My Take on Canada’s Decision to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

Written by Dominique Bancey

My source of information for this article can be located here: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/17/health/canada-legalizes-recreational-marijuana/index.html

Firstly, let’s note that this is all simply my opinion on this entire matter, and it should not be taken as gospel.

Based on the article, it is evident that many Canadians are ecstatic about the fact that they are able to legally purchase and smoke marijuana, strictly for recreation. But why? Well I think that for most persons, without a legitimate reason, it would be difficult for them to actually be prescribed a medicinal dosage of cannabis. However, with the legalization of recreational pot, they are free to purchase and smoke without worrying about being charged and possibly locked away.

Personally, I believe that marijuana can be beneficial to many individuals, not just as a specific medicine to treat certain illnesses. I know many friends of mine who turn to smoking this cannabis as a way of relieving themselves from anxiety or even just stress. I haven’t heard of any serious cases of persons using cannabis where it has caused them much harm, however, something that has been legal for years (alcohol) has been proven to cause damage to many individuals across the world.

Of course, it’s understandable why there’s a legal age for persons who may purchase and use marijuana, you wouldn’t want children having access to it as it is still a form of drug. So in Canada, the legal age in Quebec and Alberta (provinces) is 18, while in the other provinces throughout, it is 19.

Another positive about this legalization, is the boost that it will offer for the economy, and not just the one in Canada. Companies all over the world who specialize in growing cannabis or producing cannabis-based products, will now have more of a market to provide for, which will enhance sales and demands. The states in the USA that have cannabis legalized will also have companies there who are willing to import and export with companies located in Canada. This will increase trade amongst countries and bring in more revenue.  

The one thing that makes me wonder about this legalization.

What will happen to those who have been charged and locked away for possession of this now legal herb?

Apparently authorities are looking into what can be done in order to deal with that, but who knows just how long that will actually take?

Until next time.

Let’s Talk About You and Me

Written by Dominique Bancey

As a follow up to “Ex-periences”, I have decided to share one of my lessons, my most recent one actually, with all of you. I didn’t want to seem biased in this article though so I decided to ask my ex a few questions so you could get their perspective as well.

We were together for 5 (almost 6) months in a long distance relationship. I flew out and visited them for 6 weeks. About a month later, we broke up.

Q: What’s your favorite memory from the relationship?

A: “My favorite memory is when we had just got done spending a long day together and I was dozing off before I took my makeup off or put my bonnet on or anything and you got me ready for bed while I was half asleep, and cleaned my face and tattoo for me.”

Q: Did you think the relationship would’ve lasted longer? Why?

A: “I thought our relationship would’ve lasted longer but the more times I spent in the relationship was the more I felt like we probably wouldn’t have gotten married, and I think this because as much as we loved each other, our personalities just don’t mesh together where it was most important in a relationship.”

Q: In your opinion, what would you say were some cons of the relationship?

A: “I would say the cons were your lack of patience and my lack of acceptance of the fact that not everything can go as I plan and people cannot always react or act the way I want them to.”

Q: What do you think ultimately caused the relationship to fail and what could’ve been done to prevent or fix this issue?

A: “I think our relationship failed because of lack of communication and working together in our final moments of being together which really drove us to breaking up, and I think if we just took the time to both be understanding enough of the other side and really care together with a plan of how to make things better and thoroughly communicate about it, then it could’ve lasted.”

Lessons were learnt by the both of us, and as you can tell by the responses, communication is key.

Until next time.

Ex-Periences: What We Can Learn From Our Ex

Written by Dominique Bancey

Earlier I was having a conversation with a friend which then got me to thinking about how I actually think about certain topic. This particular article, is somewhat of a ‘preview’ to the next one. As the title “Ex-periences” suggests, I’ll be discussing exes, and how we can use these experiences with them, to actually help us in our lives rather than make us bitter and upset.

