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DAY 100 - Goodbye

Here it is, the final instalment. I pondered many ideas on what to do for this last post – I never thought I’d actually get up to Day 100 so I can’t say I’ve given it great thought. I recorded a video but as I looked back at the footage, it felt too set up. It didn’t feel like it had the natural intrigue that the original blog had. I’m sorry if all this time you’ve hated reading, but for my final day – lets go back to basics.

In the space from June to October, my mental illness has made me take a break from work and it has ended my relationship. I darted about the topics previously, and I wasn’t direct so I apologise. The industry I was in was completely wrong and I couldn’t work with the public because of how bad my psychosis got. My relationship ended around 5/6 weeks ago. Him and I were together for 2 years and adored each other and it was all quite perfect. However, he started setting up a life with a girl with an illness. He never signed up to that, and it wasn’t that we couldn’t cope – it was that it had become cruel to just cope. If I ever meet someone else, I want them to know the deal before they agree. Not just try and put up with things out of love, I want someone to know what’s happening and love them anyway. This wasn’t a case of getting ill and recovering, this was permanent and I couldn’t be a part of someone else’s life when I didn’t even know myself.

Recently, I told you about someone taking advantage of me. Someone I vaguely knew read my blog and felt I looked impressionable enough to manipulate. I was so unaware for a while, my friends were hurt by it and inevitably I was hurt by it. I may have an illness that makes me vulnerable, but as a strong-minded woman – I am clever enough to know bad news. It still hurts because I feel foolish but there are bad people in this world and we just have to deal with that. It makes me stronger.

I guess you can all understand the hard time now, right?

I will say I’ve never regretted sharing so much, although it made me vulnerable and tempted the wrong people – it just says so much more about them than it does me. I’m not a na├»ve person and I’m glad that I can be independent, even though I am unwell. Sharing was what brought you all a safe place in this blog. I’m so glad so many of you got to read through my journey and I hope it managed to educate you all, maybe provide a relatable story or just change your perspective. It has been such an eye-opening experience, I used to be so embarrassed that I was ill and now I am not. I know that I am a good person and that I will find the life I deserve. I’ve learned such perseverance and courage, more than anyone can imagine and I am very much recovering.

I’m in a good place right now, after a hard time – I’ve managed to navigate myself out of troubles.

The future of the blog is unclear however it will continue in some manner. Although there will not be a continuation at the moment of another 100 days, it’s been exhausting. I’m taking time out for myself and shutting down my internet. I will no longer be appearing on your feeds and if you message, I’ll try and reply when I get back. I don’t know if I’m away for 2 days or 200, but we’ll see. I just need no more days of Mimi, so I can have a day for me.

I would like to say thank-you to all who have read all these posts, whether you joined on day 10 or day 93. I’ve loved speaking with you all and sharing, and I’ve particularly loved the feedback you’ve given or the stories you’ve told me. You all inspire me so much and you are in my thoughts every single day.

We’ve been in newspapers, featured by charities, on television and on various webpages and now we’re here. I’ve enjoyed this experience so much and I’ve grew to love you all as friends not just as an audience. I never expected this to become so big, but I’m so happy it started conversations about mental health around the world. Please all continue living with the kindness that you’ve shown me, please have faith in yourself and don’t be scared to talk. You are all such inspiring individuals, and we are all working towards our own goals.

So for me, I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve never felt so lost to be honest. It’s time for my adventure. I will live in the light of love and kindness, and most importantly I will love myself. I’ve always been unpredictable, I don’t know where you will see me next or when. I hope our paths cross.

In the meantime – be strong, be loud and know that you are never on your own.


Mimi.

DAY 100 - PART ONE

DAY 100 – PART ONE: YOU

For Day 100, I’m very happy announce there will be TWO parts – this one now, and there will be another surprise later this evening. To celebrate the completion of the blog I decided to branch out and let YOU write the blog!

I hope you can all find people to relate to as they speak of their experiences surrounding mental health: I have included gender, location and age.
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My name is S and I am clinically depressed. 

