That’s right my friends, my web-baby is a whole year old TODAY!
I can’t believe it’s been an entire twelve months since I built up the courage to create this little Sanctuary. It’s been a bit of a life-changing manoeuvre, and as dramatic as that might sound, believe me when I tell you, I’m not entirely sure where I’d be if I hadn’t started it.
Here’s a little perspective.
This time last year, I was a mess.
My mental health was suffering severely. I felt alone, ashamed and hopeless – I wasn’t leaving the house, I’d given up on myself and it was just a completely dark & dismal period of my life. I was advised by my counsellor to seek an outlet – to give myself a voice back – to find a sanctuary. & so, albeit a little reluctantly, that’s what I did!
I started off gently – my first post being about my Summer in Dartmouth, Devon! A few posts in and it dawned on me then that maybe, just maybe I had it in me to open up a little about my experiences living with anxiety & depression. It was absolutely one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I remember reading & re-reading my draft, scanning it like a loon, checking & checking again for anything that made me feel too naked, too exposed, too frightened. Then within weeks, I’d written another one, and before I knew it I was penning monthly reflections on how my mental health was doing.
It’s genuinely been the most liberating thing – it’s like I pretty much handed myself a key to let myself out of a cage.
I’d had a voice all along.
& so whilst we’re on this blog-appreciation-train, I want to talk about three things that blogging has done for me:
- Like I said ^ it’s given me a voice. I’ve always been timid and a little frightened to speak up about pretty much anything, so the fact that this gives me somewhere to be myself and put into words my feelings & thoughts, and even somewhere to talk about cake and bath bombs – that’s pretty cool y’know?!
- I’ve met some amazing folks! Blogging has a lovely little community all of it’s own and it’s such a supportive & loving one! Whether you leave me a comment, a like or you follow me, it means the blummin’ world. I’m proud to even call one such supportive/lovely blogger a close pal of mine (whom you can find at https://life-styler.net/ ❤
- It’s made me a little prouder of who I am – and I never thought I’d say that! Without blogging, I probably wouldn’t have been able to speak out about mental health, and to have people thank me for it, or tell me I’m brave for doing it, is just a bonus. Like a fab bonus!!
I wanted to take the time to write just a smidge about some of my favourite posts – perhaps the ones I’m most proud of, or the ones I’m just fond of… so here are my top three!
I feel like it’s kind of important to love this one – published January 10th this year, it basically documented the fact that I’d built up the courage to leave the house alone after six odd months of being a recluse. It was just a walk through my local park, but I swear to you it was wonderful.
So this is a bit of soppy one, but I wrote this, as the title suggests to my little sister – kind of a ‘what I’d say to myself at 16’ versus a ‘what I’m saying to my sister at 16 now’, sorta thing? It’s special for me because I just love the bones of her, and sadly I don’t get to see her now – so I always hope there’s a chance she might have read it. Or that she might read it yet?
So, similar to the above, this was another mental-health-breakthrough post! I guess these ones are significant to me because they’re like setting it in stone that I conquered my fears and battled against my mental health. In this one, published August 10th this year, I talked about tackling trains, coaches and journeys all by myself! For someone who’d not been near public transport in a year, it was a big step, not to mention travelling anywhere by myself before. Massive.
It’s been so wonderful to grow with this blog. It’s become an integral part of my life & with that, I want to record three things that I hope to achieve or improve on for the next year – because it’s important to keep growing, right?!
- I’m not bothered by stats – I never have been! It’s not why I’m here. What I am bothered by though, is dedicating myself a little more – I used to try & post regularly twice a week & I know I’ve slacked off a little in the last few months, & that will just never do! Get your arse in gear woman.
- Stay true to myself. It can be so easy in the blogging world to see certain things working well for other bloggers, to then judge yourself by them & feel like you need to change what you’re doing to ‘conform’ or ‘fit in’, or gain stats/follows! It’s so important to be completely & unapologetically yourself in this life, and I feel like that’s true of blogging too. I just want to keep doing me.
- Now I know I talk a lot of mental health – but I personally don’t think I talk enough. I want to help others more, I want to keep getting better myself and I want to be more vocal… I guess I want to be an advocate?
Lastly and most importantly, thank you so much for sticking with me, standing by me, supporting me, reading what I write, commenting and always making me feel a little warm & fuzzy inside. You’re a smashing lot.
Here’s to next year!