Monday, 31 December 2018

2018; the highs, the lows and everything in between

I can't get my head around the fact that the New Year is only one day away and I also can't believe that I have found the time to write another blog post. 2018 is almost over, and it has been a year that deserves to be spoken about so here we go.. the good, the bad and the future.

2018 may have destroyed me at times, but it strengthened me at others. For me, 2018 was the year of letting go; letting go of my illness, letting go of toxic people, letting go of self destruction and all in all, letting go of things that aren't good for me.

January seems like a distant memory and it was all a bit of a blur to be honest, everyone was talking about and attempting to follow their New Years Resolutions but I knew too well that things don't change overnight and that in order for New Years Resolutions to improve your life and happiness, you've got to start with a healthy head, which I didn't have. January was also when my brother decided to suddenly move out at 16 years old which broke my heart completely but I am thankful for the even better relationship we have now. Saying that, January did have its good times; I had my two year anniversary with my boyfriend and I went to visit Elle who lives miles away. It was in January that I also booked my first tattoo and that I found out that one of my other friends was expecting a baby.

February was equally a blur, I was just plodding on and I remember that throughout this month in particular, I was getting myself really down over my scars, torturing myself with the fact that they may fade, but they'll always be visible. I had a lot of time to think throughout the first few months of 2018, I wasn't in education but I was only working Part-Time and I think that I fell into a bit of a hole of self pity which when I got out of, gave me the motivation to change things. It was also around this time that I applied to College which was such a big deal to me as I hadn't been able to cope with education since the first few years of being ill but for the first time in my life, I had a clear vision of what I want to do with my life and I wasn't willing to continue waiting until I was 'better' because what if better never comes? Overall, February was full of self care and distraction, there was a lot of painting nails, sewing, face masks and bath bombs involved.

March was the month where I got my first tattoo with Elle and it was so good to see her again. March was also full of adventures and outings with another friend which was so much fun and something completely different to what we'd usually do. However, March was quite a down month and I was still pretty stuck in a hole, and I just felt very stuck in general and March was actually the last time I saw anybody from Mental Health Services.

April started with me cutting twenty inches of my hair off and donating it to The Little Princess Trust, it was such a huge change and I really didn't like not having my long locks to hide behind anymore but I soon adjusted and it was all for such a great cause. I also saw both of my closest friends and we went on a little outing to the farm which was lovely. It was in April that I went into public wearing a short sleeve top and got referred to as an effing bar code, which was a bit of a push back with accepting my scars but the only thing I could do in that situation was to move forward.

May was a bittersweet month, it was a journey to say the least. It was in May that I was officially discharged from Mental Health Services after an argument with my worker which absolutely destroyed me; I felt so hopeless as my only support system had suddenly been ripped away from me and it was also in this month that I started to reduce one of the medications I am on. However, in May I went to visit Elle again and she had a party for her 21st Birthday, which was such a good night. Me and Elle also spent a weekend in Manchester in May where we went to an Ed Sheeran concert and went shopping. It felt like such a needed break. Finally, the end of May was the last time that I relapsed with self-harm and was the only incident of the year.

June was a real game changer, I was so completely and utterly done with Mental Illness and everything that comes with it, I didn't want it anymore, I didn't want to deal with my own head on my own or at all, I felt completely done and I was just about ready to quit but I couldn't let everyone around me down so instead, I just carried on and realised that I didn't want self-harm or suicide attempts in my life any longer, I wanted to be free from illness which I knew wasn't possible but it was time to try harder than I have ever tried before because although I may never be fully recovered, I wanted to be living and not just surviving. I also went to a family party in June which despite being hard, it was so nice to see my extended family.

July was another blur of a month, I can't remember anything that was particularly bad happening but on the other hand, I do remember going out for Breakfast on my Mum's birthday which was nice.

August felt like it went on forever, I got my nails done twice, I enrolled onto my college course, my brother turned 17, my friend turned 20 and another friend had her baby. Although I had a wobble at enrollment, I knew that it was the beginning of a new chapter and I was ready to give myself one last chance at getting an education. I bought new stationary and decided that I wasn't going to be the girl at college with the illness, I wasn't going to disclose it or get support, I was just going to do as a normal, healthy student.

September meant the beginning of college and I can't even describe how nervous I was, I didn't know anybody doing the course, let alone anybody who would be in my class and my class was infact full of brand new faces. Thankfully, I made a friend pretty quickly which made the process so much easier. I continued to go to college day in, day out and nobody suspected a thing and I was so pleased that for the first time in six years, I was classed as normal and I wasn't being judged on my illness. College completely exhausted me but I felt like I was actually doing something with myself which meant that I had a lot less time to think about everything that gets me down. I also attended my first ever blog award event in September and my mum and I spent the weekend in London, we went to a couple of museums and had a really lovely time overall.

October meant exams and I wasn't quite prepared for how fast paced an Access Course really is, I had my mock exams in Biology and Chemistry and got a Distinction in both when I was only hoping for Merits as they are what I need to get into University. I was so happy with Distinctions but the reality was that they were only mock exams and now I had added pressure of meeting this grades in my real exams. I sat my exams and submitted my coursework but I didn't feel like the exams went as well as the mocks or the coursework as well as it could have been. I unfortunately had a funeral to attend in October which was so sad. However, I did get my second tattoo in October and I also finished my first half term with 96% attendance.

November started with a holiday to Disneyland Paris which I went on with my boyfriend and it was so lovely as neither of us had been there before and we did have a lovely weekend and spent far too much money. Disney Illuminations are something else and I would love to be back, but it was so needed and so well deserved (if I do say so myself). In November I also received my exam and coursework results back and I got Distinctions in all three, meaning that I have 9 Credits at a distinction out of 9 which I am completely over the moon about. I met Olly Murs for the third time and November was my boyfriends 21st Birthday which was good but I did also get ill and had a bit of a blip with attending college. I was so disappointed with myself as I had been doing so much better than I had expected but I knew that usually when I have a blip, I can't get back into routine so I did doubt that college was even for me. However, I pulled myself back up and attended as much as I could, I was late a few times but I had to try and pull myself through it, I just felt like I had lost the motivation for college.

December is always such a busy month for me but I managed to meet my deadline at college which I wasn't sure if I could and I even applied to University and managed to get one Interview scheduled for January before I broke up for Christmas. I broke up from college with an attendance of 87% for the half term which isn't great, but could have been much worse. I had a party for my 21st Birthday and although I got extremely drunk, I had such a good night. I also went to the Hippodrome Circus which was incredible and I would definitely go back. Then came my 21st Birthday where I had quite a lazy day as I didn't want my birthday to be completely overwhelming but my boyfriend took me out for dinner which was nice and we had a good time. Christmas came around extremely quickly and although it was a bit odd as my mum was working in the morning, I did have a nice day spent with my family. However, I was extremely tired and a bit overwhelmed from being out of the house all day and having pressure to be happy all day. I was thoroughly spoilt and I really did have a lovely Christmas overall. I gave myself a bit of a break from college work until after Christmas is over so over the next week, I am planning on starting revision for my next exams.

That brings me to the present day, I am still here, I am now a year older, I have grown up a lot as a person and I have really tried my hardest to move away from my illness and despite still having many bad days, I am the best I've ever been, I am a work in process and that is OK for now. Hopefully next year when I write up this post, I will be at University but only time will tell and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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