It’s so easy to focus on the things that go wrong in day to day life and not appreciate the wonderful things that happen and drive us through. Thus, each month I’m going to take the time to really reflect and share the five things that I’m most grateful for throughout the month.
This is a bit of a cop out as I’ve always been a bit of a keen reader but my love for literature has exponentially grown this month. On the 19th, I was lucky enough to attend Claire Eastham’s book launch, igniting my passion for writing and giving me much more of a focus. I’m just so proud of Claire for being such an incredible mental health advocate and putting herself out there! In the list of books I’ve read this month, her book We’re All Mad Here was amongst it. I’ve also managed to read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I’ve just started reading Us by David Nichols too, so I guess you could say it’s been a bit of a busy reading month!
Despite not attending any gigs this month, I’ve managed to secure tickets to see two of my favourite bands who are touring in 2017. The wait at my laptop riddled with anxiety over whether I would actually get tickets was not in vain. During the spring, I’m going to see The XX in London and I. CANNOT. WAIT. Their first album has been there throughout my mental illness, soothing me when upset in hospital, calming me when having a panic attack and a constant source of joy. Their new single ‘On Hold‘ is great and I’m excited to hear more from their album in January. In July, I’m off to live out my youth by seeing Blink-182 in Newcastle which should be pretty crazy – just after my 23rd birthday, but in their own words ‘no one likes you when you’re 23’. There is also some talk between my friends about attending Slam Dunk in the late May Bank Holiday!
Well it’s been a great month online and I’m so proud of this little space which I can call my own. I’m so grateful for every single person who takes the time to read any of my babble, in a way I don’t think many realise! As aforementioned, I was able to attend Claire’s book launch and have had so many opportunities thrown my way for the New Year, which I’m excited to share with you as they happen. Hannah offered me the opportunity to host a #TalkMH chat on relationships and I learnt so much from everyone who participated on the 10th. I’ve become much more comfortable in my writing style, which in turn is making me much more confident in myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
4. Mental Health
November (and pretty much all of winter) is particularly hard time of the year but I’ve made it through. I got two tattoos to show how far I’ve come and change towards the future, changing what could have been some very awful days into a day that I will forever remember as the day I got my first tattoo. By no means am I magically cured. I’ve had severe insecurities, a few slip ups, some days where I’ve cried so hard that I honestly didn’t think anything would ever be better. But I’m still working at recovery, and it’s as a friend reminded me ‘This too, shall pass.’
5. Family and Friends
I’ve spent this month split between my home in Kent and my hometown of Middlesbrough – as ever! Kent has taken up most of this though and it’s been wonderful. I’ve been able to spend a bit more time with my brother who just loves making me watch him play FIFA whilst mumbling very few words. My lovely nan and auntie managed to travel 300 miles for a long weekend and we had a lovely – yet sleepless (blame the dogs who would not stop barking) – time and was wonderful to have part of the family together, even if it was for a very short time.
What are you grateful for this month?