I saw this at the grocery store today. In case the picture isn’t clear enough, here’s what someone did. They filled up a container with food from the salad bar, walked through the store until they found a quiet spot, ate most of it, put down the mostly empty container, and left. I don’t know if they got full, didn’t like something they chose, or were on the verge of being found out (why else leave some of the food?), but this is so rude.
Stealing from people is bad enough. You’re taking money away from them. You’re hurting their business and their ability to provide for their families (if a store loses too much, it’s going to close). You might even be hurting employees – whoever’s responsibility it is to keep stealing from happening.
And on top of all of that, you’re going to make them clean up after you? Seriously? That’s no way to treat people.
I had a who’s-more-successful competition with a friend today. Only, being women, we each argued that the other person was more successful. To win the argument, I started thinking of all the stupidest things I’ve ever done, and I realized that all my biggest mistakes were caused by lacking self-confidence.
It’s messing with me. For most of my life, I’ve had little-to-no self-confidence. In a lot of areas, anyway. And for most of those mistakes, I actually had a better choice. If I’d done what I thought was best, I wouldn’t have made those mistakes. But could I do that? No. I listened to other people over my own logic and instincts. Not as a kind of peer pressure – because I thought they must be right, and I must be wrong. Because I thought their opinions or ideas had to be better than mine. Because I didn’t have confidence in my own thoughts compared to theirs.
On second thought, maybe it’s more of an inferiority complex than a lack of confidence. Because it’s not that I don’t think my idea is right – it’s that I think someone else’s idea must be better or more right. Not everyone. But I know a lot of really smart, really talented people. And with some of them especially, I have a really hard time believing myself over them because I feel like they’re smarter than me.
I can make all the logical arguments I want about having talents or skills, but emotions don’t listen to logic, do they? It feelsright to put their opinions above my own. To think I must be wrong because they disagree. It feels like I shouldn’t have any self-confidence because I don’t deserve to – I’m not as good at those things as other people are. They’re smarter than I am. They make better choices. They must be right, not me
And the saddest part is that I still feel that way. Even knowing that they were wrong. Even knowing that the option I thought of would’ve been better. In a situation where I think one thing, and they think another, I’ll end up going with what they say because I think they must be right. Because the idea that I could be right over them is boggling.
I’d like to blame it on societal brainwashing of women (who knows? it could be true), but there doesn’t seem to be any point right now. That doesn’t tell me how to fix it. It’s not like waving a magic wand: “Oh, you gave me a false impression of my own abilities. I actually can do stuff!” *ping self-confidence appears*. Yeah right.
Want to know the biggest reason I still question my own judgment?
It’s because as often as I was right, and the other people were wrong, I also know how often I end up being wrong (soooo often). Times when they were right. Just because my logic didn’t cause those major mistakes in the past doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. How am I supposed to know if I’m ignoring my better judgment because of self-confidence issues or if they’re right this time?
That’s what scares me most about this idea. As long as I can cast some doubt on my own judgment, I’ll have to pick theirs. I’m trained to pick theirs. So how do I change that? Should I even try to change that?
How self-confident do I need to be to avoid big mistakes? How self-confident do I need to be to cause more?
I saw an article recently on upworthy called “The danger of high-functioning depression as told by a college student.” It’s about how having high-functioning depression may be more dangerous than non-functioning depression because the people around you don’t know you have it. Since you’re good at pushing on and putting on a cheerful face, you can be on the verge of suicide without giving off any of the signs most people go by to tell if someone is at risk. And my brain went, “ah, there’s a name for it,” and “I have high-functioning depression.”
Before I go further, let me say: Don’t worry. I am not at risk of suicide. Honestly, it’s not a path I can take.
But I am very good at hiding my depression. I imagine that if I told any of my coworkers or over half of my relatives that I regularly struggle with depression, they would laugh and say, “Yeah, right.” I joke a lot, I smile a lot, and I am always running somewhere and doing something. Depressed people don’t act like that.
Wrong. Some depressed people don’t act like that. Some depressed people act even more like that the more depressed they are. They crack jokes because it’s a habit. Because if they don’t laugh, they’ll cry. Because it’s easier to hide the pain behind a distracting joke than when talking about something serious. They keep busy because when they stop, they crumble. Because if they keep busy, they don’t have to think about everything that scares them or depresses them.