Maturity is something that doesn’t seem to be as common as it should be, unfortunately, especially when it comes on to relationships. In today’s society, many individuals tend to want to find some way to hurt their exes or damage them or cause some form of revenge, just because of the end of their relationship. This doesn’t just showcase immaturity, but it also portrays how childish and petty the other party is. Speaking of pettiness, it’s so funny to me how nowadays it seems like people are ‘praised’ based on how petty they are, which I think is absolutely stupid as a lot of the petty behaviour that people display, tend to be linked to their immaturity.

For me, just because someone and I aren’t romantically or even platonically involved anymore, doesn’t mean that I’m going to hate them and try to hurt them. The ending of any form of relationship can teach us all a lesson. And I’d rather find this lesson and use it to better myself in my life, than use it for revenge.

Often times, the way how we look at past experiences, determines how we live for future ones, and that could explain why so many persons are reluctant about forming new serious relationships with others. As instead of using their past experience as a lesson and deciding to learn from it, they made a decision to use it for bad, as a form of revenge.

Be on the lookout for the next article, as I will be using a personal past ex-perience, to share my lesson.

Until next time.

Why Aren’t My Friends Supporting Me?

Written by Dominique Bancey- Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health, black culture and more 

Lately while being on Twitter, I’ve noticed a common theme among ‘black twitter’. Many black individuals are tweeting, retweeting, and liking tweets that refer to having a lack of friends who are supportive. I’m not saying this is only an issue in the black community, but it’s an observation that makes me wonder, where are the supportive black friends when you need them most?

Unfortunately, there is a whole lot of truth to these tweets though, they aren’t simply being made just for clout.

How are you going to want emotional support from your friends, but you can’t give them support for their business?

Too often I see this happening. Especially with friends who are photographers and graphic designers. Many people believe that just because they’re your friend they should automatically get a discount or not have to pay anything at all. This, is extremely unfair. If this is your friend’s only source of income and they haven’t had many clients, why would you be so unfair to want to give them less than they deserve?

Many individuals are willing to make purchases elsewhere when their friends are selling the exact same product, why is that? This happens in many racial communities, not just blacks, but it is very prominent in the black community and I fail to understand why. If you’re a true friend, why wouldn’t you want to see your friend succeeding, especially knowing that you could be the reason why they succeed. A true friend will be there and will assist in any way possible. And the person should be able to do that for you too.

Friends aren’t just there for emotional support, sometimes they need financial support as well, and if you can actually afford to help them out, why wouldn’t you?

Unless you aren’t a true friend.

Until next time.

Relationships Don’t Take Depression/Anxiety Away – Part 3

Written by Dominique Bancey

This may be the last part in the series. As I said in part 1, this hits hard, so I have a whole lot to say on this topic, not just from personal experiences but from multiple observations.

Let me just say this… People are not charity cases.

Too many times I notice individuals who are oh so happy to be in relationships or be friends with persons who have some form of mental illness because they want to ‘save’ them. It’s not fair to the individual for you to see them as someone you can save. You’re going to go to them with these fake promises to give them all this love and affection when in truth and in fact, you just want to try and fix them.

Then, when you realize you actually can’t fix them, you just leave.

That, breaks their heart, but you won’t care about that because all you cared about was trying to fix them as though they were some form of patient and you’re the mad scientist running all the tests. Having a mental illness isn’t something to play around with. People are already going through enough by just having one, they don’t need an individual coming around only to make them feel worse about themselves.

Some persons even have the nerve to blame these individuals for being ‘unfixable’. They’ll leave and blame them. How do you think this is going to affect how they think about themselves now?

If you genuinely want to help them, then do so, but don’t rush them. You can’t say you care and you’re willing to help, yet when things are getting bad for them again, you want to get frustrated and blame them for it.

Don’t blame them for something they can’t control. Stop seeing them as charity cases.

Until next time.

