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“2018 has been a challenging but positive year.”

I woke up this morning at my usual 5am, in pain. But instead of berating my body for making me suffer, I decided to take a few moments to look back at the past year. It’s something I normally avoid. To be honest, the past few years haven’t been kind or easy, and looking back at what can often feel like “wasted years”, can be depressing. But this year I decided it was time to embrace the challenges I’ve faced, and celebrate my achievements and the progress I’ve made.

It’s so important to celebrate even the smallest victories. So, here are a few of the positives I can take from 2018, along with the precious things I’m thankful for:

  • Even though my physical health is still poor, I have been able to express myself through my blog. I finally have my voice back.
  • I have had many health challenges, most notably my heart problems, but I end 2018 physically and mentally stronger than I started it.
  • My anxiety levels are the lowest they have been in years, and I’m sleeping a lot better.
  • Although I still remain confined to my bed for the majority of the time, I am physically stronger and in less pain.
  • I continue to be thankful for the amazing support I receive from my family, friends and of course, my awesome husband.
  • I am thankful for you amazing people! To everyone that follows my blog and supports and encourages me – thank you! You are the reason I find the strength and courage to write.
  • I’m thankful for CBD oil. I know this might seem a strange one for many, but I know CBD has been a big factor in my improved health. It’s been an exciting year with regards to education and acceptance about the healing power of cannabis, and although there is a long way still to go, the stigma surrounding the “C” word is finally abating. I hope 2019 brings good news and continued progress.
  • My blog, which started out of a need to give myself a voice, has been far more successful than I could ever have hoped. Although it has been challenging at times to balance my health with my writing, expressing myself this way has had a big positive impact on my mental health.
  • I am proud of my writing achievements, and the progress I have made, both on my blog and in other publications.
  • 2018 was the first year I truly felt like I had beaten my eating disorder. I’ve been at a stable and healthy weight, and my attitude towards food and my body is the most “healthy” it’s ever been.
  • 2018 is also the year I finally learned about self-compassion and forgiveness. It’s been quite a revelation, and I will continue to practice what I have discovered.

I now know that the past 7 years have not been “wasted years”. They may not be how I would’ve chosen to spend my time, but I have learned so much and I have come so far. Although my physical health is still pretty poor, my mental health is probably the best it’s been in years. I have been forced to confront my demons head on, and although this has been incredibly scary at times, it has also been very rewarding.

For the first time in years I am actually feeling positive about the year ahead. I look forward to the challenges and I’m excited to see where 2019 takes me.

So, if you too decide to contemplate the past year, try to look at the positives. Try not to look at what you may have missed out on due to your ill-health, instead focus on what you have achieved, however small. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Happy New Year! Take care x

How was 2018 for you? What personal achievements are you proud of? What are you thankful for?

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