I know, it's been a while.
This is my first official post of 2016 (not counting the multitudinous ones I've started and said I'd 'come back to later'), so I guess a 'happy new year!' is well overdue from me.
Getting back into blogging when you've had a long period away is a difficult one. As always, I feel like I owe you all an explanation for my absence, but there really isn't a reason valid enough other than the past few months have been largely stressful and it's probably going to remain that way for at least the first five months of this year.
However, at the end of 2015 I could at least look back and say that for the most part, it was a cracking year. I was lucky enough to be able to explore Italy and Budapest, I passed my second year at University, and got to finally work out what it was I wanted to do for a living. I got to complete two inspiring internships with YouthNet and Macmillan Cancer Support and had one of the best summers ever. I celebrated turning 23 with the perfect weekend with family and friends. I started a new job and handed in my notice to the retail job I've had for three and a half years. I got to see Mumford and Sons right at the end of the year which was just the cherry on top of some fantastic memories with friends, family friends, and family. Most importantly, I found the strength somewhere to cut ties with my biological father, and whilst still feeling incredibly raw, being forced to put my foot down in regards to our relationship was psychologically freeing, if anything.
Regardless of 2015 being the most fulfilling year of my life so far, it was full of steps forward and steps back in regards to my mental health. There were times when I couldn't cope with the intensity of my emotions and did self-destructive things, one particular time at severe risk to my health. This inability to retain and cope with emotion needs to be at the forefront of my list in 2016, but it seems as if life gets in the way to much and I push self-care to the back of my list of things to do.
So where am I now? What does 2016 have in store? I wish I knew myself but right now, I'm trying to keep my head afloat whilst still trying to manage the final year of my degree, working 19 hours a week, saving for a mortgage, living between two houses, my relationship of 6.5 years, having an actual life outside of the library and weekly therapy appointments. I feel as if I am good at anything, it's pretending that juggling all of that at the same time is an easy feat when you spend half your waking day hating yourself and the way you are.
I know that there are things to look forward to in 2016. Graduating, for one. Potentially getting a full time job, another. Travelling, for definite. Raising money for both the MS Society and CLASP charity in May (a 10k run and a 10 mile walk). Feeling like my life has a sense of purpose? Again, potentially.
I think it can be easy to forget that I bear a lot of similarity to a sponge. I soak up every inch of available emotion and neither one becomes easier to deal with. I either process thoughts too much or not at all. I either cling onto sadness subconsciously or I refuse to allow myself to be sad. Too often I tell myself that I'm not allowed to feel. The latter half of 2015 was a difficult one emotionally and whilst I find life a challenging feat in itself, I can't allow myself to fall to the brink of potential suicide attempts again. Therapy recently has got me thinking about how much I need to allow myself to feel. Allow the side of me that I hate so much seep through and stop blocking her out. Stop pretending to be happy and let my therapist and others who care see the truth. Get to the bare bones of what it really is I'm trying to work through as an individual. Stop seeing myself as so 'unlovable' and so 'unworthy' of anything and try and work through to who I actually am. I'm really trying to piece myself back together and I have such a long way to go, no matter how fixed I seem.
Here's to a stressful, and challenging, but exciting 2016. And as I do this every year, I'm going to do it again (13 days late) - a little montage of my highlights of 2015 (enjoy!)
Race for Life 2015!
Valentines Day 2015!
Myself and my darling Loren!
Dad's birthday meal.
Uni girls Christmas meal!
Mad Hatter's Tea Party :)
My lovely friend Emma and I <3
A very drunken night out in Romford!
Ellis' Mum's Hen Party!
Ellis' 21st birthday in Canterbury :)
One of my favourite memories of this year - me and Emma in Whitstable :)
Nathan and I in Reading.
Shoreditch's Cat Cafe.
Drinks with Uni girls after finishing 2nd year!
Lauren and I at Dad's birthday.
Walton-On-The-Naze with Mum and Nan :)
My best friends 23rd birthday!
My first day at Macmillan Cancer Support, where I was greeted with a huge picnic with my colleagues for lunch!
Afternoon tea at Le Cordon Bleu :)
Lauren's 40th birthday.
My 23rd (again!)
Uni girls at my 23rd :)
The beginning of my 23rd!
Budapest with the best friend.
St. Stephens Basilica, Budapest
Best friend's Christmas meal.
Mumford and Sons.
When Kat came to see me at Greenwich :)
Parissa's 21st :)
Christmas Day 2015.