I read the article and the lack of symptoms, and I understood why the psychiatrist would be afraid because the 16 year old was horribly depressed but had a 4.0 and was very active (AKA she had high-functioning depression). It’s because those are the suicides that no one sees coming.
It made me start thinking about everyone I’ve lost to suicide. What they were like before and whether we had any warning. The result was frightening. Of the 6 friends and acquaintances I’ve lost to suicide in the last few years, over half of them were always smiling and joking. And when I got the news, I was surprised. They always seemed so happy. For some, their lives were improving or headed in a good direction at the time.
That’s why I know how people around me would react to finding out I’m depressed. I’ve been on the other side. I’ve seen the happy exteriors. I can’t blame them for sneering at the idea of someone who’s always moving and smiling being depressed or suicidal.
I don’t know if there’s a point to this article except to warn you to look deeper. Even if someone’s always joking or busy, don’t automatically assume they’re happy. They might have high-functioning depression and feel worse than you could ever have realized. Ask them if they’re ok. Ask them how they’re feeling. Ask how things are going really.
It’s not about hounding them. It’s about being kind and showing them that you care. Showing them that they matter to you. You’d be amazed at the difference that can make. It’s also about letting them know that they can talk to you and trust you. You see, all depression tends to be secretive. High-functioning depression is even worse about hiding itself. You can’t force anyone to tell you, but letting them know that you’re there to listen and that they can trust you goes a long way to encouraging people to talk to you and share their troubles.
Even though I have high functioning depression, that’s all I can think of. Can anyone else think of a way to know that someone has high-functioning depression? Or some way to help them?
This could be something that’s actually happening or a symptom of my depression and insecurity. I know it’s happening sometimes. Other times, I’m not so sure. But, more and more lately, I feel like a placeholder in other people’s lives, like someone who’s only good enough to hang out with until they find someone better to be with. Or something better to do.
Seriously, I’ve had people act like my friend when they were single and then totally cut me out when they started dating someone. The first person who did this to me stopped coming to the social group we were both in and then stopped talking to me. Completely. One week, she was messaging me to go to a parade or a party (tagging me in photos from both on facebook as her good friend), the next week, I might as well not have existed. And, honestly, she hasn’t spoken to me since. And eventually, when people brush you off, you stop trying to get them to hang out anymore.
Other people claim they don’t have time to hang out anymore because they have to be with their significant others. Really? You can’t miss a couple of hours with the person you’re dating? Other times, they’ll say we can hang out, but their significant others have to come, too. I don’t mind that as much since it means they actually do care about the friendship enough to see me. But is that always necessary? Is there some unwritten rule that once you have a boyfriend, you have to spend every minute with them?
As much as it would be nice to hang out with only my friends, I don’t push because when the choice comes down to hanging out with me or with their boyfriends, I usually lose. That’s part of what makes me feel like a placeholder. Especially when they used to talk about how they hated how girls do that. And, yes, I’m afraid to point that out.
I try to be logical. I remind myself that people change. They grow apart. They find different interests. It could be that my friends and I drifted in different directions. That would mean that they truly were friends, and then they changed. That might be better than the placeholder idea. But I really don’t know.
Whatever the reason, it’s so hard to feel like a close friend when the other person can’t make any time to see you, especially when you don’t live very far apart. And when my schedule is often just as busy (if not more so). On the rare occasions when I see them, and they say things like, “I never get to see you anymore!” it’s really hard not to say, “You could if you wanted to.” I don’t because I’m afraid I’m being too selfish or harsh. But then, they turn every conversation to themselves. We used to share, back and forth. Now, it’s all about them and their boyfriends. Even when we hang out, it’s like I’m not even there. And when I text or message them, I get occasional short responses. Or none. I get a lot of none.
That’s when the depression circling starts. Did I do something wrong? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have really bad taste in friends?
I didn’t use to think so, and they still seem like interesting, fun, and generally nice people to me. But it doesn’t feel like they want me as a friend anymore. Or not enough to put much effort into it. That’s why I feel like a placeholder. Like I’m ok to pass the time until something more fun comes up. It’s a lousy feeling, and it’s definitely not helping me fight the depression.
