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DAY 41

I did some filming with friends today, it was super casual and so wasn't too stressful. I was at uni, shortly after that as a reward I treated myself to a McDonalds. Exciting, right?

Today I started my antipsychotic medication and for the first two hours I felt fine, then I was sitting on the train and I got this horrendous migraine, not long after that I felt very very sleepy. I was struggling to keep my eyes open and as I walked around and even spoke to others - I just felt like I was going to fall asleep. It was honestly the most tired I had ever felt. When I got home this afternoon I lay on the couch with the puppy and had a 3 hour long nap. And now? I still feel really exhausted.

Now here's the conundrum, I have work tomorrow and it's quite a fast paced job where you have to be on the ball. Do I take my medication considering what it did to me? I could explain to my manager about the medication I'm on but they probably wouldn't be happy with me not performing as well at work, so I see very little understanding there as it is a fast paced job.

I never received any other side effects, I felt a little hungrier which is bad. I just had the issue with migraines and drowsiness. I never had any effects of Parkinsonism, unless that's a thing where it develops over time. I'm not entirely sure.

I saw my best friend at the train station today so had a chat with her on our way home. I've really missed her as she lives further away and it's difficult meeting up with conflicting schedules. She's one of the sweetest people I know and I learn a lot from her about being selfless.

I wish I had more to document for my day but I really don't, it was a long day but I've been exhausted the whole way through. As I write this, Daisy is munching on her dental bone in my bed and I can already envision how it'll feel as I roll about in the remnants tonight. It sounds so peculiar but I have a really nice cereal downstairs and I'm actually excited to wake up early tomorrow so I can eat some. I'm definitely a 'grubber'.

How do you guys deal with bad side effects of medication? I have to take mine in the morning but I'm wondering if I can take it at night instead, however it may change the way it works. It's not even working yet so I'm not entirely sure it's even effective. However, I give everything a go!

Advice on side effects and working whilst on strong medication will be appreciated! As ever I am on twitter if you want to strike up a conversation, I love talking to you all!

I'm going to FINALLY chill out now and watch some television.

Speak soon buddies!

DAY 40

I'm not having the world's best day if I'm entirely honest.
There are a few stories running, essentially documenting the fruits of this blog - I made comments and urged the media to essentially plug SAMH and Bipolar Scotland. I was extra careful not to work with newspapers that were very political, you know ones that basically have a habit of wrangling opinions and creating bias. I worked with local outlets instead of major corporations to get the word out to those who need it.

One article that came out today, you may have read, had a completely horribly lit photo of me looking like a troll with a laptop... inaccurate information regarding my twitter and a tone that zoomed in a lot to my life. I don't know how effective this was or if that had helped you, I'm not as upset now - if it helped someone then that's fine. The people I worked with were fantastic and supportive, sometimes things just don't come out as I envision them.

I'm continuing work for something tomorrow for a slightly larger scale project, where I am hoping I don't look like a troll as there is a lot of images of my face! I know the angle was a little bit weird, so I probably will look like a troll but hopefully Bipolar Scotland will be in the story swell so it will be thorough and vastly helpful for those who need it.

So I guess today I had a bit of attention anxiety, I don't like things being about me and even though I essentially front this blog - I want the success of it to belong immediately to the blog and community, not to me. Thankfully I'm working with some friends tomorrow, so all should be much better!

I think it's natural to feel overwhelmed when something new changes your life. I just never thought the blog would get so big and that everyone would start watching and I guess that just scares me. I am going to be okay, of course! This isn't about me and I guess I'm being selfish worrying about myself!

I start my anti-psychotic medication to treat my hallucinations which have been consistent since around last November. The side effects are pretty bad with more than 1 in 10 having symptoms of Parkinsonism (which is more common with Lithium added). I'm worried about starting that and hopefully it doesn't interrupt the work I do tomorrow.

I think I just need to go to my bed and chill out, probably watch some movies. I think everyone needs a rest particularly when there is a lot of change. Change is one of the worst triggers in an illness like Bipolar Disorder, so I need to be careful in how I treat myself - getting plenty of sleep and staying calm is paramount.

