to many times.

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Just a man and his guitar

About 15 or 20 minutes into the show another person hit the floor. He was helped out of the theater and placed on a stretcher, oxygen mask on, blood pressure cuff and all that. At this point I was a little confused. This person clearly wasn’t there with the lady that left earlier in an ambulance. This was an older audience but the show was far from rowdy. Everyone was kind of just standing there during the show, apart from the drunk assholes in front of me that were just idiots. At this point, I resigned to the fact that this was not going to be a rock show….not even a good pop show, more of an intimate MTV Unplugged type thing. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been chairs and tables to sit at, but this was a standing only event unless you were on the balcony. It was pretty lame.

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Does this look like a shitty prom to anyone else?

Another 20 or 30 minutes go by and yet another man is helped out by security. He walks to the lobby and this time I didn’t bother watching. Mostly because I had relocated to the center of the room to try to get away from the drunks. I had a nice fancy post to lean on and was just sitting there. I had a great view of Rob and the two guys he was playing with. One of the things that kind of bugged me about the concert was that he seemed to spend more time telling stories and attempting jokes than actually singing. When he sang 3 AM, he actually stopped mid song to talk..what the fuck. I don’t mind the little nuances between the songs, crowd talk to get people hyped and stuff, but this was overkill. After he played 3 AM, I left. When I went to the lobby to leave, the guy that had been helped out earlier was there getting ready to be loaded on to a stretcher. Three people down within the first hour of the show. No one left that place on a stretcher when I went to Three Days Grace and that concert had crowd surfing and mosh pits. Mom is convinced it was fentanyl laced coke..I’m not sure what it was. I left the show early, got a giant container of pasta salad and called it a night.

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Another one bites the dust

I was pretty disappointed by the show. I really wish they would have stated that it was an acoustic set. Not my kinda thing I guess. Now I have to decide whether I am going to sell the Blink 182 tickets or attempt going. Am I too old to go to a Blink 182 concert? I think it’s more for redemption than an actual love of the music…and I love money too. I guess I will have to ask mom as technically she won the tickets. Then after that, Alice Cooper at the QE and then this wild streak of concerts will be over. I still don’t know why I am doing this to myself.

It’s a Jailbreak

So I went to the AWOLNATION concert Friday night. I was pretty nervous about it for most of the day. I was trying to let the excitement override the nervousness but that didn’t work so well. I find that for the most part I suffer from anticipatory anxiety more than during the actual event. Of course that depends on what the event is. My fear in this case was based on the fact that it was in downtown Vancouver in an area I am not at all familiar with, in a club that I have never been to before, on a Friday night on a street that is pedestrian only during the weekend. Add to that the fact that someone was beat to death on that same street two nights before and I was pretty freaked. Mom drove me downtown and parked as close the venue as we could find. Downtown is not the most parking friendly, let alone on a friday night. We found a spot about two blocks from the venue, and only around two corners so it wasn’t too bad.

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The Commodore Ballroom is a gorgeous venue (aside from the sticky carpet)

Unlike the Twenty One Pilots concert, there was no line up to get in. That’s probably because we got there about an hour after the doors initially opened. I didn’t want to be there too early and get overwhelmed and have to leave before the show even started. The venue was a lot smaller than I had anticipated. I had done my research beforehand and from the pictures I saw and the square footage I found, I was expecting it to be quite a lot bigger. I’m glad it was smaller though, makes for a better show in my opinion. It wasn’t that packed either. The show was apparently a sell out but I’m not sure all 990 people showed up. Maybe it’s just roomy somehow. We got there in the middle of The Darcy’s set. With my trusty bottle of water in hand and a cup full of ice from the bartender, I was trembling as The Darcy’s finished their set.

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The Darcy’s

About 15 to 20 minute after The Darcy’s finished, AWOL finally took the stage. At this point the crowd started to get a little tighter as people moved closer to the stage. The good thing about being so tall is that you can stand behind a lot of people and still be able to see. I didn’t want to be in the pit or at the front of it. We kind of lurked in the back but I still had some people behind me. For some reason part of the floor was carpeted right by the bar, man that thing was sticky…so gross. Who puts carpet in a club like that? Especially right by the bar!

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He played all the hits of course. He mostly played songs from his new album but played some from the old one as well. I will say that the sound was pretty shitty. I don’t know if they had it too loud or what but you couldn’t really understand a word he said, good thing I knew the songs anyways. There was also quite a bit of feedback, feedback in a room that small with the volume that loud is horrific.

