How To Survive Comic Con...Maybe?

That's me in the middle!

As you might know by now, I am a member of this little global organization called the 501st Legion (New England Garrison) along with The Rebel Legion (Alderaan Base). So, as you can imagine, I go to a lot of events. If you're a first time reader here, welcome! Also know that I have a laundry list of things that make everyday functions almost unbearable, one of them is my panic disorder. With each passing day I feel much better and have come a long way with developing skills to help me cope when I have an episode. Lately, with each event I attend, I feel even more confident! This is really exciting! For a while there I thought I was never going to be able to go to large events. In fact the event I was at in the above pictures was very hard for me. I had to leave and go outside, or go behind curtains to get my anxiety and panic attacks under control.

So if you suffer like me with things like anxiety, or panic attacks, or just don't do well in large crowds, here are some of the things I do to help cope and have a great time...

N0. 1 Go with friends! Bring your support group, or go with like-minded friends. I can't even begin to tell you how important it is to have people around that understand. Plus it's much more!. I know my friends will always watch out for me, and they also let me know when there is a super cool vendor with awesome merchandise that I missed! So that's a plus too.

As you can see I'm one of the shorties! Most people crouch a little when they are standing next to me.

No. 2 Budget!!! My first Comic Con I didn't budget and kind of bought everything I saw. Not good. My bank account was a little angry with me. There is so much cool nerd stuff that it's easy to buy everything. I also want to mention that at a majority of comic cons there will be celebrities there, and it is not cheap to get an autograph!

 N0. 3  If you are in costume know that people are going to want to take pictures with you. I know this because it's basically my job as a Garrison and Legion member. I made the mistake at Boston Comic Con of wondering off alone at one point in costume, and started to get grabbed and pulled by people. We always have wranglers that help with this, but I was a curious Jawa that wondered away. I'll never do that again. If you are in costume, make sure you have someone with you! People forget that we are regular people under the costumes or makeup. I'm not actually an alien from Tatooine.

 N0. 4 Take Breaks! I can't tell you how important this one is. When you go to a Con it's very exciting and there is so much going on! You almost forget to go to the bathroom or eat. Take the time to sit and eat somewhere. You don't want to be riddled with exhaustion. There's no fun if that happens.

No. 5 Wear comfortable shoes if possible. No joke here, even if your costume/cosplay requires some crazy heels, either take breaks or add comfort inserts. My phone recorded around 40 thousand steps at one con. Give your feet love. You'll thank me later because nothing is worse than waking up on the second day of con and feel like you're dying, and yet you have to get up and do it all again!

That moment when you make a goofy face and no one else does.

So as you can tell the overall theme is to just stay comfortable and don't over do it. I can probably go on with a super long list! One thing I forgot to mention though is to bring one of those spare juice packs for your cellphone. Nothings worse then when your phone dies right in the middle of the day because you keep taking pictures or video! Always have a way to charge it. Or panic because your phone died, which I have done.

Hopefully these are some good tips! I know I always forget to take breaks. It's just so exciting that you forget to stop, but our group is pretty awesome about checking in on each other.


Photo Cred: Nicholas Norton & Katie Foster

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