We're All Mad Here

Where insanity meets reality.

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I am so grateful that the last 6 months were this hard.

It’s taught to me not only to stand up for myself, but also how to put myself first.

Most importantly though; these last few terrible months have shown me who my real friends are. I have a solid group of nine friends who are bending over backwards come Hell or high water to get me out of a bad situation - and that means the world to me.

I don’t think I’ve gotten wiser with age, I think I’ve finally learned that people who are in my past are meant to stay there.

That being said - I don’t know how to repay those who have been nothing but wonderful to me in the present. I truly have the best support system, and I am so lucky. Life is wonderful, and it’s only going to get better over the next few weeks.

Filed under friends happy grateful relieved

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I would never wish illness or financial demise on my worst enemy, but I hope that if that ever happens to ROOMMATE X, karma comes around and bites her in the ass & her support system fails her like she failed me.

I would never wish illness or financial demise on my worst enemy, but I hope that if that ever happens to ROOMMATE X, karma comes around and bites her in the ass & her support system fails her like she failed me.

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What is real “beauty”?

I have struggled with a severe form of asthma my entire life and to this date am prescribed five medications to control it. Some of my earliest memories revolve around the illness; particularly oxygen masks in Disney themed hospital rooms, and many more give me pangs of sadness from memories of the isolation associated with the disease.

Every year my elementary school participated in a run for charity, and every year I was benched one way or another by a doctor’s note. Every year but one. Running completely debilitated me; I could typically only endure one half lap before needing a break or a shot of my rescue inhaler. Fifty percent of the years that I actually started the training process, I was hospitalized to receive ventolin treatments, the other fifty percent I wasn’t even allowed to start training. But the year I did it? I certainly didn’t finish first, but I didn’t finish last either - and I guarantee you I was happier than every child that placed first that day. I had tackled something that had held me back my whole life, and though some of the other kids thought I was fortunate for not having to participate, many of the other kids used it as ammunition to bully me - and like most things kids get bullied for, it was something I could never change. Even though running was nearly impossible for my body, being benched, ridiculed and that feeling of being “left out” hurt my spirit a lot more.

Recently I’ve encountered other health issues, and for the past three years I’ve experienced a substantial weight gain alongside several other symptoms. I underwent many tests and they think they’ve found what is causing the problem - a small, unidentifiable mass on my thyroid. I’m currently waiting to have it biopsied at the end of this month. Though this news is troublesome, I am optimistic, so I haven’t told many people.

I don’t want the sympathy, nor do I want to scare them.

This past spring, I started walking. I needed a coping mechanism. My asthma prevents me from running, but I set a goal that (rain or shine) I would walk 5km a day in an effort to improve my self-esteem, get some fresh air and clear my head. University exams, the pending biopsy, my two jobs, etc. are all stressors, and walking helped to alleviate that stress. For 30 days I was successful in walking a minimum of 5km a day, and I am proud of that milestone.

Two of my “friends” and roommates, however, did not share in my success. I overheard them one day discussing my “walks” and making a mockery of them. Saying a multitude of things like: asthma isn’t a serious disease, that I exaggerate my illness, and most notably that I am overweight because I am lazy, and just use my asthma as an excuse not to actually do the work to “look good”. They have no understanding that asthma kills upwards of 250 Canadians a year, or that thyroid issues not only cause weight gain, but prevent weight loss - and I doubt they will ever think to look into it.

Then, their conversation digressed to the latest Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” video advertisement that went viral this past April.

The one roommate gave a heated statement that they disagree with the “Dove is owned by Axe” argument, that they firmly believe they are two separate companies with two separate agendas. What was really important though was what the next roommate had to contribute, and it speaks volumes to her character:

"I hate how Dove’s campaign uses ‘fat people’ and tries to pass them off as beautiful. You REALLY think fat people are beautiful? I don’t think so".

I don’t know how I feel about all this, but I like to think they must talk about me because their lives are too uninteresting to find anything better to talk about.

Plus in response to many of their degrading and uninformed opinions about me, regardless of whether I walk or run, at least I am out exercising my body and not just my tongue.

In summation, through this experience I discovered a few things: first and foremost, bullying doesn’t stop at elementary school. My roommates are both in their twenties, educated and responsible university students. Secondary to that, people often have no basis for their attacks on others, and it is this closemindedness that is the root for many of them. Lastly, I haven’t formed an opinion on the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign yet, however by proxy I have found my definition of “real beauty”. I didn’t get my personal definition from watching a commercial or looking in a mirror, I acquired my definition by forming an opinion on what it is to be really ugly - and that’s a much larger “problem” to be fixed.


Filed under bullying true beauty dove asthma health ugly acceptance understanding roommates sadness illness