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I was surprisingly calm through the event. I stopped shaking after The Darcy’s finished their set. I was still weak in the knees and nervous and I still glanced over my shoulder to make sure the exit door didn’t move. I still had my water and my ice and my essential oil for aromatherapy. I don’t mind having to use those coping mechanisms because they allow me to do these things. We don’t hate on people that need glasses to read (at least most of the time). I’m just impressed that I was as calm as I was and rocked as hard as I did.

I will say that wearing brand new shoes was probably a bad idea. By the end of the night my feet were numb, my legs were exhausted from standing and dancing so much. I was pretty much deaf cause it was so loud in such a small room. But man it was fun. Before I did this I was wondering why I put myself through this stuff. Why do I stress myself out so much when staying at home is so much more relaxing. So much “safer”. Well after last night I remembered why I do it. It’s an incredible feeling going to a concert, singing, screaming and dancing with hundreds of other people. Just feeling the music and letting it take over all the fear you have built up. Music has become a sort of therapy for me and I can’t wait for my next session.

Next up: Rob Thomas.

Going AWOL

I have the AWOLNATION concert coming up this friday. It’s downtown. Me and mom took a drive down there to scout out the area. That always makes me feel a little better. Of course I was freaked out to find that you cannot drive on the road that it is on. It’s “pedestrian friendly” so only buses and taxis can go on it. That freaks me out because then I need to be able to actually function and walk to and from wherever the car is parked. I have this fear that I will just crumble into a ball of anxiety and not be able to move. I have terrifying visions of being huddled up on the corner of a downtown street with people walking by me and I am just stuck there with no way to get home. That’s always the underlying fear, not being able to get home.

I asked my cousin if she wants to come with me this time. I had the feeling that mom didn’t really want to go and I didn’t really want to go alone. It’s a venue I have never been to before and it’s in an area I’m not familiar with. My cousin is much cooler than me and is well versed in the downtown area and has been to the venue before so she knows the ropes better than I do. I am trying to take solice in the fact that she knows her way around there, she knows where the skytrains are and she knows the blocks and what they lead to. Again, I am just hoping I don’t crumple into a ball and she has to drag me or go find my mom to come and carry me. That being said, I tend to be a runner, not a collapser. So when I do get super freaked out, I just bolt from wherever I am, not necessarily collapse.

I thought of chickening out. I really did. But then I listened to some AWOL songs and remembered how awesome they are and that I would of course be super bummed to miss this one because of anxiety. I am trying to stop the fear from taking over my life again. I fought hard to get some sort of a life going again and I am not about to let it gain any ground on me again. As long as I can get to and from the car I should be okay. It will be dark in the venue and hopefully will be getting dark outside. It’s on a friday downtown which is going to be a nightmare in itself. I will manage. I always do.

Scared to Blink

On Friday, me and mom drove two hours to Abbotsford to pick up the Blink 182 tickets that they said could be picked up that day. When we got there, the box office was closed due to maintenance…Two hours wasted in the car, but at least gas was cheap out there! We took the highway home which shaved a lot of time off the drive but we had to take the toll bridge and we were ticketless. I wrote them on Facebook when we got home and asked them why they told me I could pick them up that day if they were closed for maintenance, which I assume was scheduled. They apologised and told me they could e-mail me the tickets on Monday. So Monday I got a hold of them and they e-mailed them to me with no issues. At least we were saved from taking another trip out to the boonies.

The tickets are pretty good. We are near the stage but on the opposite side of the building to the entrance doors. We are about 8 seats from the aisle on the one side which is stressful. With Twenty One Pilots I think I was 5 seats from the aisle and that was hard enough. I kept looking at the door to make sure it was still there. I have been stressing about this concert since we ordered the tickets. My last Blink experience was not very pleasant. I got there and was too scared to go through with it. I cried the entire way home. That concert was at a huge venue, about 60,000 people I think. This time it is at a smaller venue but it is still going to be 6500 people. Twenty One Pilots had 3000 but it was a smaller building.

