I am going to say goodbye to 2013 by reviewing my year. The more I’ve looked into old posts, the more I realise that although I don’t think I’ve made much progress, that actually all of the small things have maybe mounted up into something much bigger!
Looking back, I can see that I began the year still very consumed with my illness. I had the winter blues, and still trying to figure out why I had chosen this path rather than the other destructive method. I think I was very confused about what I was doing, and questioning every action I made. Ultimately, It was a month of working and Uni!
Again, I was in a similar place to January, with my thoughts still completely tangled, but decided to turn my experience into something more positive. I took part in a video for EDAW ’13, which I now believe has almost 6000 views. Here it is, if you haven’t seen it already!
A big highlight of 2013 was being able to meet the beautiful Amy-Louise in London! We went to see Matilda the musical, shopped in Camden, Covent Garden and Oxford street, as well as sightseeing and playing in the arcade until midnight. It was just an amazing few days, which has created life long memories.
A quiet month really but I came home for Easter and I turned 19! I can see now that I wasn’t perhaps well enough to celebrate properly, but I did my best at the time. I also began to learn how powerful the sun and spring are. I definitely started to believe that the sun is a positive thing for me.
I finished the first year of my degree with a good mark and took myself off to visit a friend in Nottingham! It was a good month but I think I begun to see the importance of how recovering from a mental illness (eating disorders in particular) have nothing to do with someone’s looks or weight.
I went on my first ever holiday alone with a friend, to Spain! It wasn’t perhaps the most enjoyable holiday (as we no longer speak!) but it was definitely a HUGE step forward for me. I was completely out of my comfort zone. I played it very safe but very much enjoyed the sun, beach and cocktails at night! I also made a huge step in that I got rid of the scales. I can honestly say now, that I don’t know what I weigh and don’t want to know either!
Not going to lie, my summer after that holiday was so boring as I just worked. However, I did go to the Harry Potter studio tour with a good friend, which was AMAZING. I would definitely go again! It sounds stupid, but things like this would be been completely impossible 2 years ago because I wouldn’t be in control of food. It’s nice to look back and see that I had a great day 🙂
This month saw the yearly mark of when I was officially diagnosed. I had gained just over a stone (I’m guessing) and celebrated at my brother’s GCSE results meal out. It wasn’t for me as such, but going out is a big thing for me so it was a special occasion ever more so.
The new year at Uni began, and I moved into my new house with my lovely housemates! I completed an insightful work experience placement on a Verteran’s mental health unit. I also traveled to Manchester to see one of my best friends from Uni. We spent hours shopping, eating and drinking – and it was just the perfect day. Looking back, I am proud of this day as I was completely out of control and just let things be. It was easy but it was so liberating to just enjoy time doing what I wanted. I also went out for a 2 course recovery meal with my wonderful friend Sarah. No numbers, just good food, company and conversation!
I many spent October settling back into University. A friend from home came up to see me, where we spent the day seeing what Liverpool had to offer! The highlight was going back to Manchester with my friend to see Birdy live! We enjoyed food, drink, music and had the pleasure of bumping into another friend, Tanya, who I at long last met! It was a beautiful night.
This month saw both highs and lows! I was awarded an academic scholarship and secured a voluntary placement which were both fantastic! However, many life lessons were learned because of difficulty with friendships and living with new people. Now, I am grateful for the experience and the closeness of some friendships that have formed but at the time it was nothing but stressful! I am proud though, that my coping mechanisms were much healthier. I turned to reading, blogging more and watching films as a way to relax rather than much more damaging behaviours. I also enjoyed a fantastic night out with my lovely housemates, for dinner and seeing the iconic coca-cola van!
Finally, the month of Christmas! This hasn’t been the easiest Christmas, nor the most exciting, but any anxiety has been channeled into something positive. I’ve enjoyed gingerbread latte’s with my grandparents, Christmas dinner with my family, chocolate and board games with my brother, and a football match with my Dad. Additionally, boxing day saw the funniest evening ever with my Nan and Dad. Although it’s not been an indulgent December, it’s been relaxed and most importantly, I HAVE joined in, and I’ve coped.
And, I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year. I can cope and I will. I can join in and nothing bad will happen. I can say yes to the unknown, without getting hurt. Contrastingly, it’s ok to not be ok too. Recovery isn’t easy, but as long as I keep swimming and challenging new things, then it will get better and my life will become more and more enjoyable. 2013 has actually been a good year, and I look forward to seeing what 2014 has to offer. I don’t make new year’s resolutions as I believe that if I want to change something then I will do it anyway, nor do I hope 2014 to be good or bring positivity. I believe that if I want change or happiness, then I just have to go and get it! And that is what I will be doing in 2014!
Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to 2014!