Guys. 2018 was a good year. I don’t say that lightly, in fact I say it with a slight air of disbelief because between me and you (and you, and you, and you) I was miserable for a long ol’ time. I’ve pretty much existed my 20’s away, succumbed to years of debilitating shitty mental health & had zero hope for a happy existence… ever. So… yeah.
Mildly dramatic I’ll grant you, but it really has been dismal.
With that, I determined that 2018 had to be different. It needed to be the point I try to rebuild myself, put up a fight and actually live. I even wrote a post almost a year-on-the-dot ago called 2018: My Happiness Year because I thought, ‘if I put it out into the Universe, if I say it out loud & write it down, it’ll be there & I’ll have to commit’. I know it all sounds v cliche because we all get a bit ‘new year, new me’ come January, but well, it felt like crunch time.
*Spoiler alert* girl did good.
I was brave. Multiple times; small stuff & big stuff. I got a job where I can be myself and where I can actually be honest about my mental health! I feel looked after & honestly I’ve got a cracking set of co-workers & managers. I know it, I’m lucky – but trust me when I tell you I’ve waited a long time for this. It’s beyond magic to not be filled with dread, to not feel doom, to not have panic attacks before I go or whilst I’m there. I actually feel like I fit in and that is wonderful.
I went body boarding! Body boarding! As someone who’s feared water since I was a nipper (I do wash, don’t worry bbs) paddling has been my absolute limit. My pals were all going body boarding in Cornwall and I thought ‘do I wanna be the only lemon sat on the beach? No. But yes? Gahh’. After a little (a lot) of inward battling, I wriggled into a wet suit too big for me, walked my seal-ass to the sea and gave it some welly. It was terrifying and amazing all in one, and I can tell you right now it’s one of the biggest achievements of my life.
I conquered crowds; like a lotta people. I went to a chuffing big rugby game, I saw the Foo Fighters at the Olympic stadium(!!), I got on trains, I joined a gym for the first time ever, I went to London a few times – one of which was all by myself! I went to Wiltshire alone, I went to Somerset! Honestly I know these are all ‘nothing’ things for so many folk, but they’re massive for me. Every one of them took courage; I said ‘yes’ more, and didn’t regret it once.
I came off my medication! I know that anxiety/depression meds work for some people, and that’s great! Just for me, I couldn’t get on with them. I needed to address all the stuff in my head and really try to heal myself in my own way. With that in mind, I also had to cut off any toxicity in my life – people, old habits – anything that wasn’t serving me in a positive way, had to go. Some things were harder than others, but I think acknowledging what was a weight was in itself enough for me to able to move forward. A pretty pivotal point for me was writing this post – Toxic Family & Mental Health. It just felt freeing.
I’ve been more and more open about my mental health – I’ve pushed myself and I’ve pushed again. I’ve come out of my comfort zone (my bedroom, lol) even when I’ve wanted to curl up and hide. I dragged my introverted anxious ass into more social sitches, and I consciously made more effort to try and see the glass half full, instead of half empty. I did have setbacks, I did struggle & I was never always 100% – my mental health is something I will always have to work on but y’know what?! I’m doing ok. I was brave in 2018. I’m not v good at being my own cheerleader, but I’m getting better – & looking back, it’s hard not to feel just a teeny bit proud.
So what’s on the agenda 2019? Well, I work with kids and I’d like to get myself on the road to a qualification or two. I also wanna start a savings pot (a proper one) and work towards us getting our own place. I’d like to *finally* do a sponsored skydive for MIND, get a tattoo (someone come hold my hand?!?), learn to drive, renew my passport, and start taking better physical care of myself (gym, dentist, etc). Most of all though, I just want to keep being brave – to maintain my happiness, to keep my circle positive.
I should say 2018 wouldn’t have been what it was without my boyfriend. Nobody – and I say this boldly bc I believe it – has a partner that’s as good as mine. He’s the one constant, the one human in my life that I know will always love me & have my back. His support has been endless and it’s no small feat to say he’s brought me back from the brink a few times. His strength has given me mine and I’m so excited to see what adventures we embark on this year! Alright Carol, you can pop your sick bucket away now.
Thank YOU for sticking with me; for reading my blogs, for your comments, continued love & support and for your friendship. (If you’ve read this far, I love you just a tad bit extra ;)) Please tell me below how your 2018 was & what you’re hoping for in 2019 – let’s do that ol’ fashioned thing where we have each other’s back & cheer the heck out of one another!
Big happy smooches,