Another year is soon to pass and another is nearly upon us.
As an advocate of personal reflection, I do like to take any opportunity to see how I have experienced different situations and to establish the lessons I can take to encourage growth, strength, and self-awareness in order to go forward with a clearer vision as to what I need to do to look after my health, happiness, and overall wellbeing,
The majority of reflections that you may read will be full of wonderful achievements and life-changing memories that will make you smile from ear to ear. However, 2018 will not be going down as one of the greatest of my life. There is no way I can jazz this post up to make it more of a joyful read because I don’t want to distort anyone from the truth. If there is one thing that I hope you can appreciate through following my content is the honesty and openness of my words.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that it has been among the most challenging, heart-breaking, physically and mentally draining I have had aside those years I was at my worst with an eating disorder and depression. With every month came a new obstacle that had to be overcome, each one growing bigger and more complex to get past with no opportunity to recharge. I had ever hope that there was going to be so many incredible life-changing moments throughout this year but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Instead, I am longing for a new beginning and ready to put this year behind me.
Without going into depth with the nitty-gritty details of everything that has occurred, I just want to touch on a few highlights that might help some of you relate.
Family is everything to me. Always has always will. So when someone falls on hard times, my concerns for them go up rapidly. It has been like a domino effect throughout our family with many of the closest and dearest members have become unwell or struggling tremendously with complicated and demanding circumstances. Having such an overwhelming sense of urgency to care and protect the ones I love, I became entrenched in helping loved ones in any way I could. This came with a sacrifice that I didn’t take into account; my own welfare.
I suffered a relapse for the first time in the Summer and it shocked me to the core. It was the most painful thing to accept and to acknowledge to those around me because I felt so ashamed, and guilty for letting myself and them down. Never thought for one minute that I would go back to those life-threatening behaviours because I know exactly where they would lead me. Yet it happened, without being aware of what I was actually doing until it got too far in. Thankfully, with the support of my parents and Chris, I have been slowly rebuilding foundations that once stood ground to hold me up. For as strange as this may sound, going through a relapse turned out to be one of the biggest wake-up calls that I would need to face for the remaining months of the year.
Each birthday I tried to make the most of the occasions but they have been challenging to get through. Christmas was not as merry and bright as hoped for. New Year is going to be a quiet evening in with just me and my other half. Celebrating just hasn’t felt right for a long while and that has really caused a lot of emotional distress because this isn’t like me at all.
Yes, I know this heavy and not the churpy round-off to 2018, but I don’t think that it does anyone any favours to be anything other than honest.
Though I have to say, it hasn’t continuously been tough times, as amongst any darkness there is light shining through. There have been many moments throughout the year that I am truly grateful for and will be treasuring them for a long time to come. Going incredible adventures with the love of my life, becoming the volunteer of the year at my Student Union, being nominating for the northern blog awards, and winning Best Recovery/Illness Blogger for Health Bloggers Community and celebrating my first year anniversary of being together with Chris.
Having experienced many adversities already in life, I have learned that it is through such trying times that you gain the most valuable of lessons and understandings of who you are and what you are capable of. It is safe to say that 2018 has provided many valuable lessons and reminders of what really matters and right now I am doing my best to focus in on these positive outlooks and perspectives for what is yet to come.
Be Unapologetically Authentic
being anyone other than yourself is doing the biggest injustice to yourself and to the world. By embracing who you truly are and allowing yourself to shine throughout all you will create a greater impact than trying to be anything or anyone else. I have reshaped my appearance, personality, and beliefs to ‘fit in’ with the rest but I was never happy nor content with life. Now that I have begun to let go and just be, there is has been the most empowering wave of self-belief I have ever felt. It is okay if you are not liked by everyone, as not everyone is meant to get on. You don’t need to change anything about who you are unless YOU really believe it will improve your life.
Make Yourself Priority
For as admirable as it is to offer support, help and lending hand to something or someone, your kindness should not overtake your health and wellbeing as a priority to work on. To give your best your best self, first and foremost your health, happiness and wellbeing should be looked after. It can be a difficult notion to accept and take on board, but it is one that will be to the benefit of yourself and the world around you. Without your physical or mental health is maintained well so many aspects of your life will become out of balance and cause difficulties that are in your power to deal with. Your greatest ally, friend, and companion is your body and mind look after them and protect them just as they do so for you.
I am sending my best wishes to every single one of you for a healthy and happy 2019.
May it bring you joy, laughter and love, and encourage you to grow more into the beautiful human being that you already are.