2016, 2016, 2016
... I think I can speak for everyone when I say this year has been a rough one. From scary politics and celebrity deaths to my personal life, 2016 hasn't always been awfully kind. Around my birthday this year, everything sort of ground to a halt. What had been building up over the years, but more so in the previous months, was the severe decline of my mental health. Being so caught up in depression and anxiety meant I couldn't see it objectively at the time, but a sudden change brought it all to my attention in a way that has meant I haven't been able to un-see it since.
In the days that followed I went over, and over, and over, everything in my head. I looked at the individual events, the bigger picture, across the years... And that's when I knew I needed to work on myself. I needed to figure things out and focus on getting better. So that's exactly what I did. At the start there was a lot of putting on a brave face and faking it 'til I make it going on. Being at rock bottom with so many emotions and thoughts swirling around my mind, I was concerned where I would end up if I didn't try to keep myself afloat in some sense. Encouraged to continue focusing on the positive and experiment with various techniques by two incredible therapists, I completed a course of CBT sessions and have been in recovery ever since. Understanding how my brain works and knowing what I need to do when I start to feel myself slipping has been the most valuable breakthrough I've ever had.
So, whilst 2016 hasn't always been
10/10 - would recommend
, I have no desire whatsoever to write it off completely. Seizing control of my mental health and my life in general has allowed for me to achieve so much this year. I have a drive again. A real one. One that makes me want to go out and just live, as well as strive for the things I would like to achieve. This year
, started a full time job working from home,
, laughed until my sides hurt at Josh Widdicombe and Mark Watson's respective stand up shows,
, started learning to play the piano, went
, travelled across the UK (visiting Cambridge, Leeds, Westbury,
, Harrogate, Welwyn, Surrey, Aylesbury, St Albans,
, Birmingham, Manchester, Wiltshire, High Wycombe,
and Folkestone to name a few!), met Deap Vally,
, made some incredible friends (
, started a pension,
, took over my Roller Derby team's Instagram and Twitter accounts,
, read over fifteen books, and wrote more than one hundred blog posts telling you about it all...
Calling 2016 a rollercoaster of a year sounds so incredibly cliché, but I don't feel I have any other way to accurately describe it. This year has most certainly been a climb to the top in the most roundabout way. I have my family, my friends, my health, a job that not only puts my degree to good use but also allows me to balance work and play and, especially now I can drive, I have my independence and freedom too. I am so, so, so very lucky and thankful.
I'm as ready as I'll ever be to take on the upcoming year, so without further ado, I'll catch you on the flip side!