I had always been different from my classmates at school; I was far sadder than them and I was always that little bit more cynical. I however, for years, put this down to the relentless bullying about things such as my weight which I believe to be a massive factor towards how I am now.

Seeing dieticians since I was 7 wasn’t exactly the fun after school activity that I wanted to partake in but I didn’t have a choice. I am not one to criticise the free healthcare that we have in this country, however, being admitted to CAMHS when I was 17 because a doctor didn’t read my records makes me angry. Not being able to be discharged as I was under 18 at the time, took its toll on me. Being naturally skinny with a BMI of someone with anorexia ‘isn’t acceptable’ and I would be told weekly that my body was wrong. At 18; I discharged myself.
I have lived my whole life with mental health illnesses; my sister has Aspergers, my brother ADHD and both my parents are depressed with my mother having OCD also.

Between the age of 17 and 19 I saw sex as a way to feel something, this was the wrong route to take and has tainted sex for me ever since; now it’s just meaningless. Sex to me with people I barely knew seemed risky and fun; these people found me attractive in a way and as someone who was told that their body was wrong from age 7, this was amazing! I had found a way to be appreciated (or now I think about it, used.) Believe me, this is not the route to take.

My depression spiralled out of control when I refused to take the Fluoxetine (Prozac) that I had been prescribed as I ‘wanted to make myself happy without it.’ This led to my college attendance slipping because I couldn’t get out of bed. 42% as an attendance rate is enough to get anyone kicked out. Luckily for me, my tutors put me on early study leave as they understood my circumstances as I had told them about my mental health history prior to this event. That helped. Telling your school or college about any condition you may have, be it asthma or depression; helps. I swiftly started taking them again.

I got diagnosed with depression when I was 17. When I told my mum she already knew but didn’t mention it before as she didn’t want to interfere. It upset me that I was officially diagnosed, however, the tablets they had put me on helped and therefore I only saw it as a good thing. I no longer wanted to harm myself daily or fantasise about being hit by a train. I voluntarily got myself the help that I needed and that is what so many people are afraid to do. Being mentally stable is difficult and believe me I am nowhere near, but I am closer. The first step to even beginning to be okay, is realising you’re not.
Female, 19, Wiltshire


I suffer every day with anxiety and depression from my time serving in Iraq, losing friends and coming home to find a marriage that was gone. 

Every day is a struggle, a cycle of anxiety, and paranoia from the anxiety, more anxiety, more paranoia and so on. I WANT to be right again, to not fear someone in a closed door meeting is talking about me. I want to be able to sleep again. I just want the pain in my head and heart to go away.

Male, 45, Mid-Atlantic US

I suffer from two mental illnesses and a learning disability. I suffer from depression, an anxiety disorder, and ADHD.

Many people do not take my illnesses and disability seriously because they do not understand what I am going through and how it affects me.
I take medications for all of my "problems" but that won't make them disappear. 
I try my best to act like nothing is wrong with me and to be as happy as possible when I'm around people, but sometimes it's so hard and I just want to get back into bed for the rest of the day.
People really need to try to understand mental illnesses a lot better. But it shouldn't be the person with the mental illness that has to educate you, try to educate yourself and help end the stigmas that surround mental health.
Female, 19, Connecticut

I have battled anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. My parents thought my anxiety was low blood pressure, so I never got the proper treatment until I sought out professional help when I was 23. 

When I finally saw a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and bipolar disorder. It took nearly two years, but we were able to finally find a combination of anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and anxiety medication to keep me level.

However, in 2008, I divorced my children's mother and became a single father nearly overnight. A combination of the divorce, getting custody of my young children, and the fact their mother gave up custody uncontested put me in a downward spiral. Not only was I on edge 24/7, but I also couldn't eat, which led me to lose 45 pounds in three months. 

While the pain of the divorce hurt, I sucked it up for the sake of my children, ages 4 and 13 months. I was traveling down the proverbial rabbit hole, but my friends and family were there for me to help pick me up. Not all my friends knew about my mental problems, but them being there for me just because they cared about me and my children helped more than they will ever know.

