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.

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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.

Concerts

I don’t know why I haven’t written anything in a month. Nothing to write about I guess. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it’s safe to say that the Twenty One Pilots concert got me hooked on live music. As stressful as it was, I had a blast. I now have four concerts coming up in three months. I’m going to Awolnation in August, Rob Thomas and Blink 182 in September and Alice Cooper in October (that one is mom’s choice). I realize that this is going to put a lot of stress on me in a short amount of time but I think I can handle it. As long as I don’t get sick for a month afterward like with Twenty One Pilots.

I just recently became obsessed with Awolnation. I knew he sang sail but I didn’t know I would like all of his music. After listening to his albums all the way through I got really into it. Lucky for me he is coming to Vancouver soon to a small venue. My cousin is coming with me to that one. It will be nice to go to a concert with someone other than my mom. Even though I will probably be twice as scared. Mom is going to drive me at least. I am hoping I can handle it. I have already sold out one of my cousins while trying to go to a Blink 182 concert. I don’t want to do that again. He should be awesome live.

Just recently it was announced that Rob Thomas (from Matchbox Twenty) is coming to the hard rock. That is just down the street from me so of course I have to attend. I used to love Matchbox Twenty. I don’t know any of his solo stuff but I hope he plays some of the songs from the old band. I guess I should listen to some of his new stuff…One thing that did piss me off about this concert is that the presale tickets were like 60 bucks. I didn’t buy presale because it included a 30 dollar subscription to the Rob Thomas fan club. So I waited until general sales happened. I was very shocked to see that the price for the same tickets (it’s general admission) jumped to 109 dollars overnight. I am still kicking myself for that! I hope it’s worth it.

I get another shot at a Blink 182 concert in September also. This is at a big venue, 6500 seats. It is still smaller than the last time I tried to attend their concert but it is still a huge venue. I have been able to look into the building on google and see the layout. Our seats are on the other side of the building from the doors which might be tricky for me. I guess all I can do is try. I like their new music but am kind of bummed that Tom isn’t there. I saw an article the other day where he said he left to investigate aliens. I wonder if he has found anything. I will have to wait and see what the new guy is like. Hopefully this is a success story and not a disaster like the last time. I won tickets for this so at least if I don’t make it, I didn’t pay for the tickets this time.

Alice Cooper is at the same venue as Twenty One Pilots. We have floor seats and aisle seats for that one. I won tickets from Live Nation for this as well and we used them to get Alice Cooper tickets because mom wants to see him. I just hope he doesn’t die on stage! Having said that, I hope no one in the audience dies either..I have a feeling a lot of old people will be there. I think I only know two or three of his songs? Should be an experience anyways.

I have a busy few months ahead of me. I hope I can enjoy them instead of freaking out. I am surprisingly calm about the concerts, except for Blink. That one is kind of freaking me out because I don’t know the actual details of it. I haven’t been able to map out every step of it like I would like to. I hope I can remember these concerts too. I don’t have a lot of memory of the Twenty One Pilots concert because I was so stressed. I am hoping I will be able to absorb more of these concerts. I just want to keep exposing myself so I am ready for when Twenty One Pilots come back to Vancouver. I am aiming to get floor seats for that..whenever it happens.

I will keep this updated with how I handle this.

Oh Shit

We haven’t had a car in about 10 years. That means we have been taking transit, cabs and borrowing family cars when we can. Not having a car is about twice as difficult for someone with anxiety and agoraphobia. Being unable to take transit means I have to cab everywhere. That means that I can only go so far. I’m not going to spend 80 bucks on a cab. Because of that, I have been pretty much been stuck within walking distance of home. Mom started a new job recently and it has been taking her 1.5 hours to get to work and another 1.5 (sometimes longer) to get home. I started sensing that we needed a car. I mentioned it to mom a few times and she always said she couldn’t afford it. Everyday she came home exhausted from the long bus and train ride to and from work, I felt bad for her. At this point, I work about three or four hours a day and I do it from my couch. I kind of felt like I needed to step up a bit.

A few days ago I started to do the math a bit on what it would take to actually get a car. I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I researched Kias and had an idea of what I wanted. They make reliable, safe cars at a good price. I figured for the price of a Kia, I would just have to work maybe an extra hour or two a day. I think I can do that if it means freedom for me and an easier life for mom. We went to Kia on Saturday and it was a fucking zoo. They were having a sale that we were unaware of so pretty much everyone and their cousin was there. We were greeted as soon as we stepped on the lot. They’re like vultures! Our salesman’s name was Fender. He was named after his dad’s first guitar…pretty cool, I thought. He took us inside to show us a Rio. We weren’t really sure if we wanted a Rio or a Forte. After looking at the Rio, I liked the shape and I liked the interior. It felt small enough that I might be able to handle it, but not too small that it would be useless for transporting anything.

He pulled a Rio and we took it for a test drive. Mom drove it cause I don’t have a license. I don’t think I would want to drive it anyways…not fresh off the lot, lol. Mom was happy with the way it drove and I was happy with the way it looked and felt. We headed into the office to do the business end of the deal. Shit was getting serious now.

We ended up being at the dealership for 4.5 hours. Between going back and forth with the salesman, waiting for the finance people to be free, doing the insurance and then waiting for the finance lady again, it was pretty much an all afternoon affair. I had no idea it took that long to buy a car.