I hope today you have all had a great day, if you are new to this blog and had came here from a local outlet - hello! I'm glad you are reading along.

I'll speak more tomorrow, today has just been a bit of a shock to the system and I need to calm down before I get back to promoting this thing!

All my love, as ever,

Your Friend

DAY 39

Another long, busy day I am afraid. My morning started with a crazy email hunt followed by a shift at work. When I got home I just wanted to sleep quite honestly, but you can't sleep when you have a puppy bouncing all over your head.

I’ve felt a little overwhelmed today, sometimes I feel a bit like I have bit off more than I can chew. Not that I don’t love what I’m doing for the mental health community, being an active advocate is a tiring job. I love hearing your stories, speaking on your behalf and driving traffic to our blog and to charities. I just don’t like being the face of my own blog, which almost sounds silly. I guess the whole anonymity of Mimi has disappeared, as you are all aware who Aymie Black is and where to find her.

I apologies if I am moping, it’s just a little overwhelming. This blog went from like 2 people reading it to thousands in less than 30 days. Now everyday when I write I feel an overpowering pressure to say the right thing, because everyone is listening. My family and friends now read the blog for the first time and I almost feel censored. My dad gives updates to me on what he has read the night before, confirming that my blog post was up a ‘bit late’ last night. With all this pressure I feel I’m struggling to give you the authenticity that I did beforehand.

What I can promise to you is that I will overlook the sudden audience to the best of my ability and address directly to you, the person reading these words right this moment. You are central to me and even if you are reading this because you are curious or even if you plain don’t like me – I’m glad you are reading. With reading, comes understanding.

Do you ever just feel anxiety looming above you? I think there is definitely a thick black cloud above me and I’m struggling to see through that smog at the moment. There are so many things happening that I don’t know if I am entirely cut out for the attention. I have loads of insecurities, I know I might seem forward and optimistic but I am still a person. I’m not insecure because of my ‘bipolar’, it’s just because I’m a young girl who feels a substantial amount of pressure on every single aspect of my life. I have to say the right things, look a certain way and act appropriately. Particularly with this attention, I’ve been put on this impermanent stage to shout out about mental health and I’m terrified at the things people will nitpick about me – how I look and what I say.

Like I said yesterday, it’s about perspective. I might not enjoy being an advocate because I hate photos but I love helping. So long as there’s a cause, I will keep fighting.

Other than maybe the apprehension and anticipation, I am feeling good and doing great. I wish I had an extra day in the week, I need to focus more on doing my summer project for university but I’ve just been so rushed off my feet. I also essentially write an essay every single night on here – just for you all to read. If I were to write a book, it would be mighty long.

Yesterday I told you to try something new, I hope many of you gave that a bash. If you want to talk you know where I am. I think it’s important to push yourself out your comfort zone, there are times in live where it’s just compulsory. Starting a new job, moving home… things like these are necessary but nerve-wracking however they add such beautiful experiences to your life. Live a life of colour, nobody should have a life with absolutely no stimulus. Even if you have no motivation or feel so sad you can’t get out of bed… today just try and put your slippers on and take the bins out! Small steps are just as significant as big ones, so long as it’s a step in the right direction. One thing about life is that it is entirely personal to you, with all new-fangled social media we’re almost drawn to compare and compete with each other. Your life is yours and should be lived by you and for you.

You’re a fantastic being, just push yourself a little bit more each day and you will enjoy the paradise of a free mind and happy life.

Speak soon friends,

DAY 38

Well today was productive.

I did some interviews for the blog to tell people what is available here, to raise awareness of bipolar disorder in young people and to help eradicate mental health stigma. The first interview lasted around an hour, the second was around an hour and a half. The first interview will be released out to all of Scotland/Glasgow the second will be released locally for those down the Clyde.

I apologise if it seems the communications with media is predominately Scottish, there are complications with travel and also I want to let people know the fantastic services SAMH and Bipolar Scotland have provided me.