Six months after all that went down, I snapped out of my funk and everything started going well; I bought a house, a new car, and started dating again. I ended up getting married again in 2012, but ended it six months later as she completely changed and turned into a person who was not the woman I fell in love with.

This divorce didn't bother me at all. I did lose over $60,000 between the loss I took selling my house, the down payment on our new house and various other things, but I didn't care. You can always get more money.

Everything continued to go well until this past July. I suffered a stroke just two weeks after my 35th birthday. I am still not in a good place mentally due to my medical issues, my inability to work, and the shit health care system we have in America. It will have been five months since my stroke before I am able to see a neurologist next month to begin the process of getting better.

During this time, I have kept pretty much to myself. I stay at home, play video games, watch movies, and hang out with my kids. It's a huge change from the life I was living just a couple of months ago. Even though I am constantly down in the dumps, I do everything I can to keep a positive outlook on life. I tell myself "things will get better; this is just a temporary setback" daily. 

And as silly as it may sound, I have found some comfort on Twitter. I have recently met some awesome people and chit chatting with them helps boost my mood. I'm grateful for every single one of my followers and just want to let you know I appreciate the fact that I entertain you enough to follow me and I enjoy our banter about MMA, gaming, mental health, and a variety of other subjects. 

I hope my mental state gets back to where it was once I start the process of getting my medical well-being back under control so I can once again live a normal. To all of you who feel the same way, here's the best advice I can give you: when you wake up, be thankful you see the sun. Everyday—no matter how gloomy or anxious you feel—is another day you have made it.

In parting, I'd like to leave you with a quote I love and have posted on my bathroom mirror.

"If you are reading this, you have survived your entire life up until this point. You have survived traumas, heartbreak, devastation, the different phases of life, and here you are. You go, mother fucker. You're awesome."  
Male, 35, Kimberling City, MO


I never asked for this illness.

I never asked for it to rip through my body and soul like hell unleashed on earth
It has destroyed my life, my family
It's manipulated my life since I was 12
I never knew it was there
It lingered deep and silent like a beast of the night
Waiting to pounce
It was assisted by the control of parents, teachers, priests
Assisted by bullies and their tirades of savage viciousness
My mind opened and let the beast in
It occupied and proceeded to swallow me whole
I never realized what was going on
It clouds your mind, a pea soup over the 'Real You'
A vicious entangled deceitful selfish we that enveloped me
It fed itself and destroyed my friendships, my family
Medication and psychiatry assisted in cloaking its power
Then I saw a glimmer of hope I don't know when but I decided to move away from the beast
To separate us, like a troublesome divorce I had to work quietly and slowly
First step - reliance on meds
Then exercise
Eating habits
I starved the beast and it has dissipated
Never gone it lurks waiting for an opportunity to mess me up and resume its torment
I'm standing strong but the hardest part of recovery is realizing the trail of destruction, the people you loved the most are the ones you hurt the most.
The battle has only begun but I am stronger and I have clarity
Male, 44, Ireland

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I decided to speak to those I know personally as well to comment on how it is in relation to dealing with others, this is what they had to say:


I’ve worked in a nursing home since I was 17/18 years old, in fact that was my first ever job as a teenager. 

This job was highly demanding, and I didn’t realise this until a couple of weeks into it. This is because it wasn’t a “normal” nursing home. The nursing home cared for elderly dementia residents. Looking back, I think I would say that getting that job was my first ever experience with anything mental health related. It opened my eyes to so many different areas. For example, anyone can have a mental health illness; it can be major, or tolerable. But the main thing is to not focus on the illness, the person is an individual and not the illness they have been diagnosed with. Dementia for example; it’s a disease of the brain, from my understanding of it; is it slowly attacks and kills your brain and with it brings many problems. Working with elderly people, it was emotionally hard to see them deteriorate, because you do become attached to them, that’s unavoidable, for some it’s a fast process and others it’s a slow one. I guess you can really say that I had a lot of compassion to give. This job birthed my pursuit of a nursing career which I am currently undertaking. I found out this year that a friend of mine was diagnosed with a mental health illness and I was sad for her, but I knew the kind of person she was/is, so I knew she could overcome and rise above it. I’ve just tried to be there for her really, but I don’t ever see her as just having an illness, she was my friend before the illness and she will still be for the foreseeable future. She’s dealing with it in her own unique way, by writing an amazing blog (100 days of Mimi) about her day to day life and how she copes with her illness. Everyone has a journey to walk in this life, that journey will lead to a destination, so make every step count with whatever life throws at you.
Close Friend. Female, 21, Stirling - Scotland

