This year has brought a lot of low points, like some really terrible moments where I’ve felt as if my heart has been ripped out of my chest terrible, but I thought I would instead today focus on the positive moments I had throughout last year to show, mostly to myself, that 2018 wasn’t really that bad.

Opening up

I had started seeing my therapist in December 2017, but it was only a small trial session we had, but in 2018 we really truly started the work on my mental health. We don’t talk diagnosis, but instead, I can just go into her little comfy room and talk about whatever has bothered me. For the first few months, the sessions were dedicated to my abuser, but I would deflect a lot.

We spoke a lot about my carers role at such a young age and how that affected my mental health. It being very hard for me to accept help from others as I have always been helping everyone else, and how this has made my illness stronger. She was the second person I’d spoken to my mother about, and her behaviour towards me at a pivotal age.

I’ve let go of much of the anger I was holding inside of myself about that incident, and I’ve stopped blaming her for being taken in by the worst person I have ever met. We have covered a lot of my self-loathing behaviour, speaking about the grief I feel constantly, and I’m not surprised anymore that it can appear out of nowhere.

Opening up to my therapist about the incident that happened when I was seventeen really pushed through some residual feelings about opening up to people due to what happened after. It made me more open with the people in my life, I’m no longer afraid to share what happened to me, even if I do it behind a synonym.

Making Friends

This was a big one, I had been so isolated for so long, I didn’t really interact with anyone. I would pluck up the courage to talk to someone, then delete the message right away, and this went on for some time. When I started this blog I was so afraid to comment on anyone else post, I don’t know why I was so afraid because this community is so great, but I was afraid.

I just wanted to give everyone praise for talking about there journey, but I just couldn’t do it. I still have social anxiety so this isn’t going away but I do feel so welcomed into the blogosphere and I love getting comments. I’m sure I’ll get bad ones eventually but right now they just make me feel really happy to have such great people around me.

This lead to me actually reconnecting with an old friend, it had only been about six weeks after my miscarriage when she started speaking to me, but she has been a huge help to me these few months also. I feel so blessed to have so many people around me, my spouse has also supported me so much this past year I feel he may deserve a medal.

Getting into a taxi alone

This might not sound like much but to me, it means everything, as someone who would be classified as a hermit and afraid of the outside world this is a major achievement. That whole day, in fact, was a major achievement from the college to the taxi home. I did it, I even went into a supermarket alone, that day was my world cup final.

I managed to do so many things, I was so afraid at the prospect of going, of being alone in a familiar place, but I did it. I took precautions and in the end, I managed it. When I got home I was exhausted but nothing can beat actually winning the fight against my mental health, even if it was just for one day.

Winning my PIP Tribunal

After going to the assessment in December, being denied in January, and an unsuccessful mandatory reconsideration in March I had to go all the way to the tribunal. I was so nervous about this impending tribunal that I couldn’t focus on grieving my third miscarriage, but deep down I knew my assessor had gotten a lot of things wrong back in December 2017.

For one thing, I had a flashback and panic attack in the room as I then went onto have in my tribunal hearing, I honestly felt like my pain didn’t matter one bit to anyone, and at times I really wanted to quit. I was up every night for months on end worrying about it feeling like just another bonus cheque to overworked and underpaid staff.

I would drive myself crazy over every little thing that could possibly happen, rehearse it all in my head over and over until I was that wired I couldn’t remember what happens in my day to day life. I got even madder when I found out the letter I’d sent with my Mandatory Reconsideration wasn’t even taken into account during the process.

It had taken every ounce of strength I had to go into that room, when I got there I couldn’t look at the assessors, I stared mostly at the table as I answered my questions, too tired to focus. Before the end of the questioning, I experienced the worst type of flashback, all the stress I was feeling just brought it on and I was so upset.

The point of this whole thing was to show that I got through it, I won my case, and I had shown that my assessor had gotten everything wrong. I’m sure some assessments are not bad but that is not the experience I had, it also sounds a lot like the experiences of many people with many different disabilities all throughout the land.

If you’ve had your disability assessment and you don’t wish to go on any further please do, I didn’t want to fight, but I felt that I had to fight because of the lies by the Atos assessor.

Trying for another child

It may have ended in my third miscarriage but I really took a huge step after what had happened to me almost two years earlier. Even making the decision to try again, after nearly dying due to a complication with my second, after my horrible mental health breakdown, and dealing with the pregnancy triggers I had to fight against.

I still became well enough to try again, to fight every instinct I had to not be pregnant, to overcome my fear of getting pregnant again. Now I know I desperately want a child, I will do pretty much anything to make that happen, even if it means I have to travel (which it actually does) because I now know how much I want to add to my family.

To go from frightened to longing for another pregnancy is something I have been struggling with since late 2016. Now I know I can do it, I will go to any length to achieve it, no matter the cost.

Writing through the darkness

Last year I put my pain into words, instead of retreating into myself as I always do I wrote about my struggles, I’ve been raw and emotional, I’ve cried so much as I’ve tried to put the pain I feel into words, and most of all I have been honest about my journey. Even during the times, my anxiety has been begging me to stop, I’ve still managed to write through it all.

No matter how often, no matter how many views, I’ve still written about my journey, and I continue to do so. Because recovery is never linear, I may still be recovering for the rest of my life, but the important thing is I am recording the journey for others who are having a hard time. It may take time for me to speak about certain things, I may not understand all my emotions, but I get there.

Now looking back the year doesn’t look so bad, yes I’ve been through a lot, and yes I still have a long way to go. I still made progress throughout my journey, even if I times I was sucked back into the pit I still managed to claw myself out of it. That is better than anything I could have hoped for throughout my journey.

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