2017 || Highs & Lows
Hello everyone! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and is looking forward to the new year! I know I am, but this post isn’t to talk about 2018 (well, not too much anyway!), it is about 2017, and the highs and lows that came with it. I’m going to do this mainly in pictures, as I definitely believe that they speak louder than words!
I want to start this post with a massive thank you to all my friends and family, and of course Angus. You have all made this year for me, for so many different reasons. I am so grateful for each and every one of you, and I applaud you all for putting up with me for another year!
Angus and I celebrated our 5th anniversary in November, and we have started to make plans for the future, and I am so looking forward to the coming years with him! Here are a few of my favourite photos of us from this year (can you tell which side I like to be on?!).
We have done so much more as a family (I’m talking extended family!) and it has been so much fun seeing everyone more often and spending more time together. Some particular highlights have got to be the Italian party, and the Afternoon Tea for my Aunt’s birthday! I’ve also become particularly close with one of my cousins, Laura, who is apparently very similar to me (I’m not sure how, she’s got blue/purple hair!!) and it’s been so lovely getting to know her more and doing more with her as friends, and not just because we’re related!
Other highlights have included seeing two of my friends from school for my birthday! This was so special as it had been about a year since I’d seen them last, so we had a lovely catch up and a good night in Pop World with one of my housemates (from last year). Which is ANOTHER highlight – getting close to Rosie this year has been sooo much fun and we have had many laughs along the way! I’ve also got really close to my course-mate Holly, and also my singing society galpal Tara (check out her travel blog here). I am so grateful for these three girls this year, they have all had my back on numerous occasions and have always been there for me when I’ve need a pick-me-up.
A BIG achievement at Uni this year was the fact that I managed to do TWO presentations within weeks of each other and passed them both! In fact, I didn’t just pass one of them, I completely aced it and got a first, which is ironic considering that was the one I was most anxious about! But after many panic attacks and breakdowns about them both, I put a lot of hard work in and did them fine! I am so so proud of myself for this, and it gave me such a confidence boost! (If you haven’t already, why don’t you read 5 Tips to Help with Anxiety! as I wrote that with these presentations in mind!)
This year, I’ve also been able to help and support 2nd years with one of the modules I did in my 2nd year, which has confirmed for me that I want to go into teaching and has allowed me to FINALLY make a decision about next year (more to come on that soon!).
Also, this year I have become the Vice Chair for the Linguistics Society (LingSoc) and also the Social Sec for the Singing Society, which is hilarious because I’m probably the least social person in the society!
Health & Fitness
When it comes to weight loss… that is still not really happening, but the main thing stopping me is my illness. I am a lot better now than I was earlier this year, and so I am really hoping that I will continue to improve and will then be able to focus more on my fitness and food and hopefully lose some weight! My focus is going to me more on how I feel though, rather than how I look. I want to really listen to my body and understand how it works – I am a massive believe in holistic health and so that will be my focus next year. I also want 2018 to be the year that I really start to love my body for what it is and what it CAN do, rather than hating it for what it looks like and for what it CAN’T do.
One thing I believe has really helped me, has been Bowen Therapy. I really want to do a proper blog post about this, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but basically, it has really helped my pain and fatigue, and it also helps to relax me when I’m stressed. I’m going every 1/2 months now, and I absolutely love it!
This year I also had a hair cut! Ok, so this might seem pretty minor to most of you, but about 2 years ago onwards, I kept losing hair and it became so thin and unhealthy as a result. I gradually got more and more unhappy with it and it was really starting to get me down, UNTIL, my cousin recommended a hairdressers in York, which I went to and honestly, I feel like my hair has never been healthier!
Unfortunately, most of the lows that I think of from 2017 are to do with my illness. I had a massive flare in the summer, causing me to be pretty much bedbound a lot of the time with severe chronic back pain (possible sciatica) and also fatigue. Even on my birthday I spent most of the afternoon/evening on the sofa, exhausted from the family lunch we’d had earlier in the day.
I actually think the pain reason this massive flare happened, was all the travelling down to London – twice in one month! I had just finished Uni (May) and in June I went to London twice, one for the Ashy Bines Squad Tour (you can read more about that here and you can also see my updated Fitspirations here) and again with my parents and Angus to see the Lion King!
It was the day of the Squad Tour that my back went (typical!) and I remember getting off the train in York where Angus was picking me up and just bursting into tears because I was in agony. I could barely move and Angus had to help me get in and out of the car and help me get up to my bedroom to go to bed. The next day was even worse and Mum actually had to come down and take me home because I couldn’t move without crying from the pain. As many of you will know, pain causes fatigue, and when you suffer from fatigue anyway, it was doubled up! There were a few moments throughout the summer that I felt good and was able to go out and enjoy myself, but there were a lot of moments where I really had lost faith and just felt really miserable.
In October, I was tested (again) for an underactive thyroid, and these came back negative. I have never been so devastated and upset before. I rang my Mum and just cried and cried on the phone. I know what you’re thinking – shouldn’t I be pleased that they weren’t positive? In theory, yes. But in reality, that isn’t how it works. I have every single symptom, some that aren’t symptoms of ME/CFS and my antibodies are positive (one indicator of an underactive thyroid) but that isn’t enough to diagnose me. If I got this diagnosis, I can actually be treated for it, whereas with ME/CFS, you can’t, so you can see why I want the diagnosis so badly! There is still one test that needs to be done, which I’m hoping to get done in the next couple of months, so once I’ve done that, I will do a full blog post updating you all!
My health is still not perfect, and I doubt it ever will be. It’s sad for me because when I look at most of these photos from this year, I don’t just remember the good times, I remember the pain and fatigue I was suffering with before, during and after. But that’s just what life is like with a chronic illness! I’m a positive, optimistic person, but I’m also honest and I don’t want anybody to be under any illusions that life is easy with an illness. I suppose this is also a reminder that ME/CFS is an INVISIBLE ILLNESS and no matter what I look like on the outside, that does not reflect how I feel on the inside.
I have come a long way, and even though this year, the highs have been amazing, the lows have been horrendous, but I am lot better than I was when I first got diagnosed, and that is what I am focusing on! 2018 will hopefully bring me more luck with my fitness and weight loss, and I’m looking forward to getting started!
Overall, 2017 has been a pretty good year. I’ve rid myself of friends who weren’t really friends, and the people I have in my life right now are some of the most positive, supportive people and I am so lucky to call them my friends and family.
Next week I am moving into my new flat, and so for me, its a new year, new week, and new home – I can’t wait! I hope you have a wonderful new year, and I look forward to chatting with you all in 2018!
What are your highs and lows from 2017?
Have you got any goals for 2018?
Until next time,