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DAY 11: Viral

Things started improving for me at the beginning of July, I started feeling normal again – more like myself, at least – and I was able to go out and socialize. As I turned 21 I became the girl who felt okay about going out to football games, bars and even dates. It serves as a complete contrast to the girl who was once stuck to her house in June. The recovery seemed slow, but progressive at least.

A few days ago, I managed to muster up the courage to travel into the city myself and meet someone I’ve been speaking to for a few months. Without divulging too many personal details, he had missed two other meetings with me, but with his own reasons. I had other options on these occasions, so I didn’t feel ‘stood up’, per se. I went into Glasgow City Centre and walked around waiting on a text, but it never came. Long story short, he didn’t show up.

I had briefed my friends that I had this date and after I had explained what happened, I received an abundance of sympathetic texts. I kind of just sat on Buchanan Street for a few minutes thinking about what I was going to do. Even the idea of travelling alone earlier had made me feel kind of nauseous, but as I was sitting on the street on my own realizing my fate – I guess I felt somewhat calm. 

I told my friends I was going to have a ‘Nice Evening’ in Glasgow and that I would Snapchat them what I am up to. I joked that I was taking myself on a date as I sent photos of my shopping and activities, and as nervous as I felt sitting in a strange bar in Glasgow on my own, it felt oddly empowering. However every time I lifted my phone to take a precious ‘selfie’ in public for my friends, did not become less awkward! I’d think about all the reasons this guy could have, and why he didn’t respond to me after he seemed so keen, but I felt – what has happened has happened, and only I could decide how to react.

When I got home, I tried on things I had bought and I felt a little better about myself, as materialistic as that sounds. Looking pretty for myself made me feel lovely. I took a photo of the underwear for my friends, who at this stage, were vastly enjoying my Snapchat shenanigans of my ‘date night’! My friends told me that my reaction had surprised them and that they had felt uplifted by it all, so after encouragement – I posted my snapchat photos on twitter, to allow other people to join in on the fun!

I had originally a few ‘likes’ on my tweet and I thought – ‘Oh my, this is quite popular!’, before I could blink it was shared in it’s thousands. I managed to have a conversation with the man who stood me up, as he had seen the tweet, and he apologized and gave me his reasons. I accept that apology and although I don’t agree with what he had done, I wouldn’t have realized how well I could’ve dealt with that situation.

Support poured out in it’s thousands with less than 10 negative comments, people who couldn’t understand the message I was communicating. I remained positive, graceful in my response and addressed only what needed addressed.

It started to become overwhelming last night when I thought about the volume of people contacting me and inviting me out, it’s really difficult to reply to every single person who messages me – but I have tried.

This morning I found out some blogs had written about my ordeal and that the press too had picked my story up. As it was distributed on Facebook, I felt my stomach drop as I looked at what can only be explained as a sea of negative comments attacking how I look or how I seem ‘attention seeking’. Of course, anyone who knows me personally strongly disagrees, but it’s difficult to have thousands of people make an assumption about you from a ‘sassy’ half-hearted Snapchat story. I was disappointed it was not discussed with me that they were going to run the story. Then Mail Online got a hold of my story, and they published it too – however to a more hardcore 200 negative comments. This was my tweet, my funny, positive story – and they wrote it knowing I’d be at the hands of so much abuse.

People speculate whether or not I’ve had plastic surgery, commented that I wear too much makeup or pondered whether I’m promoting lingerie from Ann Summers. What’s most upsetting is those who comment that I must be desperate to get married, a prostitute, a complete airhead or someone who just wants to so desperately be famous. None of which, I am and I could deal without the grief. I expected a few giggles with my followers, not to be thrown into viral territory, in hindsight that is very na├»ve.

However, this post isn’t just about me, this post is here because I want to discuss something a little more emotional than the hopefully short lived tale of going viral for being stood up.
This story wasn’t about a boy or bitterness, it was about feeling good about yourself even when the circumstances can make you feel pretty low.

It took me so much courage to get out of the place that I was in. I don’t think this silly story of me being stood up is inspiring whatsoever, because it is just silly. When you have a mind where you overthink every little thing and anxiety twists and strangles your every single thought process, it’s difficult doing normal things like going on dates. Even as a young woman, it’s difficult to allow myself to trust someone and just feel okay when I feel a bit crushed by it. What part of the conversation at dinner do I talk about my Bipolar Disorder? How do I mention I’ve just got over a serious episode in my illness? Do I mention anything? I was almost relieved these conversations didn’t have to take place, safe in the security of the company of myself. Doing things alone, like I’ve wanted to do for months.

This story in relation to myself, was about me handling a fear and just having a laugh at my own bad situation. Managing to holiday from my own illness for the first time and feel the way other 20-somethings should feel when they head to their favourite city. On Sunday, I headed to my local and had a meal on my own. Just like I used to.

The press may have took my story out of it’s context of my twitter page and made it look like a sassy middle finger to the boy who left me on my own, but when you see the tweet in the context of my life and my surrounding messages you know this is something so much more to me. The press might make money but I do not benefit so much, being left as the figure to hate whilst misogynistic trolls pick at how I look and how I appear.

You can hang me out to dry and let people rip at me with their scathing comments, but for the first time in months I was able to go out on my own and feel like a normal girl – something I can rarely feel. I felt brave when I ordered a drink, as silly as that sounds to you, and I felt poised and attractive in my new lingerie.

I felt like a real girl, not the ill girl. So please don’t take my positivity away. I felt confident, sexy, sassy and happy – and I’d never want any other woman to feel any differently.