Relationships Don’t Take Depression/Anxiety Away – Part 2

Written by Dominique Bancey

Of course I had to live up to what I said I would do so part 2 is here. In this article, however, I will be switching the perspective. Now I want to discuss the individuals who are suffering with depression/anxiety, and actually believe that a partner or friend can actually save them. 

I’ve seen this way too many times and honestly, I used to be one of those ignorant persons as well. Up until not so recently when I realized that I can’t expect someone else to save me when they don’t even know what exactly I’m going through. It reminds me of a line from a poem I wrote that said, “How can I expect someone who doesn’t even know how to swim, to save me from drowning?”

When someone enters your life, they don’t do so to save you, they do so to offer companionship, among many other things that aren’t necessary to be brought up at this current moment. Having that expectation for them to save you is extremely unfair to that individual. That puts a strain on them and gives them additional stress that they never had to worry about before. 

Why do that to someone you love and care about?

The most they can do, is listen and understand and be there for you as much as you allow them to, but they will NEVER be able to save you, that’s impossible. They may be able to help you to save yourself, but for them to be the one saving you? NOPE. 

This is a common reason as to why some relationships end.There is that expectation that they should be able to save you from this depression or ‘fix’ you so when that doesn’t happen, they feel like they’ve failed, you (without even realizing it) begin to blame them, even though none of it is their fault. 

You have to realize that they stick around because they love you, not because they want to save you.

Until next time.

Relationships Don’t Take Depression/Anxiety Away – Part 1

 

Written by Dominique Bancey

This topic in itself hits me so hard which is why I put part 1 because I know for a fact that I’m going to have a lot to say that I don’t want to have to summarize into a single article.

First off, there are plenty of angles this article could go into, and also could be seen from.

I want to start this off with the perspective from partners/friends who believe that someone should ‘feel better’ because they are in that person’s life.

Some of you may have read that and are genuinely shocked that people are like that, but trust me, I’ve experienced it firsthand, along with just observing from the outside. Relationships are referring to both romantic and platonic.

Many times when a person becomes involved with someone who has depression or anxiety, they assume that because they are in that person’s life, the individual should automatically feel better about themselves. Overall, even individuals who do not suffer from a mental illness still suffer from bad times while in relationships, so why should it be any different? A common phrase or sentence that pops up when the person is going through a depressive episode tends to be, “Oh so I don’t make you happy anymore?”

Let’s dig deeper into this question – “Oh so I don’t make you happy anymore?”

Happiness, comes from within. Someone may contribute to another person’s happiness or cause them to make them happier than they already are but true happiness, is a trait that can only come from within. A depressive episode causes this individual to go through extreme sadness, it doesn’t mean that what you do for and with them isn’t satisfying, it just means that their mental illness is taking over and the little things you’re doing have lost the fight with depression.

Being with someone or being friends with someone who has a mental illness can cause you to feel like you have one too. This doesn’t mean you do have one and you know exactly what they’re going through, it just means that you have to try to understand more, instead of assuming that they’ll feel better because you’re around.

Unfortunately part 1 has already come to an end, but most definitely stick around for part 2.

Until next time.

 

A Close Encounter with Death- How I Helped My Friend Through Her Mental Illness

Written by Dominique Bancey

This story is not entirely mine, it belongs to an extremely close friend of mine (a best friend almost). She doesn’t even know I’m writing about it, but I’ve decided to share it so many of you can be aware of what I meant when I said that even if you don’t suffer from a mental illness, having someone around you who does, can make you feel like you do too. Now, even though I do suffer from them, if she was having bad times during my good times,  then it would be like I was having them too. 

Let me explain…

There are multiples occasions I could tell you about, but I’ll stick with the most recent one. Our friendship isn’t the type where we need to talk to each other all day every single day. We would check in on each other every now and then and then there would be moments where we spoke nonstop. This particular time, she let it be clear to me that she wasn’t okay and she didn’t want to talk to anyone. Even though I love and care about her, I knew I had to respect her wishes.

