Amazonian Musings : September Suicide Awareness

As we’re approaching the two year anniversary of my blog (I know, crazy, right?) I’ve resolved to get back into the habit of actually maintaining this thing. I do, after all, pay for the website, and I feel like it could be used way more often. And one thing I’m resolving to do on here is to get a bit more personal. [Potential Trigger Warnings]

If you’re active on any social media site, you’ve probably seen a post or two about September being Suicide Awareness month. I felt like I should do something for it, and what better to do than to share a personal experience? I’m kind of nervous to write this out, I’m shaking a bit as I type. I get a ton of messages every day from people saying things about how I’ve inspired them in one way or another…through cosplay, through promoting positive body image…but this is a topic I haven’t touched on yet, or even spoken about publicly. I do keep a private journal, because in this age of hustle and bustle and social media, it’s rare that many of us new-age writers have anything personal to call our own. We post online where we receive comments and instant feedback on everything we publish. Having something like a private journal is nice because you don’t need to stress about post reach or feedback. It’s, well, private. But in the interest of helping others, I’ve decided to share this with you guys, whoever you may be. Not for comments, or likes, but because if I help ONE person by sharing this experience, I feel my job has been done.

I never really talk about it openly, but this year I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It didn’t come as a shock to me, since I’ve been struggling with it for nearly my entire life up to this point — alone, and without therapy or medication. I can’t pinpoint where it all began, but I can tell you it’s been a source of many other problems in my life. Depression/Anxiety is something like my ongoing antagonist. It’s destroyed friendships, my GPA, some job opportunities — the list can go on and on. I always thought it was just me. I was lazy, un-motivated and a failure. Years later, I can now understand that it wasn’t me. It was this stupid final boss I needed to conquer. And this year, I finally took steps to help myself get better.

Did I finally slay the final boss? I’d be lying if I said I did. That the mean old monster was vanquished, I cleared the last level and the final credits rolled. I’m a long way off from that. But hey– I’m not doing so bad thus far. I have a pretty awesome track record for surviving — I’ll be leveling up to 24 in a day or so.

It sounds cheesy, but it DOES get better. Whenever I see a story on the news about a teenager or child being bullied to death, I feel personally affected. That’s just my way. I’m sensitive and empathetic, sue me. I was bullied A LOT growing up for one reason or another. It’s so crazy to think that I get messages of support daily, have nearly 5,000 followers on my Facebook page alone who see me as some sort of body positive pioneer. If you’d told me back in elementary school that people would literally stop me in the mall or at conventions for photos and thank me profusely for helping them through a hard time, I’d probably blink at you all confused-like and walk away. I really can’t wrap my head around it, even today. But it’s not about that. You don’t need 5,000 people to tell you you’re awesome. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome. YOU ARE AWESOME. Unless you’ve committed serial murders or bludgeoned a baby or something…in which case you should probably stop reading my blog and go turn yourself in?

We may not be able to defeat the final boss alone, but we can do it together. Your party is always stronger when you’ve got different weapons equipped and different skill levels. Reach out to a friend in real life or a friend on the Internet. Reach out to ME, if you need to. You’re never alone.

I’d like to close with some inspirational words from one of my favorite Disney attractions, ‘The Carousel of Progress’. I hope they resound with you the way they do for me.

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away!.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Mary-Jane Watson : A Costume SuperCenter Review

At FantaCon I was lucky enough to portray one of my favorite Marvel cosplays — Mary Jane Watson, aka Peter Parker’s girlfriend. I thought it would be cute to cosplay her in a Spidey Suit, since I’ve seen some fanart picturing her as such. Naturally, when I go looking for ready to order costumes, I look no further than my friends at CostumeSupercenter.com. In cosplay, the “storebought vs handmade” debate is always present, but my opinion is — who cares? You can buy a costume, alter it, and make it as awesome as something that you made from scratch.

This particular suit was the ‘Spiderman Second Skin’ advertised on their site. When I first recieved the costume, it had a mask directly attached to the costume. I cut the head off — as to get rid of the mask, but made a huge OOPS, not realizing that it zippered all the way up to the top of the head. As a result of this, I broke the whole zipper and it fell apart. So, after panicking for 15 minutes, I made the super smart choice to message my amazing friend Elphingirl Designs who calmed my crazy butt down and told me she’d replace the zipper.

Once my zipper drama was solved, I decided to wear this on Sunday of FantaCon here in Albany, where I was a guest and co-sponsor of the costume contest (along with CostumeSupercenter.com, actually!) and I got SO many compliments on the outfit. I loved the fit. I wore it with a layer of Spanx and it held me in very nicely. Spanx are kind of necessary when you’re plus sized and wear spandex, especially the thin kind like on this bodysuit! I really liked the material it was made from, it was soft and very comfortable. When posing for this shoot, I did some crazy bending maneuvers and this suit was able to withstand that, so I think it was made very well.

I’ll definitely be wearing this costume again, and overall I would rate it as my new favorite piece from Costume SuperCenter! Goes to show you that even if you don’t have time to make a costume, you can still look amazing! Go check out CostumeSuperCenter.com for more awesome costumes that you can rock at cons, they have a great selection of videogame, comics and other nerd-like costumes for you to wear.

Stay tuned for my next CSC review — when Batgirl is debuted at New York Comic Con this year!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TRINACRIA PHOTOGRAPHY – Vincent Giordano.