Is your opinion worth more than our friendship?

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Once upon a time not so long ago I used to have a safe place to escape to, a place I could view happy thing and catch up with friends, friends that I had somehow lost contact with and then found again over the years through the power of the internet. Facebook was a happy place, people shared what they were getting up to, they shared funny and strange things that had happened to them and they posted pictures of their adventures. Facebook was this place where if you were feeling sad, feeling a bit low or just plain freaking out about something you could go to Facebook for a little bit of support from your friends, even just a smiley face or a few simple words could perk you up, Facebook showed you you were not alone, that even if all your friends were hundred of miles away you could still reach out to them at the click of a button (providing you had a good phone/wifi signal).

But since the start of 2015 I have really noticed a shift, a change in my news feed, Facebook has become less about what people are doing and more about their opinions, it has become more of a platform for people to express their views on controversial topics, now I do believe that such things are worth discussing, but there is a down side to this…

I have been trying to think of a way to express what exactly it is I’m trying to say in a way that people will understand…. the question that I feel needs to be asked is:

‘what do you value more, our friendship or your opinion?’

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on a subject, no matter how controversial it is, I also do not expect to agree with all of my friends on every issue (I’m a big animal lover and a vegan, I also know that a lot of my friends are not).

So here it is, social media is a strange world, people generally seem to instantly react to something they see on line, they will straight away type a comment without thinking and click send. I don’t think anyone really considers the repercussions of their instant reactions. A lot of people seem to think that what they say on line is just a comment and people should get over it…. but Its not that simple. When I see someone share a post or update their Facebook status with something I don’t agree with I wont react to it, I will stop and think about it for a moment, I wont comment and I will just scroll past.  I do this because I value the friendship, I do not want to upset anyone or end up in an argument.

I wanted to write this blog a few months ago when it happened but until now it has been to raw, I’m still upset by the whole event and it still hurts me, but it is time to put this out there. There is a girl I have known for nearly 15 years, its scary when I think about how long we have actually known each other, we were close, I would often go and visit her because more often than not I was the single one with less commitments. I always made an effort to see all my friends, even when I had just gone through a bad breakup, just moved back in with my parents for a bit and had less than no money I still went to her wedding. But when my illness got a lot worse at the start of 2015 I noticed I wasn’t seeing or hearing from her that much, it seems that when I couldn’t physically make an effort there was no contact. I brushed it off as one of those things, people get busy so I tried not to dwell on it to much. But then things began to happen, I posted something on my Facebook page that I thought would be helpful to people, it was information on what you should do if you hit an animal with your car and its injured, I thought this was very helpful information so I shared it…. well this I guess sparked her interest and showed me that she was still out there, she did not agree with this information and basically in her opinion there are to many deer in the world anyway and they need to be killed. Now this upset me for a couple of reasons, firstly because her comment meant that she had seen my status updates where I expressed how alone I felt and how unwell I was, she had chosen not to say anything nice, instead she chose to find this post and leave a comment that she knew would upset me. If it had been someone who didn’t know me very well then it wouldn’t have hurt so much,but she knew me, she knew how I feel about animals and she still felt the need to comment anyway.

Now the thing I am really struggling with is the thought process that goes before a person posts a comment, I like to consider the following points before I post a comment:

 

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I asked her why she felt the need to post comments that she knew would upset me rather than just scroll past, and her response shocked me.

Her reason was I had posted something on social media and she was entitled to her opinion, so tough, live with it, if you don’t want negative comments don’t share it.

To say I was shocked is putting it lightly, I felt like I had just been beaten down by a close friend in a very cruel way. I personally would never say something to someone in cyber space that I would not say to their face, if I know a friend loves something I hate and they post something about it I am not going to express my hatred for it on their Facebook page, because I respect our friendship, I just scroll past.

This event was the start of me becoming self-conscious once again, I felt as if I could not be myself. So for months I stops putting things on my page. then something happened that was a cause very close to my heart, it was to do with rabbits, now even someone who has only known me for a day will know how I feel about rabbits, they are pretty much like my children (I know some people find that a crazy idea and that’s ok).

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I shared a post to my page and I quite clearly stated how upset I was by this event, how I had not stopped crying for most of the day and that I would appreciate it if my friends would sign the petition, it wasn’t a big ask, just a click of a button really, it wouldn’t hurt them and it would have been helping out their friend who was very upset, I wasn’t even really expecting anyone to sign it. I did not expect what happened next, it was an even bigger eye opener than before. I received hateful comments from another friend and a cousin (by marriage) both of them knew me very well. I didn’t want to get into an argument so I simply responded with expressing how upset I was and again why did they feel the need to put such hate on the page of a friend who they knew loved animals… their responses were once again shocking:

They were entitled to their opinions, they were not sorry for upsetting me even further, no apology… I cried for days over this event because it meant that the world I thought I knew had completely changed, people were more concerned with expressing their own opinions, no matter what the consequences.

The most hurtful part of all of this was the friend from the the earlier post didn’t comment, she didn’t ask if I was ok, she simply stalked the comments feed and liked one of the most upsetting and hurtful comment posted by my cousin (through marriage). At that point I was so hurt and upset I questioned her on her actions once again, still I received no apology, in fact she demanded an apology from me for questioning her. If this had been a face to face interaction it would have played out like this:

Imagine you are crying in a room somewhere and you are talking to someone about what has upset you, really upset you, then a relative comes over and starts telling you to your face how they agree with this cruel act and tell you they are entitled to their opinion, they don’t care that you are upset, their opinion is more important. You then try to stand up for your self while still crying and ask them why they are being so cruel, the relative responds with a very hateful comment which is overheard by a very close friend of yours, you think your friend will come over and put their arm around you, maybe say something comforting, but instead they pat the person on the back who is making these hateful comments to your face while you are crying, give them the thumbs up and walks away…… now does that sound like something a good friend would do?

