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DAY 76

Today I’ve been asking myself a whole bunch of questions about this blog. What happens after Day 100? Is it the end? What can I introduce into these next 24 days to make them really something?

I’m not sure what’s going to happen to this blog when it reached day 100… I really, really don’t know. I’m finding it hard to accept it’s almost over but I’m also excited to not have to write a full blown essay every single day. The hard work isn’t in the blog itself either, it’s talking to companies, charities and the press about it and easily 5 hours of my day is spent talking to you all – listening to your problems. I’m not being bitter about doing that, it’s a lot of work though. Even when this blog reaches day 100, I’ll still be here for you and I will still be a friend.

What I’ve aimed to do was raise awareness of Bipolar Disorder in young people. My first signs of illness were at around 14 years old, I was diagnosed at 19 and it is considered a ‘quick’ diagnosis. Most people get their first symptoms in their teens, but don’t get diagnosed until their forties.

I had a history of mental health issues, through my family and my own past. I suffered from Anorexia Nervosa and I had sleep problems. It wasn’t until my Bipolar Disorder had made me physically ill that I pursued help for it. I was later diagnosed with prodromal Schizophrenia – although my diagnosis may change.

Because of my anorexia I have a very weak body and I can’t cope with even the common cold, I can’t give blood because I need my blood. My immune system is so terrible – getting the cold leaves me bedridden for two weeks. I had various tests done to rule out things like cancer – it’s just I have many deficiencies and in a way I was underdeveloped. I originally got my first period when I was around 11, because of my eating disorder – it stopped. I didn’t get it back until I was 15. I’m assumed barren. This was around the time that I had a real physical issue – not caused by anything mental – my ovaries weren’t playing ball and I was left in crippling pain consistently. I had to take a month off of school at this point when I was 15, and we were all worried about ovarian cancer. I was okay, but now I have to get my ovaries checked a lot. I sometimes think – was this condition genetic? Did I cause this through my anorexia? I don’t know. To add on to this, I was born with an odd shaped womb so I’ve accepted I won’t have children.

After Recovering from my eating disorder and my hair grew thick on one side!
Because of this eating disorder – I was ill all the time. I lost 90% of my hair and I thought it was down to not eating. I also had a lot of dental problems. I eventually had to sit out of certain things in PE at school. I had times where my fingers were bright blue or I felt really cold when the weather was quite warm. My nails were ruined, I lost hair from my eyelashes and eyebrows. I also got a lot of chest pains. I slowly got better and I moved on from that, although I’ll always have a bad attitude towards my body and diet.

I wish I had photos of myself at that time, but I don't because the little portrait shots available of me from Bebo have been lost in the Bebo bin, and the others featured my ex boyfriend and I never took full body shots because I was so self conscious - I also don't want a pity party, So I'll show you pictures of my recovery. I genuinely can only find 2 pictures between the ages of 12-15.

 I stated that I didn’t get help with Bipolar until I had physical symptoms, many of these symptoms were similar to what I experienced before. I lost a lot of hair again and I ended up with cystic acne. Most of these physical symptoms I have listed – were caused with my body’s intolerance to stress.

I’ll always remember talking to a reporter and them saying “And yet if you had cancer, everyone would feel sorry for you but because this is mental people assume it’s self inflicted”. My physical symptoms are very strong and it’s very difficult to cope with. Because of lack of sodium aswell, I have the worlds worst migraines – which doesn’t make my experience of psychosis any better, its almost like I can feel my mental illness throbbing against the walls of my skull.

Anorexia became an addiction, something potentially caused by my Bipolar Disorder – a way for me to have control of myself. I was born a pretty healthy child and serious mental illness had ruined my body, gave me such little strength and immunity – that’s for life.

A lot of people have been asking for me to talk about this eating disorder, and so I opened up a little. Although this blog was to monitor my Bipolar Disorder – it feels relevant to talk about these experiences I had. I wanted to take today to remind you of the kind of awareness I’m aiming for. I don’t think people realise how awful it is to have a serious mental illness, and so I just took a moment out of my day to talk about the physical attributes.

Bipolar Disorder heightens your risk of having other mental illnesses, look after your mental wellbeing. I neglected mine so much when I was really young - I ruined my body. If you need anyone to talk to, I am here!