Summing up 2019

As we are coming to the end of the year I thought I would write a bit about how this year has been for me. I think it’s fair to say it has been a very mixed bag of emotions, happiness, sadness, laughter, tears and every other emoji face ever invented.

Going back to the end of 2018, I was really unwell. I had surgery which went well but it brought back a lot of painful memories of a very traumatic hospital experience in 2013. Last year I was really quite scared of how the surgery would go and it left me quite shaken even though it went well. I didn’t think much of it, I just thought that I needed time to process everything and in a month or so I would be fine. The new year came along and physically I was doing great, better than I had been in years, but mentally I just couldn’t catch up. I was getting really upset over ridiculous things and getting overwhelming feelings of stress and like I just needed to run and hide. But the problem was I didn’t know what I was feeling stressed about. That sounds really strange but I just didn’t. It was just an overwhelming surge that came over me, it was just a feeling with what seemed to be no reasoning. And because I didn’t know what I was feeling stressed about, I couldn’t run away from it. I just had to feel it and let it pass. Over time these feelings were getting stronger and more frequent and I realised that I needed to get some help with it. I got assessed and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I am a big believer in that you shouldn’t just wait for life to happen. Good things don’t often just happen, you need to do something to encourage them, make that first connection. So I was feeling quite all over the place and I needed something to look forward to. I needed a challenge. So I took part in a Blind Drive challenge to raise money for The Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind. For anybody who doesn’t know I am severely sight impaired so I have never been able to drive. This challenge was for me to drive two laps of a track, three miles in total with a driving instructor. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but I didn’t panic at all. While I was behind the wheel it just felt really natural, I think I get that from my Dad. He has always had that feeling when he is driving. So it’s a shame I can’t drive in the real world but I do really want to do something like that again. I loved it. Everybody was so generous as well. All together I raised £911.50 which is so much more than I expected. Thank you so much again to everybody who supported me.

Picture below shows me in a bright pink jacket sat in the drivers seat of a car with the door open. I have a big grin on my face as I have just finished my challenge.

I have always found that writing helps me to process and deal with my feelings so I decided to create this blog. It gave me something creative to do and the freedom to write about whatever I like. I love writing things for other blogs, but I just needed this little bit of freedom as well to write about any random things that come in my head. I had never created a website before, so I was really pleased with myself. It might not be the best but it’s good enough for what I need at the moment. It’s a place to empty my mind. A few friends even designed some logos for me.

After a while waiting I finally got an appointment for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). They thought that this may be the best type of therapy for me. I was assessed again and the psychotherapist agreed that I do have PTSD. It was actually a relief to hear this because I knew I had. Maybe not as severe as some get it, but I just knew. Something wasn’t right and it hadn’t been since my operation. I was doing fine until then. Going into hospital again had triggered it.

I had been on and off a dating app for a while. I was on a bit of a break from it because I was trying to avoid any unnecessary stress and let’s face it, there are a lot of idiots on there. One of my best friends, in her loving, caring way had warned me off it because of some of the horrible people on there. But this kind of put the idea in my head again after not being on for a while. So I thought I’ll just have a quick look but nothing will come of it. It would have to be someone really good for me to even think about trying. Then I came across somebody I hadn’t seen before. When I read his profile, he just sounded perfect for me. Even on that profile we had quite a lot in common. He is the only guy I have been interested in from that pointt on, I never even looked at the others. Anyway we started talking and we met up and he is one of the most lovely guys I have ever met. He appeared in my life around the same time that I started my CBT and he has helped me so much. He’s given me something to look forward to and focus on while I have been reliving the most terrifying time of my life. I feel like he’s come along now to help me over the last hurdle of a very long and painful journey.

This year I have also had one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever had. I went to a spa hotel in Benidorm and it was so good. I missed it so much when I came home.

So what about this Christmas? To be honest I don’t really know if I can fit Christmas in this year! A lot of my time is taken up with CBT, dating and volunteering. Might be able to squeeze a few hours of Christmas in here and there. 🙂 But what I do know is that this Christmas is already very special because I am feeling a lot more settled emotionally now and I have this amazing new person in my life.

What will come of 2020? Who knows, this is life we’re talking about. But so far I’m really looking forward to it. 😀

I hope you all have a very glittery, sparkly Christmas and a magical new year.

xx ❤ xx

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