The way I look at it is this, if I wouldn’t treat someone that way in real life face to face I will not do it on line either.

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The strange thing is years ago long before this happened someone who I had not known for very long saw her and myself together for maybe a few hours, after she left they told me they didn’t like the way she treated me, that I seemed to just agree with everything to keep her happy and even little comments she made were derogatory towards me, I hadn’t notice at the time and I was a little angry that this person had said those things, but looking back now I can see it, maybe I’m to understanding, maybe I’m to easy going, maybe I  give people the benefit of the doubt to much, maybe I consider peoples feelings to much, maybe I value friendship to much…

I wanted to share this experience because I would like people to understand that friendship is important, you will never agree on everything, but please just respect each other, and no matter what the topic at hand is, if your friend is telling you they are hurt, they are upset, please think about their feelings, reach out to them, even if all you can manage is a cyber hug. A good friendship is more important than an inflated ego, because at the end  of the day when you are old and all you have is memories it would be nice to have someone there to sit down with and have a catchup about the ‘good old days’.

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University trip to Las Vegas 2004, true friendship lasts forever, I love you all, thank you for the happy memories xxxx

Is Plus size ok….?

I have never been a skinny girl, through all of my teenage years I was a chubby shy girl, I hated putting on those evil gym knickers for PE at school (I really hope those things no longer exist) and just wearing a school uniform was horrible, to make things worse I’m a tall girl so things never fit properly, I had to buy boys school trousers just to get them to be long enough and I always hid under a large shirt. Dress down days always resulted in tears…. school was a horrible time for me but I ‘ll save that for another post.

I took a gap year before university where I went to work as a waitress in America, it was a physically demanding job and some how I just seemed to slim down a bit but I was still in no way skinny, definitely not bikini ready. At university I still felt insecure but somehow I managed to get up the courage to join a gym. This was the start of me actually beginning to like my body a bit better. I am my happiest when I am a UK size 10/12 when I am fit and healthy I am a UK size 10 on top (I’m not at all blessed in the boob department) and a UK size 12 on the bottom. For many years I felt o.k with my body, even enough to finally buy a bikini, that was a very empowering moment. But recently I have not been able to work out, this combined with doctor prescribed medication has caused me to gain nearly 40lb…. and I can safely say I am not happy with my body.

I hadn’t thought about body image for a long time and all of a sudden it has crept up on me again, so I decided to get googling to find out what is actually considered big, what is the normal size of a woman these days? this was the point at which I became angry at the label ‘Plus Size Models’.

Below is a picture of Ashley Graham (the link to the website with the article is below) and I think she looks stunning, she is gorgeous, would I call her plus size? hell no! and yet that is what she has to be labelled, plus size model to me screams ‘not normal’ and yet when you do a little research you will find out that the average woman in the UK is a size 14 which is very far from the considered ‘normal size models’

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I also think that judging someone on their clothes size is also wrong, people are also not the same height, a tall girl could be a UK size 14/16 and still be fit and healthy, but a girl who is shorter could be considered to be unhealthy at this size. On the other side of this if you are classed as tall and are a UK size 4 you might be considered unhealthy where as a UK size 4 would be normal for shorter person. There are so many factor that come into play which is why it is unfair to judge someone on their clothes size.

So the problem is not the ‘Plus Size Models’ it is the industry for labelling them ‘Plus Size’.

So far this year I have been very ill, I have been on medication and I am stuck in the house, and I can tell you now that will lead to weight gain no matter how healthy you are. I look at this picture of this beautiful woman and I see her as inspiration, I see her as someone to aspire to, I would love to have her body (especially her boobs, I have a bit of boob envy going on).

The problem is that it seems in today world everyone is quick to judge everyone else, I see a lot of people on social media say nasty things to friends, even strangers, and when someone calls them out on how horrible they are being the standard comeback is ‘I am entitled to my opinion’ and this pissed me off, good for you you are entitled to your opinion but think before you speak or write, think about how your opinion will affect others, do you really need to express your feelings? it might be small words to you but words can have a devastating impact.

We should be lifting each other up not bring each other down, positivity breads positivity, there is enough hate and anger in this world already.

 

 

The Battle Begins…Again….

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A few years ago I thought I had won the battle, or at least found my self in a happy balance, but my body had other Ideas.

Now here I am starting over again, am I in a better position than before? I honestly don’t know, what I do know is I am older, in more pain and I seem to have lost all sense of will power, I feel like the ocean is slowly drifting in over me and I need to some how pull my self back up.

That is what this page is about, the balance bunny is about finding a happy healthy balance in life, the bunny part…. well rabbits are my happiness, even in my darkest days my little bunnies have helped me hold onto even the smallest spark of hope. That is why I call myself the balance bunny.

I have spent months trying to research health and nutrition, to work out how important what we eat and put on our skin is to our overall health happiness and well-being.

I have also realised that our internal monologue is a big factor in determining how healthy we are, that not so little voice that niggles away at you from inside your head, sometimes you don’t fully hear it, but it is still there eating away at you.For me that internal monologue is affected by my everyday life, I was not designed to live the same day over and over again without a sense of adventure, without the possibility of hope.

so here begins the journey to change my life, one small hop at a time, the little hops will build up into bigger hops and lead to full on happy bunny binkies.