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twotoiletsfull

Photo – Michelle Lord 2018

Earlier this year we went on a trip to Colorado.  We ended up in Colorado Spring, the scenery was beautiful, and I went into my first dispensary, but that is for another blog post.  One of my most favorite foods is anything Tex Mex.  I love Mexican food.  I am a connoisseur of tortilla chips.  Of course earlier this year I decided it was time to lose weight and Mexican food is not something that really works when you are going high protein, low carbs, but every couple of weeks I have a “cheat day” and go to the local Mexican restaurant.  I plan out my calories, but no matter what I do I end up going over, but I guess that is why it is a “cheat day.”  Back to Colorado… While we were there we met a couple we knew, who used to live in Texas, and of course, we decided to meet at the local Mexican place.  I normally do not eat Mexican food on a trip out of Texas, as you never know what type of food you are going to get, so instead of chancing it I stick with what is native to the area.

So, you are probably wondering where I am going with this.  We all met at this little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant.  It had your normal decor and the food was good, a bit different from what I was used to.  Ordered a Chimichanga and it was sitting in a strange sauce, but it was good.  Personally, I like my Chimichangas served without sauce on them but sour cream and guacamole on the side.  At some point in the dinner I needed to go make a pit stop and when I opened the door to the lady’s bathroom I had a bit of a shock.  The bathroom was a very small, single stall but there were two toilets.  As you can see in the picture these toilets were really close together.  One had the toilet paper on the right and the other had the paper on the left.  I stood there for a moment trying to figure out first off why there were these two toilets in this little bathroom and then if they were trying to accommodate right=handed and left-handed people.   I have been in a lot of bathrooms over the years, but this one was one of the strangest I had ever seen.  It was clean and smelled good, which is a good thing, just weird.

This made me wonder, who would be comfortable sharing this bathroom with another person?  I am very modest so I wouldn’t share with anyone, but I am sure there are women out there who wouldn’t mind.  Who would you be comfortable with sharing this bathroom with?  Would it be your sister or mother?  I am an only child, so I have no idea what type of dynamics work between siblings, but I think if I did have a sister I still wouldn’t share the bathroom with them.  How about your mother or grandmother?  Would you share it with your BFF or other girls you are comfortable around?  I just have an issue sharing a bathroom with anyone if they are able to watch me go.  Personally, I don’t want to have a conversation while I am taking care of my bodily function, gives me performance anxiety I guess.

I then wondered if the city code said they must have two toilets for the capacity of the restaurant, so they shoved two toilets in this little bathroom to be compliant.  I still think though that even code compliance would think those two toilets in that little space isn’t a good idea, we are talking about the government though.  One would think they would need to meet handicap accessible codes more than how many toilets they have.  I guess I could have asked, but that seemed too weird.

When it comes to restrooms, I just want them to be clean, have plenty of toilet paper, and a door or curtain to where I can close myself in and not worry about other people seeing me do my business.  I’m sure there are other bathrooms out there that are stranger than this one, but out of all the bathrooms I have visited, this one has to be the weirdest.  How about you?  Seen any strange bathrooms that made you wonder, “Why did they do that?”  Feel free to post your comments below.  Till next time…

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galv21

Photo by Michelle Lord 2018

About a week ago I decided it was time to see the doctor again.  My bad days were more frequent than my good ones.  When you deal with depression you know that means a downward slide is not far away.  I had a few clues…  I was really close to shaving my head for real.  I had really gotten one of those I don’t care attitudes, which isn’t good when you work in customer service.  At least most of my days recently have been answering emails and doing chat, so no actual speaking to customers.  That is a good thing when all you want to do is tell the customers where to go.  Not easy to keep your job when you are insulting the paying customers.  Even though, I have found that there are a lot of whiney people out there.  It is like they have this attitude of entitlement.  Oh, UPS lost my package; you need to give me discounts or money back for my inconvenience.  I mean one customer was in a complete meltdown because their tufted button storage bench was missing a button.  A button… I mean really.  I offered her a replacement, no shipping fees, etc., still not enough.  They wanted to be compensated for their inconvenience and for us ruining their new redecorated home by this one piece of furniture.  If I hear one more time, “That’s not fair,” I am going to pull my hair out.  I guess I wouldn’t need to shave my head if I started pulling out my hair.  I don’t think that would be a smart idea.

 

Due to my bad days, and generally not feeling comfortable in my own skin, I went to see my primary care doctor.  After a long discussion on the fact that no, I’m not suicidal, but my moods are really affecting my ability to work, we added a new pill to my regimen.  Not thrilled about that, as now that is the third part of my drug regimen, but I am actually starting to feel better.  This last downhill slide really caused me to question if I am going to be able to continue to work.  When you are sitting in front of your computer, answering chats, and then you sit there and think, “I don’t know if I can keep doing this,” then depression is starting to affect your lifestyle, your ability to pay bills, and even function in this world.  What is really hard though is when people ask you what your problem is.  Why are you acting like this?  What is your deal?  Get over yourself   People say this because they don’t understand how you feel, as it isn’t something that is physical.  When you have physical illness there is something to see, rash on the skin, swelled joints, braces on a joint, but mental illness can only be seen in the actions of people who suffer from it.  The problem is when people who are really depressed hit bottom to where others are starting to notice it is normally after they try to hurt themselves or are no longer functioning in society.

What people need to do is stop acting like depression just means you are a bit down.  Something people say they have to get disability or use an excuse to get out of something.  How do you explain to a person that you can’t even stand yourself?  The days when you sit staring at your computer screen knowing you need to work, but you can’t.  I do know my triggers are holidays.  I say this year I’m not going to care about Christmas and most of the family isn’t talking to me.  Oh Mother’s Day, just another commercial holiday, but when the kids barely acknowledge you, it kind of hurts.  We have never really been into holidays, but sometimes just getting together as a family somewhere helps immensely.  I can understand why suicide rates go up during the holiday season.  You see stories of these families that every year they can’t wait to get together; the TV shows where everything is wonderful, which most of it is not realistic, but that is a standard a lot of people think they need to strive for.  When your kids won’t talk to you and the rest of your relatives don’t really know who you are, kind of hard to have a Hallmark Christmas.

 

The thing about depression is it is still something people just don’t like to discuss.  I remember back when I was growing up everybody knew Aunt Suzy had a problem, but everyone ignored it, that was just the way she acted.  The truth is Aunt Suzy was actually bipolar, and really needed help, but you just didn’t talk about back then.  We really though don’t talk about it now either.  We joke about people taking their “happy pills.”  I even joke about how you better hope I’m on my “happy pills,” as me not on my pills isn’t a pleasant experience.  Most people who have contact with me probably have no idea I’m on antidepressants, as I have been able to put on a mask.  The mask of pleasant, easy-going Michelle, covering the inner me that just wants to smack someone in the face, scream out loud, or just find a dark space and hide.  I am pretty sure everyone has someone in their life that is doing a good job of hiding their depression, but there are signs if you look deep enough.  Sometimes someone actually wanting to know how you are feeling can make a big difference.

I guess my point is people need to feel more comfortable talking about mental illness.  It is real, just as real as heart disease and diabetes, but when it comes to illness of the mind it is harder to prove.  If a loved one seems down, not interested in things they used to enjoy, isn’t really communicating, maybe you need to take the time to listen to what they aren’t saying, as their actions are speaking volumes.  Until next time…

 

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