I feel totally knackered (writing this as I travel home!) and I'm glad I got through that process today. I hate being on camera, my own camera - I can deal with! I'm the kind of girl who takes 10 selfies before there is a good one. I remember getting photos taken today and the photographer asked for me to smile and I swear I just got nervous facial ticks like 'Oh god, I've lost control of my face!'. I'm not cut out for media at all, and yet I still did it for you guys! I hate attention on myself but if opportunities arise that will help the blog and the mental health community - I have to agree! There is no space to be selfish in this. Although, I wish I didn't wear super comfortable old high-tops, particularly when they were going to do a 'foot shot'. I know, I wish that sounded less weird than what it was but it was pretty weird. I also had to try and look super 'casual', I'm a dresses and heels person and I didn't want to look unapproachable so I tried to look chill. I don't know how that came across honestly.

I think I handled today quite well, it was a new atmosphere and quite stressful however the people I was working with were really calm and collected. I feel a little bit overwhelmed, but I think I just need some food and a nice big nap. I think it's important to try things out and consider the bigger picture. Too often I say no because I'm worried about the effect on myself: How will I look? How will I be portrayed? A lesson in selflessness is to think of the bigger picture and just go for it. If I can contribute to the success of something significant in our health industry, then gosh I will do it.

Here is my challenge for you: Tomorrow, do something you wouldn't normally do. Do something really wild or even just break your routine. I understand how important it is to have normality, so do not break important routines or completely disrupt your life: just try something new. Take up knitting, blogging, painting or watch a different genre of movie. I guarantee you by trying something new you will be adding a golden feature on to your personality, you'll learn something and you'll have a fun experience just because you tested the waters of experimentation.

Tonight, I will be heading home - maybe watch a few movies and head to bed as I have work tomorrow. I'm very excited for Thursday and Friday which are my days off and I have completely nothing planned. I have spent so much money every day just on travel and my bank account must be really red and swollen at the moment. Don't you just anticipate being lazy? I mean being productive is fantastic but I really wish for the times I could be snuggled up in my favourite blanket with just my puppy for company. When she isn't eating me, barking or peeing on my carpet: she's fantastic company!

So I am signing off here, I hope you all had a fantastic day today and tomorrow is a fresh start! Try something new, do something great.

I will see you tomorrow friends!

DAY 37

Today was a lively day. I always check my business email when I travel to work and there were a bunch for this blog, which was quite a surprise. So far we have gained backing and been shared by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), Bipolar Scotland and Bipolar UK (Youth). In the next few months, printed entries of my blog could be available in magazines from SAMH and Bipolar Scotland. Locally, this blog has been eaten up - which I am glad. In my country (Scotland), many people aren't aware of the means of help, e.g. Charities. It's nice to raise awareness of where to go and how to get help if needed.

Tomorrow because of the blog I will be doing an interview, it shouldn't be too tense although I am nervous. I'll let you know what happens with it and where you can see it when the information is available.

Why am I letting you know all these things? Because this isn't my blog, it's ours. It's worth noting any interaction it has, I want to be fully transparent with you!

So how was day 37? I guess it was exciting but nerve wracking with all the developments of this. Accomplishing something is great but there's definitely something terrifying about success. In theory, things sounds great and you would totally be up for any opportunity - but then when that happens it almost stuns you. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but the change we are creating is phenomenal.

When you are productive - you create such good energy, it's like doing something is liberating. Isn't it funny how we have all these bones and little nerves, and we are these awesome beings? When I feel sad I just think about how lucky I am to be alive. All these bones, muscles, nerves are wanting me to go on. It sounds almost bashful with the way I am speaking, but aren't we remarkable creatures? It definitely encourages you to take care of yourself. There are so many people who self-harm now, I get it.

Self-harm is the highest form of attention seeking to those who have no understanding of mental illness. To me, it felt good to inflict a physical pain to echo my mental. If you are struggling with self-harm issues let me just say this: you are someones son or daughter. I'm not accusing you of being selfish, but if you take yourself out of your personal situation there you can understand a little better. You were born a remarkable being with ten tiny toes and ten tiny fingers. There was a time where you were so vulnerable your guardian held you and guided you. Cared for your beautiful tiny little body. When you got old enough, you had to care for yourself. Remember you were that tiny baby at one point, your body was a baby. Treat your body like a baby because it's vulnerable, you are so beautiful and fragile and if you could just think about your physical being not as an extended trait of yourself but it's own being - it'll open your eyes. Do you know how hard your body works just to breathe? That's remarkable, everything in your entity is wanting to survive.

