I began this blog back in March 2018 and if you have been following it you will know that 2018 had many ups and many more downs for me. Having seen other people’s posts about their year I thought I would go through my photos and create my own. I began 2018 struggling with my Mental Health and I ended it still struggling. There was some fun in-between though. Here goes, lets take a look at my year.
I may have started the year in a temping job that I hated and struggling with my mental health but I couldn’t have started the year in a nicer place. We spend the New Year with my partner’s family in Wales. The views are amazing and the laid back and friendly approach to life was exactly what we needed.
We did some beautiful walks and spent New Years Eve curled up on the sofa with a tub of Quality Streets and a Baileys. As midnight struck we watched fireworks from the living room window full of excitement as to what the year ahead would bring.
February was a mixed month – it started off amazing but very quickly went very downhill. We began by taking a trip to Bath as an early Valentines Day treat (it was technically my Christmas present from my partner but he has this sneaky way of combining things). This was just before I realised I could no longer tolerate gluten and so I feasted on pizza.
I made a little pun to myself about having a bath in Bath – I cringe now looking back at this. I would also like to apologise to whoever I sent this particular Snapchat to. The hotel we stayed in was amazing – it was a five star spa hotel. We have since been back there and had a less than satisfactory stay though.
Bath was beautiful, I just wish they would remove this badly placed bin! Whenever I go it ends up somehow getting into my pictures. We had an amazing time in Bath and I felt like I was beginning to get my life back on track.
Life has that funny little way of kicking you when you’re down, doesn’t it? Towards the end of February one evening I received a phone call from my mum. I will never forget the noise she made down the line as I answered. This bad boy below had fallen, it hit my dad and made a hole in their roof. The tree was a Turkish Oak and stood at almost 80 feet.
I will never forget that night. The drive there was horrific – I had no idea whether my dad was even alive at this stage. When we arrived he was being put onto a stretcher and all I could hear were his groans of pain. I remember seeing blood everywhere. I’ll admit at this stage I was a coward – I couldn’t stand there and listen to my dad in pain and so I asked my partner to stay with him so he wasn’t alone and I went in search of my mum. The air ambulance was hovering above waiting to be given to signal to land.
We spent an hour while they worked on him inside the ambulance – we didn’t have a clue what was going on. Eventually myself and my mum were taken in a paramedics car to follow the ambulance – there was no room inside the ambulance as he had two air ambulance doctors in there too. When we arrived at the hospital my dad was taken straight into the Resus area and we sat in a small waiting room. Eventually the doctor came to give us the good (?) news. Dad had a collapsed lung, seven broken ribs and a dislocated and fractured shoulder. The night went on and on as they put his shoulder back into place, they x-rayed him numerous times and eventually they put a tube in to drain his lungs. In between all this I am happy to report that dad was able to make so inappropriate morphine fuelled jokes. Eventually he was admitted to a high intensity surgical ward at 3am in the morning and the rest is history.
I still find it very difficult to think about that night.
Dad eventually came home from hospital, however they had nowhere to live. The tree had to be removed, the holes in the roof fixed and a new oil tank had to be put in. There was also another tree that had to be removed as we didn’t fancy a repeat of that night for ourselves or anyone else. To this day dad is still having physiotherapy, he’s in a lot of pain and will never regain full use of his shoulder. He can often be found wandering around the house in search of someone to help him pull a stuck t-shirt over his head. He also is unable to do menial jobs such as load or unload the dishwasher – although we suspect this one might be a little exaggerated.
Towards the end of March myself and my partner had a holiday booked. At this stage we knew my dad was on the long road to recovery and so we decided to still go away. We had a lovely relaxing week in Gran Canaria and did absolutely nothing – it was bliss!
After returning from the holiday I made the bold decision to quit my temping job. It was nearing an end anyway, I was very unhappy and my mental health was beginning to deteriorate again so I knew it was something I had to do. I decided to start blogging to keep myself distracted. By now I had realised I was unable to eat gluten and so I thought I would document my experiences with a gluten-free lifestyle.
I also finally had my graduation for my Masters in April. I had an amazing time seeing old friends again and it meant a lot to have my parents there too. Above is one of my favourite pictures from the day – I think it shows how happy and carefree I felt in that moment in time.
Thankfully May was a quiet month. We enjoyed the lovely weather, I continued blogging and made my uncle the above cake for his 40th. My little cousin adored the fondant cars on top of the cake and now uses the mould for his play dough.
Little did we know that my partner’s car was about to die. We lost my car the summer before to an electrical fire (that was a little bit scary). We’d been making do with his old car but it was rapidly deteriorating. We later found out that it had no oil in it and the oil light had failed to come on.