From a man's perspective with no personal experience of mental illness, and from the experiences of those around me, i.e my girlfriend, my grandpa, it's a terrifying thing.

 My grandpa has dementia, it is one he has only developed in recent years. He gets confused about circumstances involving time and family, and isn't always present, its scary to think that one day I might end up the same way, somewhat losing who you are, losing connections to those around you.
With my girlfriend, I had seen that she wasn't taken seriously by some of her doctors whether it was through botched appointments, not giving vital medication or just general uninformed judgment of her manner. Where-as if she had a physical symptom, it would have been taken much more seriously. She has had to go through a lot more stress than needed because of incompetent or just plain unsympathetic staff, and that has to change.

 I would like for those with mental illness to receive a lot better treatment, not just in terms of medication, but with how they are approached, be mindful of their condition and treat them as the person they are rather than what their illness is.

This blog is/was an incredibly brave and personal thing to do, it is a window into her thoughts, her feelings, her fears, her hopes for the future. She lays it all out for all people to read, not many people could do that, all while encouraging others to strive for better, whether its an unhappy situation, their own mental illness, or just to try something new. It is no easy task to be that honest with people online for 100 posts, especially when they’re going through issues of their own. I am sure it has helped a lot of people either come to grips with their illness or see what it is like for someone who does suffer from one.
Ex-partner. Male, 23, Glasgow - Scotland

As a person who doesn't have any mental health issues, that I am aware of, it feels a tad weird to even have a say on it, but as someone who has very close friends who deal with it themselves, I've learned a few things through them.

First and foremost don't ever talk over them on the issues they are dealing with, just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You as an ally need to realize that it's great to raise awareness but you should listen too, be willing to learn about new things when it comes to the topic itself.

Secondly, don't use ablest slurs in general, just because you are able bodied and someone else around you looks able bodied too doesn't mean they are. Some disabilities cannot be seen by your naked eye but it doesn't mean they don't exist.

Thirdly if you don't understand something related to mental health issues just ask, don't make it into a guessing game or pretend you know everything on the topic, cause most likely than not you will slip and accidentally hurt the person you wanted to help. Yes I know everything I've said is very generalized and calling it 'mental health issues' doesn't do it justice but because it is such a broad subject I wanted to give you an opinion as an ally so that if you guys want to support them as allies then you know how to start. Remember it's okay to make mistakes, heck I make mistakes even now, but always apologize, if someone calls you out for being insensitive or being ablest then thoroughly apologize and don't make the same mistake again.

Close Friend. Female, 19, Kent – England.

Check back at 9pm UK Time this evening for PART TWO!

DAY 99


It’s day 99, I want to spend today talking about something important: Love. It is essentially my motivation, my mantra, my reasoning, my living and my kryptonite. I’m going to get personal and I hope you don’t mind, we are 99 posts in… I’m sure you are used to the system by now.

I love my friends, first and foremost obviously. I didn’t think I could realise my potential for love that wasn’t through romance or blood. I’ve lost so many people in my life and when I look at that destruction and hypothetically replace those with the people surrounding me now – I feel horrendously sad and I don’t think I could recover if I lost anyone from my circle. I don’t have someone there for me twenty four hours a day, however I do believe that in my toughest moments – there are those who would climb mountains just to help me. It’s nice feeling that when I reach these lows and highs caused by my illness, there are those standing around me and offering a ladder to bring me back to reality. I have never instilled so much trust in people and to feel that I can be entirely open with myself and who I am – I am just so grateful. I can’t possibly demonstrate this enough, no words cover my gratitude. I irrevocably love you all.