So anyways, I now have a 2016 Kia Rio EX that I can’t drive because I don’t have a license. I am trying not to freak out about the payments and the length of the term. It is a big responsibility and I feel like I have to actually be an adult now…Terrifying. Mom is taking me to take my L next week cause we both have the week off. I don’t think I will be able to take weeks off anymore now that I have this payment, hopefully I can still get some time off though! I just hope I can actually buy the thing, otherwise this is just a waste of a lot of money.

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.

Dating

The dating world is a nightmare right now. Everything is done online, which is fine, it’s just that sometimes you don’t get what you bargained for. I have been on an uncountable number of first dates over the last couple of years and each one has been its own kind of nightmare. I’m on POF and OKC and the men on those sites seem to have one thing in common, adventurous. They all climb the chief on weekends, skydive, travel the world, drink beer on the beach and workout 6 days a week. It’s funny how online you see a lot of posts about people just wanting to stay in, but that isn’t the case in real life is it? It seems like everyone is living life to the fullest.

I went on yet another first date tonight. I had high hopes for this one, he is what I want physically, he’s funny, he has a job and seemed sweet. He was most of those things in real life. I don’t think there will be a second date. I am so sick of going on first dates!

You know that famous line by George Costanza – “when I like them, they don’t like me, and when they like me, I don’t like them”. That is real life. I have this idea in my head of who I want and I am starting to think maybe he doesn’t exist? Maybe I have changed too much to be able to ask for what I am asking for. I might be aiming out of my league.

I have been single for probably about nine years. The dating world is hard enough, let alone when you have anxiety that severely limits your life. Going on dates is pretty hard when all of the typical things that daters do are out of the question. It seems like as soon as I mention anxiety, a lot of the men just vanish. It’s called ghosting and it happens A LOT. The conversation is going along fine, then one mention of something that may be considered less desirable and POOF, they’re gone faster than they arrived.

After this many failed attempts, I am starting to want to give up. I have deleted my profiles before but always reactivate them shortly after because of the “what if” syndrome I have. People don’t really meet any other way these days. Not in the Vancouver area anyways. It seems like if you go up to a person in public they will either think you’re asking for money or you’re crazy and they need to run as fast as they can. It’s hard to get past the first look on dating sites and I will admit I am the same way toward the men.

Maybe I need to lower my standards, maybe I need to be more realistic, maybe I need to be more open to experiences and different types of people. I am so guarded because of my last relationship that I tend to push people away when they do want near. I am tired of being alone but also scared to be with someone. At some point I have to jump off this metaphorical cliff and let someone in again. The thought is terrifying but also exhilirating. I guess for now I will just continue my search for the next first date.

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.

The Feeling

I have been getting this feeling lately in the pit of my stomach, kind of where the diaphragm is. It feels like someone is punching me in the stomach but I know what it is. It’s the knowledge that I am simply existing instead of living. The last ten years of my life have been spent merely breathing, eating and sleeping. I haven’t truly lived since I was a teenager and in my early 20s.

Back then I was going out everyday. I was rarely home. I was climbing mountains, hitting up beaches, shopping and just living the west coast life. That has changed. I now spend my days on the couch in front of the TV or on my laptop. Living online is so lonely. The problem with being online all day everyday is that you see how others are living. You see all their best moments and you watch their lives unfold from your couch. They are out at music festivals, eating brunch with friends, going to beaches, climbing mountains, travelling and just doing what people without anxiety do. They are living, they are experiencing every breath in full detail. They don’t take naps to pass hours during the day that they simply cannot stand to live through.  They wake up with excitement and positive thoughts for the day. They shower, brush their teeth, head off to work and meet up with friends after. The life of an average 30 year old is something I have been craving desperately. A life free of the fear of my own body, free of the “what ifs” and “I can’ts”. They don’t think about it, they simply do it. They hop on planes and go on adventures thousands of miles from home.

I know that people put their best life on display on social media. They want us to see the highlites of their lives, the times when everything is perfect. I know that there are stories behind those smiles and sometimes there is suffering behind the sparkle in their eyes. I just wish I had a little bit of it. I’m not asking for much, I would just like to be able to do simple things like go into a mall without having to have the exit in sight. I want to be able to eat in a restaurant without my stomach doing backflips and my mind racing. I want to be able to post pictures of me smiling at parties or out with friends shopping or even just walking down the street. I have a very limited life right now and the worst part is that it is my own doing. I realise that only I have the power to change my life. Anxiety is self-inflicted. I locked myself up in a cage years ago and threw the key just out of reach. I can feel freedom, I can see it. I know it’s possible because I have been there before. I have felt the wind in my proverbial sails and I have felt what life is like when it is truly lived. Maybe that’s why it is so hard now. I know what true freedom tastes like. I am in a prison of my own design and I’m not sure how to break out.

The pain of merely existing is starting to become more than I can bear. Sitting on the couch everyday, I can feel my soul rotting away. I can feel the person I once was getting farther and farther from the person I have become. Every day spent on the couch is another day wasted.  The feeling in my stomach is getting stronger every day and I feel like I am either about to burst out of this and come back to life with a vengeance or I’m about to implode and fall deeper than I have ever been. I am trying to stay positive, focus on the small victories and realise that I will never be like the people I see on the internet. I will never have that life. All I want is freedom from my own mind to live the life I want and, frankly, the life every human deserves. I am sitting on the sidelines of life watching others pass by with their accomplishments. I want back in the race. I want to feel life again.

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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