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DAY 15: Inveigher

Today has not been the best day for me, but of course – I have to continue my streak and still write everyday. I’ve got quite a bad viral infection affecting my throat, chest and ears and in general my whole body is feeling very weak at the moment. My attention span is in the negatives, however the show must go on.

I have shamelessly spent most of my day in bed. I woke up with a burning sensation in my throat and I was struggling to breathe so I instantaneously bolted straight to the doctors surgery first thing this morning, only to be told that the soonest I could see the doctor was around 5pm. As you can imagine I stomped all the way home with my fists scrunched, low-key hoping that I would die just to spite the receptionist (I’m telling you, I’m irrational when I’m mad!). I frantically went on to my phone’s app store in what can only be described as a swift evolution from Bruce Banner to Hulk, I shamefully downloaded the twitter app as I readied my fingers for the rant to end all rants.

Thankfully in those moments of downloading twitter and swearing like an absolute trooper under my breath, I calmed down enough to refrain from the negative spiel I was going to bless you all with. Okay, I’ll admit I did rant to just about all my friends. If language could paint, I had painted a rainbow this morning.

I’ve tossed and turned in bed all day excluding the times I was at the doctor’s practice, so I’ll admit to feeling a little sorry for myself. I’m one of those people who don’t just get a ‘little’ infection, when I get infected my body just loves to fail me and shut down so it is definitely difficult to keep myself in a good mood.

It’s also, most probably, the first time since I turned 18 where I’ve felt so physically unwell that I can’t function properly. Being an adult is difficult! Nobody here to wake me up and remind me to take medicine, or bring me ice cream… Maybe being single is difficult? I have no idea. What I’m trying to say is life can really punch you sometimes, I mean, this throat was singing Taylor Swift yesterday – now it’s trying to close up and kill me. (In hindsight, late night T-Swift was most probably not appropriate since I had already some bother with my throat).

Today I’ve felt miserable, blindly angry and completely knackered. Let’s consider this one as an off day; we’re all entitled to one! I’ve managed to not cry today and I’ve managed to refrain from a Kanye-West-Like twitter rant about my doctors’ practice. Little success stories, but I’m still going to count them.

It’s essential to look after yourself but accept that you’re not going to be 100% all the time. We’re all human; we all have bad days. Hopefully you can get to the stage where you look at that god-awful Friday you had and chuckle. Or at least giggle whilst you delete the tweets you wrote in anger about the daft thing that happened to you.

Feeling rough, but generally good. Hey! First thing I’m viral, next thing I have a viral infection. Not bad, if there is a God – he has a great sense of humour.

DAY 14: Conditioning

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go, immersing yourself and withdrawing yourself, creating the perfect concoction of wild and calm.

I now feel somewhat socially withdrawn in the sense that I have to make such an effort to maintain contact with others. It’s difficult because I love the serenity, but I’m quietly craving the chaos of people. I’m closing myself off from so much now that I am putting myself at danger of feeling lonely, but I am assured it’ll be good for me to holiday from my social ‘obligations’ for a while.

I want to discuss the significance of a friend circle, particularly within relation to mental wellbeing. In many circumstances I’ve withdrawn myself from communicating with those who haven't proven as worthy assets to my life, thus I’ve tightened my circle. It’s refreshing to have stronger control of my privacy; more so, it’s nice feeling secure with whom I am speaking to. The tighter my friend circle is, the more I feel like my typical self.

If you want an easy, encouraging life - I recommend you surround yourself with only those who are an asset to you. It’s not destructive if you cut people off, particularly if it’s to make yourself feel better. I can confidently say there is not one person in this world who I’d reject a phone call from, I have a very forgiving and empathic nature – however I don't feel it's compulsory to have people dangling on to my life who have unpleasant intentions.

Just a while ago I spoke to someone who had ‘friends’ in her life who did not serve aptly as friends whatsoever, instead they inflicted untenable ‘girl hate’ and served no true purpose than to gossip and make themselves feel better by trampling over another woman’s feelings. I’ve had a lot of experiences with negative people in my life and I clarified to the girl that there was no need to reserve a place in your life for someone who can make you feel such anxiety and dread. That’s not to say there was a conflict or ‘friendship break-up’ but distancing yourself from the negative really does award you a greater sense of perspective and truly conditions and restyles your life for the better.

