When I was depressed I lost friends. Not because they stopped liking me, but because they didn’t know what to do or say. I made them uncomfortable and people don’t like feeling uncomfortable. But why didn’t they know what to say? They knew what depression was and they were all very aware of what triggered it. I know some of them just didn’t want to deal with it, but others disappeared slowly. These were the friends who wanted to be there for me, but didn’t know how to be. There is a growing trend in our society to judge people for the words they use. It’s hard to express your opinion or even think out loud without being labeled something- fat shamer, anti-Semitic, heartless, or just plain bitch. Where did the discussion go? How can we learn and grow and be there for each other if we’re all afraid to open our mouths lest we accidentally insult someone?
When I was taking psychology 101 in university I used to joke that they should use me as a guest subject. Perhaps it’s my experience with a variety of disorders that draws me to one of my guilty pleasures: TLC reality TV. I “enjoy” watching shows like Extreme Cheapskates, Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, My Crazy Obsession and Hoarding: Buried Alive.
When I watch these shows I switch back and forth between being sympathetic and hopeful to being disgusted and sad. I understand why these shows gather a following- if they have enough shock value to surprise me, I can’t imagine what someone who doesn’t understand anxiety disorders or mental illness is thinking. From a business perspective these shows are gold. They don’t cost a lot of produce and they gain a following easily. But, this got me thinking about the moral side of it. Half of me thinks these shows are good for mental illness, while the other half thinks they are hitting the ethical rock bottom.
Last week a Toronto man refused to move his bag off a second seat on a crowded rush hour bus. When pressed by the woman requesting the seat, he apparently lashed out, stomping on her foot and pushing her backwards. He was also caught on tape calling her names and giving her the finger. The story went viral and he quickly acquired the nickname #TTCLeprechaun, mainly due to his bright green shirt and bowler hat.
Unless this man paid an extra fare for his bag, he had no right to take up 2 seats. Not only is this common courtesy, it is against TTC rules.
“3.34 A proper authority may refuse passage on the transit system to:
c) a person carrying hand luggage, a parcel or any object or thing that does inconvenience or is likely to inconvenience other passengers or TTC employees”
The TTC claims that it can not find the footage of the alleged assault, meaning this man can not easily be charged.
As the summer comes to an end I feel a bit of regret that I never made it into a bikini. The last time I wore a bikini was in April 2012, just before I ballooned up from some medication I was on.
I’m more than halfway back to my normal weight, but I thought I’d make it before the summer was over. I have 4 bikinis in my dresser that haven’t seen the light of day- 1 that has never been worn! I know that many people wear bikinis at my size, but I am not one of them. Not only have I always been self conscious about my body, I’ve always assumed that if I don’t want to see it in a bikini then probably, no one else did either.