My dilemma now is, do I keep the tickets, go there and risk freaking out and not going through with it, dealing with the heartbreak of failing again, wasting time driving out there, being let down by my own brain, wasting mom’s time because of course she has to come with me, or do I take the safe route and sell them. If I sell them, at least I got money for them right? The money would go to mom because she is the one that won the prize that we used to get the tickets. At least that way we get something from it. If I keep them and go and end up freaking out and leaving, we are left with nothing and I am just going to be miserable and left with that familiar feeling of failure but if I keep them and actually pull it off, it will be amazing. I will have conquered something that beat me down so many years ago. I will prove to myself that I am capable. Is it a risk worth taking?

I decided after some time thinking that I have to at least give myself the chance to succeed. I won’t know if I can do it unless I go and try to do it. If I fail, at least I have felt that feeling before and know what to expect. If I make it, it might be one of the biggest triumphs I have had so far in this lifelong battle against anxiety. I just have to try to remember that my mind is lying to me and try my best to not let it make my decisions for me. Like I said, I have to at least give myself the opportunity to succeed at this. Even if it is terrifying, I have to try. I might just amaze myself.

Redemption Song

A few years back, like maybe 5 or 6, I attempted to go to a Blink 182 concert. I bought tickets and asked my cousin to come with me. I was pretty excited but I had no idea what I was getting in to. My mom drove us to the arena the concert was being held at and about 10 minutes from the venue, I started losing it. Panic set in and I didn’t want to do it anymore. Before that attempt, I hadn’t been to a concert since 2000, and that was outdoors. This arena is huge and when I saw the lineup to get, in I couldn’t do it. I told my mom and my cousin I wasn’t going to go and luckily she had a friend she could call to meet her and they went together instead. I cried the entire way home. I remember that feeling very clearly, it wasn’t pleasant. I felt like a total failure. I pretty much grew up on Blink 182. I loved that band growing up and getting the chance to see them live was exciting. Unfortunately, anxiety won again. So after crying the entire way home and my mom doing her best to try to make me feel better, I think I just layed (lied?…I don’t fucking know) in bed and felt sorry for myself. The next couple of weeks sucked as I kept reliving the fact that anxiety ruined yet another thing that I wanted so badly. After a while, the burn of disappointment wore off and I moved on with my life.

Now, many years later, I get another chance. Mom won some tickets in a contest to a concert of her choice that Live Nation puts on. We looked at the options and the only one remotely interesting was Blink 182. They are playing a much smaller venue this time (I mean, it still has 6500 seats but that’s better than 50,000). She was gracious enough to use the tickets to get Blink tickets and agreed to take me. Another concert I will be attending with my mother, but if it gets me there, who cares? This one is about the same distance away as the Twenty One Pilots concert was, just in the other direction. I have done my research on this venue just like I did with the QE Theater for Twenty One Pilots. Google is a little less informative on the inner layout of the building but there are enough pictures of what a concert looks like in that building that I think I can manage. It’s pretty much just a hockey arena on a smaller scale.

I don’t really have my heart set on this as much as I did the last Blink concert. I think it’s because I already kind of lived the dream with the Twenty One Pilots concert. I also wish Tom was still in the band. It probably won’t be the same without him. I know nothing about the new guy. I kind of know what I’m in for now noise and atmosphere wise. I feel a little more prepared and if things don’t work out again this time, that’s okay too. I am trying to stop myself from putting too much pressure on myself. Failure means that I at least tried. Of course I hope I can do it and stay through the whole thing. I would hate to rent a car and drive all the way out there and ditch at the last minute. I have a few months to prepare for it anyways. It’s time for round two with anxiety…ring the bell bitches.

Vinyl

A few months ago, for some random reason, I decided I wanted to get into records. I think what spurred it was getting into Twenty One Pilots (yes, them again). I suddenly wanted everything they had which included two records, Blurryface and Vessel. Around that time I also won the newest Coldplay album on vinyl, so that helped.  I did some research and ended up buying a Crosley record player online. It had pretty good reviews and was a complete unit. It had built-in speakers and was basically a starter turntable. It got here the same day as my Coldplay album (which I was amazed to find was a double colored album). I plugged it in and threw on some Coldplay. Unfortunately, it sucked (the record player, not the album). Right out of the box the right speaker was crackling and cutting in and out. I was pretty bummed out and got mom to return it to the store I ordered online from. I went out a bit later and got a different one from Bed, Bath and Beyond of all places. It was an Innovative Technology turntable, which is the same brand as the tower speaker I have in the living room and that thing is awesome. The IT player had all the bells and whistles that I didn’t really need, bluetooth, speakers, played all three speeds and was able to be hooked up to external speakers. The speakers of that unit sucked too, they worked but they sucked. I bought some cheap computer speakers to hook it up to and that helped a bit.

