Remember how, just a little bit over two weeks ago, I was talking about how I desperately hoped that turning 22 would mark the end of my shitty year? The day came and went, leaving me full of fresh optimism and an outlook for the remainder of 2017 that could only be described as “sunny”, but then life happened. A mere four days into my 22nd year, in a taxi back from the train station, I was involved in a car accident. At that moment, overwhelmed by the shock, I remember laughing to myself in disbelief about how yet another awful thing had happened to me when I was so convinced that my luck was changing. It only lasted a few minutes, before I started sobbing hysterically, which is how I remained for the rest of the evening. I am so grateful that, although my injuries are painful and frustrating, it wasn’t any worse. I’m grateful for my friend Sarah for coming to my rescue on the side of a busy motorway slip road when I had no idea what to do, and I’m grateful for the diazepam and co-codamol cocktail that helps me sleep even when the pain is at its worst.
It’s been nearly two weeks since it happened, and although I’m still aching and still off work to recover from my injuries, I’m starting to feel a little bit more like myself again. It’s been difficult, I’ll be honest, and I can’t help but feel lucky that this happened when I was in an “alright” headspace, because had it been just a couple of weeks earlier I think it would have broken me. Mentally, I’ve struggled a lot. I’ve struggled with the pain and difficulty that comes alongside physical recovery, but I’ve also struggled with having to be reliant on other people to do things for me, with being cooped up in the house with Netflix for company and with yet another downfall in this already rubbish year. I started 2017 full of hope about what the year would hold, but now it’s August and I’m already willing it to be over.
This year has thrown its fair share of struggles my way, from my boyfriend moving hundreds of miles away, to losing my beloved childhood pet, to my never-ending battle with my ailing health, working myself into the ground and cracking under the pressure. I’ve spent more time in doctors surgeries and hospital waiting rooms and counselling offices than I ever could have imagined, and it has been hard. I try so hard to have a positive outlook, I play “Things Will Only Get Better” on a loop in my head, yet so far things haven’t. Every time I take a step forward, something comes along to knock me ten steps back. It’s exhausting, when you fight so hard and the world fights back even harder, but I’m not giving up yet.
But through it all
( she offers me protection, a lot of love and affection…) I’ve realised something. I am strong. I am a fighter. I can get through this. All of those other empowering cliches too. Sure, to say this year has sucked would be an understatement, but I know I can do it. Every single day people battle through worse situations. Obviously, everything is subjective, and I know that I’m allowed to be upset about what’s happening, but it could be worse. If the past few years of my life have taught me anything it’s that I can get through the toughest of times and come out even stronger on the other side.
I am endlessly grateful to my support network, and if there’s one thing this year has taught me it’s who really matters most. I’d be nothing without the selfless, supportive people I have in my life, and knowing I can turn to them when I need them most gives me the sort of strength I need for the hard times. After a difficult couple of weeks, I’m feeling a bit more human once again, and I’m even more determined to keep my head up and keep on, keeping on. A lot of my anxiety comes from a lack of control, which I guess is why this situation has thrown me as much as it has, but as I start to feel a bit more ready to grab the reigns again I feel that inner strength pushing through once more.
Maybe 22 didn’t quite start off how I intended, but I sure as hell am not going to let it get me down. I’m going to keep on putting myself first, being selfish and reminding myself of how strong I am. This post is mostly as a reminder to myself, and to anyone else who might need it, that I am stronger than I tend to realise, and I need to cut myself a bit of slack I never intended for this post to be such a “woe is me” fest, but I guess that’s just the way it is. I think I just needed to get a lot of feeeeeelings off of my chest, as per usual, and now I’m going to go and listen to Survivor on repeat for the rest of the week. Leave me your most motivational songs in the comments, please, the sort that make you want to go out and smash up cars in a beautiful yellow dress a la Beyonce.