I had a memory from Facebook the other day. A seizure related memory, as per. And it got me thinking about all the things that have changed in the past year, because a lot sure has changed.
One year ago, I was not long out of hospital after my worst seizures of all time. I spent 11 days in hospital after a 40 minute long seizure in my local Tesco’s cheese and meats chiller isle(if you want to hear that story in full, head over to The Mighty). I was recovering from 11 days of daily seizures and almost daily doses of diazepam, anti-sickness and goodness knows what else. To put it lightly, I was feeling like hell.
My family was renovating the house, something that I’ve always been a huge part of. I was banned. The most I was allowed to do was hoist a bucket up and down the scaffolding from the backyard and pass coffees through the bedroom windows. I was designated dog sitter. Nothing is more annoying than being told you’re not allowed to do something. It’s not like I was particularly looking forward to it, but when it’s something you’ve always been a part of, it hurts.
I had no job, no study, no focus in life, too unwell to do anything but create art. I was keeping myself propped up on art. Admittedly, I created some of my best paintings in this time, but they always say, you make your best creative projects when you have strong emotions fuelling you.
On top of everything, I was just out of a relationship that ended in a rather extreme way. Looking back, it was a very draining, and maybe I’d go as far as saying toxic, relationship. It had me loosing myself and falling out with friends and family over it all. At the time, it felt like I had lost the best thing going for me. Looking back, even from just a couple of months later, I realised that it was actually the worst thing going for me and harmed me more than anything. But I’m a person that believes that everything happens for a reason and it was a part of my life that happened and was the cause of effects that later made my life a lot better. So, it was something I had to go through but, most importantly, learn from.
All of this combined had me slipping back towards depression, a dark place I had been to before and didn’t want to go back to.
But, the difference a year can make is phenomenal.
Now, my health is lot better than it was. My seizures are a lot better than they were, my (suspected, long story) endometriosis symptoms aren’t as bad as they have been.
I’m in a relationship with the most amazing man in the world. He loves me unconditionally. He’s kind and caring and makes laugh like no one else. He’s a pain in the ass but he’s my pain in the ass, so it doesn’t matter. We’ve been through hell and back together, some of which I can’t even think about talking about or at least outside our support circle yet, and I couldn’t imagine getting through it with anybody other than him by my side. He makes my life better and I can’t imagine life without him now.
We’ve travelled, the country anyway – baby steps! He took me to London in December when snowzilla hit. I was so nervous but it was beautiful. Walking hand in hand down Oxford Street, snowflakes swirling around the Christmas lights. Feeling like the smallest person on earth, gliding through the air above the city on The London Eye.
Jumping on and off the different tube lines, blending into the crowds.
Walking across Hyde Park at night, mulled wine in one hand, Ash’s gloved hand in the other.
I’m sorry but if you internally didn’t go ‘Awww’ at the past few sentences, you have a cold, black heart. Only joking, I except that it’s ‘Bleurgh’ worthy but it was just bliss so I’m not going to apologise. Sorry, not sorry!
We’ve been to the amazing DoubleTree by Hilton’s gorgeous Cadbury House in Bristol, which is definitely worth it if you get the chance to go. It would also make a awe-worthy wedding venue, if you’re in the market for one, congrats if you are! Anddddd it has amazing food(the best gnocchi and Eton mess I have ever tasted, thanks to the Marco Pierre White Restraunts), as well as lovely spa facilities.
We’ve been to Sheffield, another DoubleTree by Hilton, in the worst snow storm imaginable, and still had an amazing time. If you’re staying at Sheffield Park, definitely check out the fish finger sandwiches on the bar menu! Oh my god, if we could have lived on them we would, you will not regret it!
Courtesy of my lovely parents, we also headed to my first comedy gig. John Bishop at the Genting Arena in Birmingham was amazing and I would urge anyone who finds him funny on TV to look into seeing him live, he’s even better in person.
We’ve also stayed at Haven’s Primrose Valley in Filey, which was a lovely week in early June. We had a lovely week exploring the local area and enjoying the sun. Nothing like flying a kite on the beach is there?
We’ve been to the Black Country Living Museum a thousand and one times, it’s basically our home now, thank God for a year long pass!
So, I started studying again this year! Didn’t think I’d be going back to that but I am really enjoying studying online with Stonebridge Colleges to qualify as a Level 3 Teaching Assistant. I love the freedom compared to normal college level study and would totally recommend it if you’re good at working independently and self-motivating. (Side note: I’m thinking about writing a blog post on tips for independent/online study, let me know if that’s something that you’d be interested in).
I’m also about to take one huge step in the world of work. I previously worked voluntarily for the family business for 2 years after dropping out of full time college. But after taking a year out due to ill health, I’ve got myself my first paid job! I have my induction on Monday and I am beyond excited. The company I’m going to work for are very supportive and team focused, which I love. And my management so far, are just the loveliest people. I can’t wait to report back on how it goes.
And, of course, last but not least, there’s all this! I’ve started a blog of my own! Which I am so pleased with the response from you guys about. I’m talking to people from across the globe, which is just mind boggling. I have an amazing best friend in Oklahoma, who I wouldn’t be without. My community and ‘audience'(I’m not a fan of using that word) is continuing to grow, with nearly 1000 Instagram followers now. I can’t wait to see how many of us there is in another year’s time.
My point is, sooooooo much can change in just a year. If you’re in a bad place, stick it out, things will get better. I can’t wait to see how much will change and the journey I’ll go on in the next year.