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IT turntable playing Blurryface

I slowly started building my vinyl collection by buying albums from Amazon. Who knew they had vinyl? They actually have thousands of records, it’s pretty cool. I bought one from Urban Outfitters too. I can’t believe all the random places that sell records. I also found a record store about a 15 minute drive from me. They are a bit more expensive there but I don’t have to wait for shipping and I am extremely impatient, so that helps! Right now I have Vessel by Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots, A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay, Hozier (self titled), Blue Neighbourhood by Troye Sivan and 25 by Adele. I am trying to keep the collection to things I actually want to listen to regularly and avoid filler albums. Some of the artwork on albums is so cool though, I almost want to buy them just for that. Good thing they are so expensive so I can’t afford to buy whatever I want!

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My very small collection

Yesterday, I got a new record player. This one is an Audio Technica AT-LP60. It doesn’t have built-in speakers but it sounds a lot better. It is fully automatic so I don’t have to move the needle around. It’s belt driven (I had to hook up the belt myself, felt very technical). It only plays two speeds but that’s okay because I really only buy 33s. It looks so much better than my old one, you can actually tell it’s a record player. Now I just feel fancy as fuck. So I sold my old one today and made some quick cash from it.

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New record player – AT-LP60

I’m really excited to keep building my album collection and to just chill out with a record on.

A Week Later

I bet you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything since the concert. Or maybe you don’t exist and I’m just talking to myself, who knows. Either way, I am now and that’s the important thing! I am kind of torn about how to write this. On one side the concert was great and I had so much fun but on the other side it was terrifying. So, do I talk about the fun part or the terrifying part or both? Let’s do both.

We left here at about 5:30 and it took an hour or so to get down there. The first thing I noticed when we got there was the line. Holy shit was there ever a line. I was expecting a little line but not all 3000 people outside at once waiting to get in. Luckily we are Canadian and everyone was lined up all perfectly and being very cordial. So once we payed the parking fee we got in the line which was wrapped around the back of the theater. People must have gotten there hours before the doors opened. The doors opened at 6:30 and we got there at about that time. One thing that also kind of surprised me was the amount of kids there. I kind of knew it would be mostly teenage girls or high schoolers but there were actually a few kids that were probably even under 13. Mom wasn’t the oldest person there by a long shot. Lots of kids were there with their parents. We stood in line beside the tour buses for a few minutes before someone came along and told us to turn around and we would get in faster lol. So we turned around and started walking to the other side of the theater to get in. I was freaked out while waiting in line but surprisingly my knees were stable and I was doing okay.

Once we got to the door I lost all dexterity in my hands. My purse was searched and I was told to dump my water (which I was expecting). I squeezed out the lines of people to dump my water beside the door like many others before me had already done. Then I got to the ticket lady and suddenly my fingers stopped working. I was shaking and trying to unfold my paper ticket. Mom was already in the doors standing there waiting for me. I fumbled with the ticket for what felt like 5 minutes but was probably 30 seconds. Mom was about to help me when I finally got it. She scanned the ticket and I got in too. I was kind of in shock that the tickets actually worked. We got them from a third party site and with all the bad press they have had, I was pretty nervous that they might be duds. We were in!

The lobby was a fucking zoo. People everywhere. People were lining up to get into the doors because the actual theater itself wasn’t open yet, just the lobbies. We wiggled through the lines to get to the concession to get some water. I got two bottles and was told the lids would have to come off and stay off. I still don’t really understand that but oh well. I grabbed the bottles and we went up to the mezzanine level. The mezzanine level was much quieter. There was about 1/10th the amount of the people on that level than in the lobby on the main level. We went to the bathroom and I got a wet paper towel and dumped one of the bottles of water into my reusable bottle. After sitting in the lobby on the mezzanine level for half an hour or so the doors to the theater opened and we were allowed to take our seats. People slowly shuffled in and we were seated exactly where I thought we would be. The aisles were pretty small but I managed okay. For a while there was no one sitting beside me or mom so I thought we might get lucky. Shortly after we arrived a group of teenage guys sat behind us. They talked a lot about what would happen during the concert and I was kind of bummed that it was being ruined but luckily pretty much nothing they said actually happened.  Soon, mom had people sitting beside her and I had a lone guy sitting beside me. I was trying desperately to hold it together. I kept wiping my face with the paper towel and sipping water as the aisle filled and my escape route became more and more crowded. I kept looking back to make sure the exit door didn’t move and tried to keep my mind on who I was there to see.