What makes it worse is not knowing if it’s true, if I really am a placeholder in other people’s lives, or if it’s the depression lying to me. What do you think?
I love this, don’t you? I bet everyone who’s ever been annoyed by the prevalence of useless female characters will love it, too. And now, if I watch the movie, I will gleefully enjoy Chris Hemsworth’s character and his useless, eye-candy nature (he is great eye candy). Thank you, Slightly Psychic Tumblr.
This is ridiculous. No, it’s deplorable. What court decides that it’s legal to upskirt because the skirts are in a public place? Hello! Skirt interiors are not public when they’re being worn!
But, guess what? NBC news reports: “Court Says ‘Upskirting’ Is Legal in Georgia.” That’s right. The court ruled that if a woman was in a public place when the creeper stuck a phone under her skirt and snapped a picture, then that was totally legal. Is totally legal. What the hell.
The article claims that the court blamed the law’s vague wording on the ruling. Seriously, Georgia? What kind of law is worded to imply that it’s legal to take pictures of a woman’s skirt interior?(AKA her panties and/or private parts)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it illegal to expose your private parts and panties in public? So how is it possible for someone else to expose it for you?
Sound stupid? That’s because it is. But don’t worry! It can get stupider. Because the statesmen aren’t in session right now, the law isn’t going to be fixed any time soon. And until it does, a guy can come up, take a picture under a woman’s skirt, and face no legal charges. That’s right. As long as he doesn’t actually touch her, he’s in the clear. Let’s hope some douchebags don’t try to take advantage of it before the law gets fixed.
If they do, I’m hoping for three things 1. they get crowd-shamed and learn their lesson (I can dream), 2. girls who don’t want to risk it wear longer skirts or shorts (it makes sense as a precaution, but I don’t like it because they shouldn’t be punished because of asshat laws and douchebags), and 3. guys in drag start going commando (Can you imagine the douchebags’ expressions?).
I struggle with this idea a lot. That life is watching everyone you love die. I can’t keep it out of my head. Ever since it occurred to me, it’s like a constant panic and depression lurking inside. A feeling of absolute helplessness or insecurity. Like ignorance and naivety were my shield, my security blanket, and now they’ve been ruthlessly stripped away so that safety and happiness feel like illusions. Like self-deception.
I didn’t use to think that way. Then, over the past few years, I lost more and more of the people I care about. Relatives, friends, and acquaintances. As a kid, I’d only lost one or two, and they were spaced out by years. Now, it was like Death had a monthly quota to fill, and only people I knew would do. People died of cancer and heart failure. They died of old age. They died in stupid, senseless accidents. And far too many of them died by choice.
I couldn’t deal with it. Can’t. Even now, sitting here writing this, my throat is closing up, and my eyes are filling. When deaths hit you one after the other, you don’t have time to adjust, to deal with the grief and anger. And after a while it hits you that this is your future: watching everyone you love die one after the other unless you’re lucky enough to go first.
That’s when the fear wraps around your heart. Any illusion of control disappears. There’s nothing to shield you from the helplessness any more, nothing to hold it at bay or defeat it because you know, without a doubt, that every single person you love is going to die and that no matter what you do, there’s no way to change that. Not one. Our future deaths are the only truly certain things in life.
As if that weren’t dark and depressing enough, the onslaught of deaths emphasized the fact that not only is everyone you love going to die, but you also have no idea when it’s going to happen. That epiphany has a great effect on the nerves. It maintains a constant level of anxiety, like an abused person flinching from a raised hand, expecting a blow.
Sometimes, you can hide it for a while. Push it down where it’s not as obvious or cover it with cushions to muffle the screaming. But it always comes back. You hear a song about loss. You watch a character die in a movie. Your grandparents talk about all the people they knew who are gone.
That’s when I really choke up. When I talk to the elderly, people have already lost their grandparents, parents, siblings, and most of their friends. Even thinking about losing my grandparents and parents is emotionally crippling to me. If I was an actress, I’d never have to worry about crying onstage. All I would have to do was picture my life after losing my family, and the tear faucet would be on.
It’s a problem. It’s a serious problem because I can’t fix the cause. It’s not something that’s going to go away or change. In fact, it’s only going to get worse the older I get. So what do I do? How do you deal with knowing that life is watching everyone you love die without getting so depressed and anxious that you ruin your own life?