So what did I do?

I replied to her message and said, “Sigh, okay love. If your mind changes and you need someone, I’ll be here. I may message you every now and then, I don’t expect a response though.”

One of the most important things you have to do, is respect someone and their wishes. 

I kept my promise. I messaged her after that, letting her know that I miss her and I love her and I hope she’s doing okay. At this point, my heart couldn’t stop racing and I couldn’t stop worrying, but it would make no sense for me to try to call her or blow up her phone too much because at the end of the day, she had a wish, and I had to respect it. 

Eventually a few days later, she messaged me back and she let me know just how much she appreciated my messages. Something that may seem so small, is such a huge thing to someone in need. 

Until next time. 

Why I Think Modern Relationships Are Failing?

Written by Dominique Bancey- Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

This topic of failing relationships have always intrigued me and honestly, believe me when I say that this definitely will not be the last time I talk about it. 

First off, let me begin by saying that these are strictly my opinions, they aren’t facts. It’s what I believe based on observations and experiences. 

Trust Issues

It seems to be quite a common thing for many persons in this generation to have trust issues, but the issue with this is that they actually allow it to ruin their relationships. They get into one relationship, that person breaks they trust, then they get into another relationship and they refuse to trust (or completely trust) their partner, because they assume that they’ll break it. Yes past relationships are lessons and they teach you what to do or not to do, but at the same time, you can’t treat your current partner like your exYou might as well be dating your ex again. 

Selfishness

Not wanting your partner to have friends or to go out with anyone because you fear they’ll ‘find somebody better’ is something I hear way too often. Being in a relationship doesn’t stop the both of you from being your own individual selves, it just brings the both of you together. Therefore, both of you are allowed to continue to do your own things (as long as it won’t hurt your partner or the relationship). This also ties in with trust

There are many other things to be mentioned but let me just share this.

I’ve cheated before in past relationships. I moved on. Got into a new relationship. Told this person everything (about the cheating and all). Then… They used it against me

How?

Well, they told me that because I’ve cheated they have more of a reason not to trust me because I’ll probably do it again. 

I don’t agree with the whole ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ statement. I know for a fact that I was a different person with a totally different mindset when I did cheat, so I didn’t think this was fair to me at all. 

In the end, we didn’t even work out. 

And, I didn’t cheat. 

Until next time. 

4 Common Misconceptions about Depression

Written by Dominique Bancey-Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

There are many things people say about depression that just simply isn’t true. I will be naming a few and giving a few short explanations about why they are indeed misconceptions

Depression is a weakness

Depression isn’t picky. It doesn’t look for the person who has just been kicked out, or just got fired, it’s a condition and it doesn’t care who you are, or how strong/weak you are. Having depression doesn’t lessen your strength. 

Depression = Sadness

This is one of the most common misconceptions honestly. Especially in today’s society, many individuals go through terrible periods in their life that is filled with immense sadness yet they say, “Oh I’m so depressed.” Feeling down and being depressed are two different things. Depression can be brought on by feelings of sadness, but feeling down doesn’t last as long as an episode of depression.

Everyone who has depression experiences it the same

After all, depression is a mental illness, there is no way everyone with it is going to experience it the same. When you and your friend have a cold, you may have similar symptoms, but the both of you aren’t going to experience it the exact same way, and that’s the same with depression and any other mental illness. It causes different people to react or to feel different ways. 

Depression is all in your head

This is definitely a very popular one. Someone with depression can’t just shut it off or ‘suck it up’. Persons from the outside only see the emotional side of depression where you may be acting different or doing things differently, but they don’t see how it physically affects you. So they automatically assume that it’s a feeling you can easily control. They don’t realize that it’s not a light switch you can turn on or off, that’s not how it works

Unfortunately, there are plenty of other misconceptions about depression, but hopefully these will be understood by you and you will share it with others. 

Until next time.