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Before the show started. You can see the fear in my eyes lol

The opener started at 7:30 sharp, right on time. Man did he suck. If you ever get a chance to see Coleman Hell in concert, save your money. All his songs sounded the same (seriously I thought it was one long song) and he just kind of jumped around…he jumped off the stage and then couldn’t get back on, that was entertaining. Poor guy. After 30 minutes of that crap, the lights came up again and everyone started to disperse to the lobbies again and wander around. It seemed like everyone there knew everyone else. Like I said earlier, they probably all went to the same high school or something. They were always waving at friends sitting in different sections and yelling at each other from across the theater.  I got through the opener and now I just had to wait 30 minutes for them to set up for Twenty One Pilots and then hopefully I would be fear free and everything would be great.

Exactly 30 minutes later the lights dropped again, the lighted mic started descending from the ceiling and the crowd screamed louder than I have ever heard a crowd scream. Josh jumped on the drums and Tyler met the microphone on the podium and they started with heavydirtysoul. Suddenly I was out of my seat and screaming my head off to the music. I was overwhelmed, but I wasn’t terrified…not as much as I thought I would be anyways. Watching Tyler jump around the stage, fall to the ground dramatically when the base dropped and jump back up with the tambourine to hit it perfectly was amazing. Did I mention that I was in the same room as Josh Dun?! After I sang every fucking lyric to that song they moved on to Stressed Out. Mom rocked out to this one pretty hard too. The crowd was going crazy, the lights were amazing and there was an awesome set of TV screens behind the boys that totally added another level to the whole night. I sang my heart out and danced and screamed and basically did everything I wanted to do.

To be honest, the rest of the concert is kind of a blur. I remember little bits clearly, like the talk about Tim Horton’s and poutine, goner, car radio and some others. I remember the smoke cannons and the videos played on the screens behind the boys. The back flip was epic, Josh’s trumpet playing was awesome and Tyler killed the ukulele as expected.  Mom recorded pretty much the entire night and I’m glad she did because like I said, I don’t remember much. I don’t know if it’s blocked out because of anxiety or because I was in such euphoria that I was in another dimension altogether. I recorded video as well but when I got home and watched it, I discovered that it recorded me singing and I sing horribly so those videos are just for me! It was an hour and a half of pure, raw emotion and awesomeness. They finished with trees and the finale was epic. Josh and Tyler jumped up on the crowd for the second time and the drums were murdered while confetti cannons exploded and water splashed from the drums. I wanted to get confetti but forgot to before we left. The people that got to hold them up for that probably had a pretty epic experience. Hopefully next time I might be able to go into the pit and who knows, maybe I will get to hold Josh’s hand while he climbs on top of the crowd, a girl can dream. It was amazing, truly amazing.  I left years of anxiety in that room. Screamed out years of frustration and anger. I left feeling pretty raw emotionally and kind of in disbelief. I had just witnessed a Twenty One Pilots concert in person. Something just a few months ago I was convinced I would never be able to do because I have anxiety.

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After, pure sweaty heaven

The whole way out the door, to the car and on the way home I just remember swearing. I was so relaxed and just in shock that I was able to do that. I stuck it out and it was worth every second. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I had the time of my life (at least what I can remember of it). It was a lot to take in when you’re used to sitting on your couch every night watching TV. To go from that to a room full of 3000 screaming people with lights, smoke cannons, loud music and just general hecticness is pretty intense but I did it and I am so glad I did. I went to bed thinking of what else I could be capable of that I have no idea about because I simply don’t try. “I have anxiety” I tell myself, “you can’t do that because you have anxiety, so don’t even try”. I have to get out of that mindset if I ever want to live the life I want and deserve. One full of fun nights and experiences that I will remember for a lifetime.