I want to hear more from you all, I love talking with you and listening to your stories.
I hope you're okay, if you need some help at all do just contact me or see the links on the right.

If you are requiring immediate help and are worried you are going to seriously harm yourself or you're contemplating suicide, please attend your local A+E.

'Til tomorrow!

DAY 36

I apologise that this may not be as long or may have errors, as I am writing this blog post on the last train home. I'm heading back from a work training night and I'm already exhausted.

I feel odd today, I felt very sad for a while. I'm not sure why but I hit essentially depression for just a few hours. Maybe it was natural, it's not the way my illness works so I'm worried a little. I feel okay tonight though so it isn't much hopefully. I remember just walking around Glasgow whining then next thing I know I'm breaking down in tears in John Lewis. I'm not sure what's wrong with me, maybe hormones went crazy but I do feel fine now. I think I just got a little frightened, a few things amounted up - I cried and now I'm okay. It's good to remember that even if you have a mood disorder, you are still capable of feeling ordinary emotions. Primarily people feel happy and sad, often a few in one day so it probably wasn't out of the ordinary for me to have a little sad part.

I'm being pulled about with someone bullying me, not that it is out of the usual but they are not only attacking me they are indirectly attacking the community and blog I've created. That's not cool. For anyone to go ahead and insult a girl who's marginally younger than them with mental health issues, calling them names and competing to try and out-do them, that's just plain bad character. This blog is not running in a competition, this is something that helps thousands of people everyday. All you need to do is click on Twitter and see the response to it, it's incredible.

Some people don't understand mental health, they think it's imaginary. That illness of the mind doesn't exist, yet they accept things like Alzheimer's. It's just a shame people are ignorant, boasting their physical illnesses are much worse. Let's be realistic, long term losing your mind and never recovering? Mental illness is one of the worst things that can happen to an individual, because if you lose your mind: what are you? I would rather have something physical that gets treated then I can be normal. I will never be normal, and yet there are people who scoff at the journey you and I have to take towards wellbeing.

Don't let anyone tell you that your illness is nothing. A man on Twitter the other day remarked that had I not been diagnosed, I wouldn't have any issues and that now I'm off my head on drugs. Like physical illness, mental illness that is severe needs treated. If giving me drugs with albeit unpleasant side effects, to keep me alive and sane - then I'll take them.

I think in this world we have a lot of ignorant people, education is the key. If we all had a standard of intellect and understanding then there would be less stigma.

Be strong my friends, face those bullies. Not everyone is good in this world. And for those who doubt your illness, ignore them because they are ignorant and can't possibly believe things that aren't staring them in the face.

See you tomorrow, stay strong.

DAY 35

Today I've had a great productive day, started off with puppy sitting then we went for dinner in what will be our new hometown, then quick 5 minute commute to Glasgow to watch The Gallows in the movies. My boyfriend hated the movie, he thought it was awful... I personally found it quite clever however when I watch scary movies I tend to hide through all the scary parts - I famously paid to see Woman In Black 2, without actually seeing the Woman in Black because I hid so much.

Today I've been thinking a lot about change and which things I should change about myself for the better. To me, in all that I do I've always strived to stay humble and do things selflessly. It's just such an important concept to me to help others. I don't know if that sounds peculiar, but I am driven to help things that are far bigger than myself. That's not to say I don't put time aside for myself because I do, I just think my contribution to others is much more significant.

In this world there are so many different people. On social media we see everyone from serial braggers to the socially reclusive. I would fit myself in the category of 'friend', if I really had to choose. I devote my life to helping others, helping causes, helping animals and just helping, period. There is nothing more enriching than devoting yourself to a cause and following that through. I feel that responsibility a lot with the campaigns I front for animal testing and local laws. I've noticed now that there has become this 'cool status' with looking productive for ethical reasons. I encourage everyone to take an interest in our world and what's going on, especially taking part with campaigns and charities. As a result of social media, we have people who take a photo of themselves helping a homeless person: firstly, it's great you've decided to help someone but secondly... there is a strong motive of boosting your personal profile. A good deed is not one that's used to satisfy your hunger for social acclaim or greed. I've came across people who speak out 20 minutes about themselves to spark interest, a second mentioning a charities name then proceeding to state their cause was fully for a charity: again, the social acclaim idea.