I know of many people who dislike me for various reasons, so they are not a part of my life. However, if any of those people were to see me in the street and sincerely say hello – of course I would return that favour. Some call it a weakness being so generously kind and forbearing, but I believe that the person with a clean and tolerant soul is indefinitely a figure of strength.

Being able to trust those you are around is essential for recovery from mental illness and it will massively enrich your life if you encircle yourself with individuals who love and appreciate you. You don’t have to abhor and critique those who do not respect you, just value yourself enough to understand you don’t need or deserve the unnecessary grief.

A lesson in self-care is to love yourself enough to understand and accept what is good for you and the rest will fall into place.

DAY 13: Clarity

Last night I reached a stage where I started getting really upset about everything that was happening, so I chose to close all my social media down. I still think I’m handling it quite well but so I don’t get the full blow of the ridiculous publicity – I now only use Instagram and I have someone run my twitter account for me for work.

It’s such a weird sensation, in one way it’s completely cleansing but in another way it makes you feel a little lonelier because 95% of my messaging platforms are gone so I’m not communicating with people as much. However I’m having more phonecalls and I’ve met some friends face to face today, so I guess being traditional with how I interact with people is much more beneficial for my life.

I’m not saying I won’t return to social media, because I know when term time comes around I’ll need to – but I’m definitely taking a break. So I’ve instructed my friends to keep me in the loop with all the news, particularly football rumours about the team I support (since I get so heavily wrapped up in that). I’ve been feeling good today but everything does seem a bit quieter, I had an incredible dinner and some laughs – so I guess I’ll call today a good day.

I’m very cautious with myself at the moment because my sleep schedule is still completely knackered; I’m considering trying Zopiclone again. I know sleeping tablets didn’t work when I was in mania, but they might work when my mood is still normal – give or take a little up or down, but nothing too abstract.

Now that I have the distraction of social media away, I’ve been focusing myself a lot more on my work and my degree project which is an amazing way to just keep my mind off things, particularly those recently with an intrusive nature.

I think for me, I’m finding balance in my life. I’m trying to live a much more clean life, enriched with experiences and maybe quitting the draining forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat – is the way forward! Maybe some of you should try it with me! It’s nice not to feel so bogged down with it.

On an ending note, I want to say – thank you for all the supportive comments and the messages I receive. I am listening to you all, however, I want to state something important – I write a mental health blog but I am in no way a mental health professional. I didn’t ever mind having conversations with others about mental health or listening to your stories, or even giving you advice from my personal experience e.g. with medications. However, I am not a counsellor and I am not trained. Lately, I have been inundated with people asking me what I think their diagnosis is – I am not a doctor and I would never try and diagnose you. I also have people emailing my business account with really personal stories and I’ve received really concerning messages from some of you. You know I’ll try to help as much as I can, but I recommend seeking professional advice. If you are having great issues, please consider talking to ‘Samaritans’. They will offer you a better service than I ever could.

It’s also a very heavy weight on my shoulders, hence why I’ve restricted my communications. You know I love speaking with you and giving you my personal experiences, but there are so many conversations I’m just not qualified to have.

Here’s the link to Samaritans:

I’ve had such a positive experience with them and I hope you know that these people are here to talk about anything, whenever. You’re not alone, if I could give you all my time I would but I’m only one girl.

DAY 12: Equanimity

Jane Austen once wrote: “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”  Never have I felt so passionately that a quote could seamlessly describe how I feel. 

It has been a long ten days for me, having the eyes of the world on my every virtual movement – recording what I say and share to make money. The banks of media powerhouses are clinking with every click. My image and my name being pasted on the walls of strangers worldwide in some sort of odd attempt at fitting my endeavors into a theme I have never applied to myself. The dumb, privileged white woman who reaches out for fame and admiration at the expense of showing her body. Writing vapid articles whilst twisting my story, instead of writing about current important issues.

There truly is only so much I can comment about this, as it seems my comments are often ripped out of their appropriate contexts, but aren't there more important conversations to have? The lighthearted message I shared that went viral brings up so many more important themes, these themes accumulated from the study of the reaction. A woman shamed for showing her underwear, a woman harassed for her mental health, a person slaughtered for consensually sharing aspects of her life – which serve no true offence – but hold her up as some skewed, stylistic martyr for feminism and mental health, providing a delicious outlet for those who feel the need to expel hatred.