I love my old friends and those who aren’t here. I love the people who aren’t here today because they were essential in who I shaped out to be. There are people I grew apart from, people who I’ve shared an explosive finish with and those who unfortunately are no longer here with us. All these people have taught me how short life is and regardless of how these friendships ended, I will always have a massive admiration for these people – even if they just made me smile or were there on the end of the phone. I don’t hold onto grudges and I feel comfortable with where I am today and who I am with – I don’t ache for these people regularly, but I do miss the chemistries we shared. I hope that for those today they remember the love we shared and not pour over the negatives that came. I love you all for helping me become the person I am today.

I love those I have shared romantic relationships with. However testing the endings may have been and how my feelings are regarding their personhood – I will always have pieces of me in love with the men that I shared my life with. I have been tried so much in various ways and I still hurt today over various things, but it doesn’t nullify the amount of admiration I have for these beautiful people who were kind enough to trust me and share their time with me. I would particularly like to mention that I adore the patience of these people who all had a relationship with me, unaware that I was mentally unwell.  I know this unknown illness had caused a lot of destruction and broken a few hearts, but now I hope we can all live with this new knowledge and untie any bitterness that may have stemmed from some unruly situations. I am a new woman, not the girl you have experienced your life with and in so many respects I’ve learned to be such a better person. I miss these people terribly, and I hope they can respect me as much as I do them. I think of them all so much and I’m again, so grateful that they were a part of my life.

I love my family. This goes without saying but family truly are there for you. I’ve experienced so many situations in the past month where I’ve desperately needed company and everyone had other things on, but there they were – inviting me over, feeding me and looking after me. There is no feeling as good as being in the company of your family and enjoying the strong bond that you were all essentially born into. I love how quirky my family are and I am well within the knowledge they will always be there for me, and I will always be there for them aswell. I love them completely and I will always be proud to have come from where I did. Oh and this is obvious, but I love my pets – who are indeed family.

I love the world I am in. I love the people in this world who provide a service, I love the environment and the air I breathe. I love from the top of the trees to the roots in the soil – we live in such a remarkable place and I take that in every single day. I know that I can be within my own company in this amazing place and feel at home. Even if I’m in the city – anywhere, it’s such a fantastic place to be and I’m so happy to be alive. There is so much beauty around me and not all of us notice it, but I very much do. I love all the people around here too, my doctors to the people who serve me in the shop. I love the kindness everyone has within them, and even when I don’t experience that or see it – I know it is there.

I love those who dislike me. You taught me such fantastic tolerance and I’m so happy that you have been a part of my life. At the time, I felt horrible with the way you have treated me but now I can look at these negative experiences and feel so much stronger. It really is the differentiation between being a girl and a woman and I’ve transitioned into that because of the negative experiences I have had. I look at these times fondly, because I learned how to be courageous.

I love those who have went the extra mile. Kyle is always there for me and he very much didn’t sign up for a girlfriend who was seriously ill and yet he tried his absolute best at all times and I can’t express my gratitude enough. You really didn’t have to be so kind, but you did and that means everything.

I love myself. I love who I am, I love the good bits and the bad bits because it all makes up who I am. For so long I would feel heartbroken over situations I couldn’t change and how people felt about me but that was because I didn’t love myself enough. When I learned intense self-love, I realised that opinions didn’t matter and that I was a unique individual with so many qualities. I know now what I am worth, doing this blog has helped me realise my potential as a human being and exactly who I am as Aymie-Michelle Black.

I love the person reading this, you are just wonderful.

Try making a list of what you love, it’ll make you feel so much more appreciative and it particularly helps when you’re feeling low. Live your days full of love and you’ll soon see how great life can be.


Thank you for reading, I will see you tomorrow.