I've had people try to compete with the blog, I've had people think it were about me and I want to say - again, like I do almost every night: this is about helping you reading.

I'm glad that through all these illnesses and horrible moments, I've always retained my selfless quality. It's a piece of my character that's never disappeared. I think being a good person is important, I strive to be good - but with that, I also strive to be honest. I am not an entirely good person. My illness does mean I can speak out of turn, get angry and blank out people. The difference being is that every day I do good things, I make the effort. I want to change, like I said, things about myself for the better. I mostly want to do more good deeds, I only wish there were more hours in my day.

I've got a little question tonight as well if anyone wants to point themselves out, I know you all prefer tweet over comment, but has anyone heard of the semi-colon mental health trend? Has anyone went out and got tattooed? I think it's interesting, I'm not sure if I'd go for it - I don't have any tattoos and if I ever do I only want one,  it's a natural skin beauty preference - do you guys think it's a good idea?

As ever, I'll be on twitter to talk about this!

Anyway, from today's thoughts I want to just say: Even though times are difficult and you may not be in control of your moods, use all your brain power to strive to be a good person. Make a 'good deeds' list, front a campaign or join a charity. Being selflessly good will have great benefits for your mental wellbeing. Even more difficult, be nice to those who are not nice to you. There's a challenge for you.

All my love guys, speak tomorrow

Mi x

DAY 34

Every day I write, with not the hope to inspire you but the hope to relate. I hope that when you read my words – I’m speaking directly to you, and that you feel my words on your body and that they untangle your mind. I have said this a thousand times, but you are incredible my dear reader.

I’ve been doing great, the blog has been consuming a lot of my time in the case of emails and sharing – it’s reached more viewers than ever before, everything is blowing up. We are doing so much good for those who want advice or comforting words… or those who want a deeper insight into serious mental illnesses.

My intent has hopefully always been clear, this is about you. I would never do this to boost the profile of myself, heck – I’d like to think there are more fabulous aspects of me than ‘Bipolar’! This blog shows you where to get help, I’ve explained my symptoms and I explain daily life… each day opening up to give you an aspect of my living such as relationships, bullying and treatment. I’m in this powerful position because of your influence on this blog, a position I never necessarily hoped to be in. I love being here for you all, I am a bit daunted by how big it is becoming so I feel a little pressure – but it’s helping you and so I feel good about that.

I’ve sent and received a lot of emails, I’ve updated my means of sharing to reach more distant audiences through mental health channels. We’ve looked at publishing this online blog through a magazine, interviews and media’s response, monetization for donation and I’ve been offered a lot of positions.

For me, any opportunity that directly (and positively) affects the blog –I will take. If an opportunity if purely for me, I’ll consider – can I do good? And more importantly, however selfishly, can it do me good? I can’t take too much on board for myself as I want to honour my commitments for the blog foremost, and I don’t want to stress myself as at this point you should know everything goes awfully when I get stressed.

I’ve been doing well though, a little hectic with some things going on… I really keep thinking about my closet. When on earth will I find the time to clean it? I’m doing so much and holding down a job and a uni course – In my uni, work does not finish for Summer!

Anyways, I’m going to wrap today’s post up on this note: I love you all for reading and I am grateful for the community of love we have created. You are all fantastic and I am glad we are helping each other through these difficult times we face.

I am strong in this, not because I’m one girl who got unlucky and decided to ‘milk it’ – but because I stood up alongside all my friends and battled to dissolve stigma and bring awareness to an often forgotten, misunderstood serious life-long mental illness. A lot of people reading are young, this is the time where Bipolar symptoms first appear – we have to make sure everyone is aware.

I love you all, let’s stand together.