June was one of my favourite months as we got this little beauty! Technically she’s my partner’s car but I claim her as half mine. He originally wanted an Audi but every time we visited the garage nobody came over to us and so by chance one day I suggested we pop into Mini just to have a look. We then fell in love with the Paceman and the rest is history. Minnie is an absolute dream to drive and I am now very pro Mini to anyone who asks for car advice – sorry!
June was also my birthday. I turned 24 which to me feels incredibly old – especially since I still live at home and have no career. Anyway, I had assumed someone would bake me a lovely gluten free birthday cake – however they didn’t and so above is my last minute attempt.
Following on from my birthday we went to Rome! As a surprise from my partner we went for two nights and had the most amazing time. We ate our body weight in gluten free pasta and pizza. It was a beautiful city to explore and I would love to go back. Our second day was ruined slightly as my dad had an operation on his shoulder. It was typical that the day my partner booked the trip my dad got through the date for his operation. Dad was fine and once I knew he was out of the operating theatre I could enjoy the rest of our break.
My anxiety was particularly bad on the flight both to Rome and home but I battled through. It upsets me that at times like this I live for the memories rather than the experience itself. I find the experience is slightly ruined by my anxiety, however once the event is over I can look back at it positively and remember it without that anxious feeling.
July also saw my Grandad’s 70th birthday for which I made this cake – in a rush. Can you spot where I ran out of icing? We all went out for a meal at a pub which was rubbish for gluten free. My cousin and I were originally told that all the items on the desert menu were okay for us. We knew this was too good to be true and so asked the waitress to double check and were then informed that actually all we could have was ice cream.
August was a bit of a boring month, I also got bored of my hair and dyed the ends pink. It didn’t last very long and washed out.
Once the dye had washed out of my hair I was bored of it. A cut was in store! I regret cutting my hair now – looking back at this picture my hair looked amazing.
I also did a photo shoot for my mum and had lots of fun. The pictures are stunning. Let me know if you would be interested in a post showing you some of my mums photography and photo shoots.
September I cut my hair and went to Malta. Whilst we had an amazing time we were greatly let down by the Maltese – if you saw my blog post then you will know why!
We celebrated my partner’s 25th birthday out there with a day of sightseeing and finished it off with cocktails at the Hilton overlooking some very nice yachts – he had wanted to go to the Irish Bar by our hotel but I talked him out of it.
October was the second worst month of the year for me, right after February. It began well with a trip to Wales. We saw some beautiful sights, caught up with my boyfriend’s family and ate some very yummy food.
The following weekend we visited my little cousins for their birthdays. I remember the night I took this photo – I was beginning to feel like me again. I should know by now that whenever I feel like that something bad is about to happen. The night after this I was struck down with norovirus. Little did I know, as I sat having a panic attack about how ill I felt, one by one my family were all coming down with it. To most people yes this would be a rubbish time but life would go on. For an emetophobia sufferer, like myself, this is the worst possible thing to happen.
That night was horrific and I was horribly ill. My partner was amazing and didn’t leave my side the entire time. I’m not sure how I would have got through it without him.
November was an incredibly difficult month. My mental health had been greatly affected and getting myself back on my own two feet was difficult. I took tiny steps such as going for a walk up the road on my own (whilst on the phone to my partner). But each tiny step takes me a little bit closer to being back to myself again.
One day I had the stupid idea of getting on a train and meeting my partner in London after work. This was a huge mistake. I had a terrible panic attack and did not think I would be able to make it home again. We were so close to having to book a hotel in London when I thought to myself this is stupid. I spent 5 years commuting up to London and I couldn’t do one little train journey. Thankfully I managed to muster the energy to get on the train. We watched stand up comedy on my partner phone and my brother kept texting me to help me get through the half an hour journey. We got off at the stop before ours and my Grandad picked us up. I made it home but the negative experience greatly impacted my progress. Since then I have been careful not to push myself too much and have been focusing on baby steps.
November wasn’t all bad though – I convinced my partner we should get a little tree for my room and we spent the evening decorating it and listening to Christmas songs. I’m very proud of our little tree and it is now living outside in the garden.
December continued to be difficult with lots of ups and downs with my mental health. I carried on though and enjoyed the happy moments. I was greatly looking forward to 2018 being over with.
I am very happy to put 2018 behind me. Yes parts of it were absolutely amazing but unfortunately the good bits are ruined with the memories of the bad bits. In 2019 I hope to improve on my mental health, find myself a hobby and begin to create a plan for a career.
What are your hopes for 2019?