Now on to why I haven’t written anything in a week. I woke up on Tuesday feeling okay. I was tired, but that was to be expected.  Me and mom went and got breakfast and I layed around all day recovering. I took a nap and watched all the videos that mom took (there were a lot). I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling like I got hit by a fucking airplane. I have been so sick this past week, I don’t remember the last time I was this sick. I didn’t want to move, my skin hurt, everything hurt. I was a fucking wreck. But, I am starting to feel better, I went to the doctor today finally and got some meds. Hopefully once I get fully better I will be able to be more and more excited about what I have done and what it means for me now. I can’t thank my mom enough for coming with me. She made it so easy for me and I know she had a blast too. I am ready for them to come back so I can rock out even more, maybe next time I will remember the whole show and won’t be so freaked out. Only time will tell I guess!

Here are some pics from the night:

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Seven Days

Remember my post about how much I love Twenty One Pilots? Well, I am lucky enough to be able to go to one of their concerts. Everything I have seen online from their shows looks amazing. The two of them are able to put on more of a show than a group of 5 (one direction, anyone?). Why is this a big deal you ask? Let me tell you.

When I first discovered them and started my obsession, I looked up everything I could online. I saw videos and pictures from their shows and saw the passion they played with night after night. The back flips, drumming on the crowd, standing on the crowd, climbing things that they shouldn’t be climbing, it just looks so bad ass. Of course I saw videos of other people going to their concerts and I thought I would never be able to do that. Surely someone with agoraphobia as bad as mine would never survive a concert like that in downtown Vancouver.  I went to a three days grace concert at the casino about 5 minutes from me and could barely stand I was so nervous. “I could never do that” I told myself over and over, feeling defeated once again by my own brain. The majority of me wanted to go so bad I would do anything but that one little corner in the back of my mind said “no, don’t do it, it’s too dangerous”.  I spent nights thinking about how awesome it would be if I was “normal” and could go to things like that. How amazing it must be for people to be able to go to events and not feel the weakness in their legs and the constant trembling of their entire body from the overwhelming fear. Fear of what? I don’t think I even know anymore. It is so ingrained.

One day I was daydreaming and wishing and hoping and decided for some reason to google Twenty One Pilots tickets. I found that even though they were sold out from the actual vendor (Ticketmaster), they were available from third-party sites like StubHub and Ticket Liquidator. They were double the price of the original tickets but I would spend almost anything to be able to see them. I casually mentioned it to my mom thinking she would brush it off, but she didn’t. She was open to it. Of course I would never be able to go without her. She is my safety net and the only one I trust to get me home from a night that far away from safety. She would have to drive me, I was willing to rent a car. If I remember correctly we talked about it for a day or so (I might be wrong I may have purchased instantly). She said she would go with me. I was just expecting her to drive me and maybe hang out downtown while I was at the show but she went further than that. She agreed to come with me to the concert. I went to three days grace alone and although it was good because I could leave when I wanted, it felt pretty lame at the same time. I was so excited I remember I could barely think. I was going to attempt to do something I thought I could never do (I say attempt here because it has not actually happened yet and I might fail miserably).  I bought two tickets for the show and I was reeling with excitement. I didn’t care how much the tickets cost or how much the rental car would cost. I wanted to go to Twenty One Pilots and I was NOT going to let fear or money stop me this time.

Flash forward to now, seven days until the concert. I will forget about it for a while and then all of a sudden it will flash into my mind and my stomach will flip about four times. I have the tickets on my fridge but there has been so much bad press lately about third-party sites selling fake tickets. I really hope these are real because if they aren’t, I think I will be heartbroken. This might be my only chance to see them in a smaller venue and not in an actual arena that seats 60,000 people. I bought the tickets not knowing what seats I would be in, only the row. I am lucky enough that I won’t have anyone in front of me because of the layout of the theater but I won’t be in the pit. I am actually raised up a few feet from the floor level so I should have a good view without being so far away that I’m on the balcony. I am terrified and excited. I decided this is not something that I am going to let anxiety ruin. I have ativan and I have even gone there as a test run to look at the location and check my routes and all that. I have done all the preparation I can to prepare myself for the new surroundings. Luckily, google street view lets you actually go inside the theater so I have seen what it looks like, where the bathrooms are, where the exits are, where my seats are in relation to all those things and have basically done as much as I can to ensure my success.  I am trying to not let fear take over and just feel pure excitement. If you have anxiety you know that excitement can quickly turn into the all too familiar feeling of sheer terror. I want it to be the best night of my life and I think it will be. I might be the only 30-year-old there with her mother but who the fuck cares. I do what I can in any way that I can. If that means altering who I go with or how I get there, it’s worth it because I still get to experience something I never thought would be possible.

I can’t wait to see these two.  Seven days.

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