 Since I wrote my last blog post, many websites and newspapers have created follow up articles to their original recording of my ‘viral fame’. These outlets have run such articles without my consent more than once at this stage. Although I appreciate what some of the journalists are trying to do, the best way to get over a nonsensical situation like this would be to stop posting about it!

What I want to elucidate, for the thousands of messages of sympathy I have received – as upfront as I can say this is – I am not upset. If you believe I am sitting at home crying over the comment about me ‘attention seeking’ from a professional attention seeking troll, you are wrong. If you believe I am disgraced from speculative, uneducated comments and opinions about my sex life, my personality, my intellect and my intent – then you are seriously wrong. As much as some of these articles like to take what I say and make it seem like a girl is terrorized by the antagonizing comments from strangers. I am fine – I am doing very well and at worst I’m just a little bored of myself.

The psychology behind the people who leave the nasty comments fascinates me. What spurs people on so much? Envy, offense or have I just served as an undeserving outlet for someone’s pent up frustrations? In every response I give to someone who has attacked me, I have received an apology. I branch out with only kindness and selfless sincerity, I am aware of what I say and it’s implications, even if Joe from Exeter thinks I’m an ‘attention seeking slut who deserves to get raped’. What I read from that comment is that Joe from Exeter is a very unhappy and unfulfilled man who has developed a complex, unsociable character.

For the girls who used to bully me in school and tag each other in articles about me with a series of catty comments, I sincerely hope they go on to live their best life. They slut shame incessantly because I gained a reaction I could not premeditate yet those who comment – I have been pointed out - wear less clothes than myself, post raunchier photos and live much more promiscuous lifestyles. Regardless, I would never have an opinion about what another woman does with her body or her life – I’ve never sent a nude photo in my life and I will never do that, but I appreciate some people want to. It does not concern me. I feel if it’s inoffensive, people should do what makes them happy. The idea of clawing in order to take away happiness from another is so self-belittling and it’s chewing away at the good character you have. At the moment, I’m very well and I have a very good life. How stone cold it would be to begrudge another person of those things out of envy.

To completely conclude the ludicrous topic of my online 'trolls', the negative comments are in their hundreds, the positive reaction is in it’s tens of thousands. The response is NOT that negative! So it's time to stop talking about the negative minority.

Those people that I write for and those who need me most when I write have been deprived of that because I am so desperately trying to avoid any more unnecessary attention. I have seen all of your lovely comments and I have been taken aback by the positive response for all the thousands of new readers on this blog. I am so glad I have been able to be your friend and confidante, even if you only found me because of a humorous tweet. I’ve read your stories, I’ve had a look at your social medias, I’ve cried for you and I appreciate you and wish nothing but the best for you all who are suffering.

For those interested, I am doing very well at the moment. I am shocked that this immense pressure has not acted as a trigger for my illness but I am very cautious so I’m trying to lay low and look after myself. It’s so difficult when you are faced by something so stressful not to let your mind respond in another way, particularly when you suffer from a mental illness, as most times I feel completely helpless in terms of controlling my mood. I have been able to go out and socialize with friends over the week and I’ve been exercising pretty consistently and eating well. The only thing I feel I need to sort in terms of getting some balance for myself is bettering my sleep routine, I seem to be staying up really late at night so I’m becoming very sleep deprived which is not good. I have managed to control my anxiety, my mood itself has been better since early July but my anxiety still gives me that ‘punch in the gut’ feeling quite a lot. I haven’t had feelings of anxiety for a few days now and when I do I just take the beta-blockers I’ve been prescribed, I’m not sure if they are doing anything but I haven’t had a panic attack in at least a month.

I hope you’re all doing well and I hope my kind of crazy life has given you some relief or at least faith that things can get better! I’ll write again tomorrow evening, so I will speak to you all then. We can hopefully get back to talking about the important issues instead of what kind of wrap I got at McDonalds! (Sweet Chilli Cripsy Chicken, if you wanted to know!)

Speak soon, stay positive.