DAY 33

Today I feel like I'm just taking the time to adjust to things, I woke up to the most strange morning.
Someone in a blue NHS uniform was banging my door down and trying to open my door! Immediately I thought, why on earth is this happening? None of my nurses wear that uniform and they've never attended my home before... surely my psychiatrist would've mentioned if he was sending a home help. I looked at my phone: missed call from my boyfriend. I may be truly crazy but I thought, oh god... my boyfriend has called my psychiatrist and is getting me detained! I was frantic for all of five minutes and called my boyfriend with no answer. He then texted saying he "had news". I looked out the window and saw the NHS nurse go back into her car, before walking across the street. She must've went to the wrong door! My boyfriend called and told me that he got the job he was interviewed a few weeks ago. I think I needed a breather just from the sheer instant panic I got when I thought I was being taken away to the psychiatric hospital!

Obviously, my boyfriend found it hilarious and now I can see how funny it was considering I am completely fine and not acting erratically.

I am so happy for my partner getting a really great job. It had been a long time coming, but to secure a job where his salary is shockingly better than his current one - is definitely a great reward for him. He has always been a kind, loving man who had doubts about himself. He never went to university or college to get an education and he was in a minimum wage job that needed no experience. When he left school he took an apprenticeship, so luckily enough that helped further his Business Administration career. A leading UK bank has taken him on in a city centre position to help head office, giving him a salary graduates dream of - four times what he got paid before. I'm vastly proud of him, and that news makes me so happy.

I've been chilling out and keeping quiet today I guess, I've felt a little sad after hearing the likelihood of being Schizophrenic. I'm going on my anti-psychotics soon, so I'm looking to lose a stone of weight. Anti-Psychotics make people gain weight like crazy apparently, so I'm dieting now so that the blow is minimum and that I can stay the same weight. I've started doing things like yoga again to build up the muscle in my legs and tone everything up, and it won't be long until I can pump it all out at the gym again.

I think I'm doing okay, I'm just having a little bit of a hard time... Ru Paul's Drag Race is helping.

DAY 32

I usually wait until night to type up this blog, so that I can reflect on my full day. I want to write before I forget though, and I am very hopeful of forgetting. Today was my meeting with my psychiatrist and first I got some positives: My lithium level was almost there so I only need to go up another 100mg and I don’t need blood tests as regularly! I’m very happy I don’t need to see the blood nurse every single week. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder months ago, although my GP and CPN said that with the mental health assessment period they don’t want to write down one illness. My psychiatrist relayed to me today, it is indeed Bipolar Affective Disorder – Type 1, in the American system.  To have a full diagnosis following my medication does feel good, I almost felt like closure was there and that I could just live with treatment.

I then spoke to him about how I felt my mood disorder was treated more than my psychosis, which was still distressing to me. He then told me he was going to prescribe an Anti-Psychotic, with my consent. I am being put on the drug Risperidone, he explained this medication is serious and there are a lot of serious side effects – and that if I have any issues regarding movement or tremors then I was to immediately contact him to be put on an ‘anti-parkinsons’ drug. A lot of the side effects are terrifying – including losing muscle movement, your eyes losing control and looking completely elsewhere, drooling and being unable to walk or hold things. Another really common side effect is weight gain, having a past with Anorexia that terrifies me.

I asked when me and the psychiatrist’s appointments would end, asking if the next one would be us done. He said ‘Could be… but probably not’, I didn’t really understand – if he is assessing me and told me I 100% have Bipolar Disorder, why did he need to see me and not just a CPN? He said that my psychosis needed monitored, and I asked if it was just a symptom of Bipolar Disorder. He said as my psychosis stayed put throughout all my mood swings – it was representing itself as an independent illness, and that we were looking at a diagnosis of Schizophrenia.

There we have it, the moment I was terrified. I had become so used to the idea of having Bipolar Disorder I guess I didn’t realise there was more to it. I knew psychosis was an issue of Bipolar Mania, but I didn’t think I could have a serious illness like Schizophrenia: Terrifying!

Let me just take this time to relay how magical my luck really is. Let’s be kind of positive, it might not be Schizophrenia. However, there is not many illnesses that explain my symptoms. So I’m currently being treated for it, however I’m going through this review process again. It’s never ending. The odds are very much at this stage, I'm Bipolar with Schizophrenia but schizoaffective disorder just hasn't been mentioned.

