I was in a McDonald’s washroom once. Not by choice. But because I was driving down Steeles and I wasn’t going to make it home on time.
I knew that I would be in there a while and with only two stalls I had to come up with a solution. Lucky me – there was a wet floor pylon in the washroom which I propped up against the door to my stall.
So, as suspected, I was there a while. People assumed the stall was broken and nobody bothered me.
But kids don’t know how to read.
I saw a pair of tiny feet by the stall as a little girl tried to open the latch. She jiggled the door until finally her mom told her to leave it alone. But apparently that wasn’t good enough for her.
I don’t know if you have ever noticed the washroom stalls at McDonald’s, but they have a significant amount of space from the bottom to the floor. Yep, something only I would notice.
So the little girl bent down and looked under the stall. We made this very awkward eye contact. She screamed “Somebody is in there!” Her mom quickly had her stand up.
Awful. That eye contact. She thinks she just saw someone in the washroom on the toilet, head buried in their hands. What I saw was this innocent, sweet little girl who was out enjoying a night with her family.
I wish through osmosis I could’ve told her to keep being who she is being. Keep smiling and keep being the sweet little girl that I heard in the washroom. Not a care in the world. Don’t end up in the washroom of a fast food restaurant because you have poisoned your body and can’t make it home to have one ounce of dignity in an awful situation. This should never happen. To me or to anyone. Nobody deserves to live like this. It’s not living.
It is moments like those that I reflect on and remember throughout my journey. I look at this girl with so much potential ahead of her. Lucky. But wait, so do I. I can change it. I can be whoever I want to be. As awful as these situations are, they bring me one step closer to recovery because I am faced with reality and what my life will always look like if I don’t change.