I have Bipolar Disorder, it seems I may be Schizophrenic - all I know is that I'm awesome and I'm going to be okay.

DAY 31

This blog is quickly becoming a friend to me, where I can tell all my secrets and not feel utterly bad about doing so. Last night I was familiarised with a huge ‘Bipolar Blogosphere’ where there were several people who do comparable things to me, although I have not seen a daily blogger yet. A lot of people made their blogs bipolar specific, for me this is a wellness blog where I can be friendly and not have to remind you I’m ill every twenty seconds.
Having a lifelong illness might seem governing, but it doesn’t always attack my character: I am indeed, still a person!

Today the spending got a little much again, I’m actually starting to worry a little about it. I have loads of things to pay for now and yet I’ve been spending hundreds of pounds on bedding, curtains, rugs and tapestries. But as I sit in this clean, beautiful room… it does feel worth it. My mind and soul feels clean – that sounds hugely ridiculous but I have such great peace of mind and I don’t feel spoiled.

I struggle with balance in my life, naturally, as you may know. I also struggle with obsessive thoughts. I hang onto things mawkishly and treat every memory like it’s a fundamental piece of my being. I’ve learned that hanging on to a stack of corrupt thoughts, is not healthy. I shouldn’t have to think about people I used to see more than I think about myself, or persecute myself over things in life that could’ve been. I’m not spiritual in the sense of Christianity, although I adore the ideals of that religion. I have very strong spiritual feelings about my sense of being and how I connect with the world and all that’s around me.

Today is the 21st July, and because I obviously love being cruel to myself - I recognize the following: It’s my “Childhood Sweetheart” Ex’s birthday and it would’ve been the half year mark from my anniversary with another Ex. Dates like this make me so sad and it sends me into panic aswell. It’s like this intrinsic sadness just peeks out and suddenly I’m blaming myself all over again. Today, however, was the first time in years where I didn’t torture myself.

My second Ex, Ryan, is still friendly with me. We share jokes and very much wish the best for each other. Everything about that is so clean, so when it comes to an imperative date I think: It’s okay, the time we had was great but the time we have now to ourselves is better. I think when situations are as beautiful as that, you can move on quite easily.

My “Childhood Sweetheart”, however, doesn’t wish me the same kind of luck; I can only imagine. He was a beautiful human being, everything I could ever want in a person; he just principally did not want me. I couldn’t live a life with Band-Aids covering the cracks. I feel unhappy when it reaches dates such as his birthday because I think: how can things be this way? How can you go from feeling such intense feelings of passion to complete hatred? That upset me. Predominantly when all I ever did was try to protect myself. It makes me feel so uncomfortable that I want to be pleasant and just say ‘Happy Birthday’ but there is no path of contact at all.

My first love made me feel things I had never felt. I felt beloved and I felt contented within his company, he taught me so many things about myself. He saved me from a disgusting eating disorder, he helped me through my parents divorce and my homelessness. He taught me to love myself with no remorse, and in the many years after the break-up, I just couldn’t. Now, I practice what he taught everyday. He said I deserved more than him, and I did. I was made to feel ashamed for putting myself first and for so long I felt a hatred for myself. But now I know how to love myself.

Love doesn’t always work out. In a parallel universe, my Ex and I would’ve had an eternal relationship. It’s much more difficult to love yourself than it is another.

I felt shame, guilt, anger and sadness. For years, I never thought it would ever end. The world went on, and there I was – crying over yesterday. It’s okay to feel, but after you cry at least remember yourself. I let my emotion over a situation affect my opinion of myself and it terrorised me. I have learned so much now. I have turned out to be a fine person and I wouldn’t have imagined I could get to the place I am now. One day, you do just wake up and there it is: Self Love. Get to know yourself; don’t be afraid of loneliness because there is no better company than your own. I became a magical person that everyone wants to be around, but more importantly I enchant myself.

My situations broke me down, but only I could set myself free.

P.s. Happy Birthday, you made me feel everything. You made me kind. You made me love. You are the reason my life is so wonderful. Thank you.