by - December 27, 2017

2017 has been a bit of a struggle for me, but I have overcome a lot and I'm really proud of myself looking back on it.

This year has been a test of my mental and physical strength and I am not ashamed to admit that I have been at breaking point and sadly, I have had some very dark thoughts. However, thanks to a great support network - mainly my little sister, who despite her own struggles has been an absolute lifesaver for me and she should really take more credit for it! I can't thank her enough and really wish she knew how truly brilliant and special she is. Sunita - you are beautiful and compassionate and you are deserving of more than you believe.

Basically, this year has been about trying to manage and work with my symptoms from my Crohn's disease and medications and working on my mental health. I've had to try to learn my limits when it comes to work which has been very difficult for me. As I've never been an "ill" person, I've always been go-go-go and I've had to slow right down. It's been difficult trying to have a social life - in fact, I've barely seen any friends at all, some because they've not bothered, but mostly because I've just not felt comfortable anywhere and I've suffered some really bad social anxiety. Sadly, because I've also stopped drinking, a lot of friends aren't interested in hanging out unless it's in a pub setting, and I just don't have time for that anymore.

Overall, it's been a negative year for me, but - and for those that know me, you'll be shocked - I'm gonna end it on a posiTiff! Here's some things I'm proud of because I've overcome some fears:
  • Had my first ever blood test aged 27. I had to have 20mg of diazepam, but I did it!
  • Had another blood test in A&E with diazepam...but less, and they left me waiting so I'm pretty sure it wore off
  • Admitting I need more help mentally - having my anti-depressant dosage increased helped massively and I'm at the top of the list for some therapy with Healthy Minds
  • Went to the dentist for the first time in about 3 years. I've got a broken tooth which has been decaying and I know it needs to come out. I thought I needed about 7 fillings but when I saw my amazing dentist I only need one out and one filled - I'm awaiting a hospital appointment to have the removal and will work on my needle phobia for the filling
  • I had to have needle anaesthetic at short notice when I was expecting gas. This triggered only a small panic attack, luckily, and I went through with it pretty painlessly. The numbing cream kept my hands numb for like 12 hours.
  • After that, I even let the doctor stab me again and take a blood test in my arm with only numbing cream, no diazepam. I've never been more proud of myself.
  • Being an incredibly proud auntie to my angel niece Ruby-Mae; she is so bright and intelligent already at only 18 months, and she's tall too! She's definitely a mini-feminist in the making which pleases me greatly. I'm so proud of my brother and his fiancee as they are raising a wonderful little person.
  • I got a new job which I start in the New Year!
  • I had two blood tests without numbing cream or diazepam and didn't swear or hurt anyone
  • We got funding for Infliximab - a drug which will hopefully make me a bit better

How was everyone else's year, what are you proud of? There must be at least one thing - no matter how small!

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  1. 2017 has been hard work but so much better than 2016. Maybe it's just because the world seems like such a mess and I am so contrary, but I feel weirdly positive about 2018.

    1. I totally feel ya! 2016 is where it all started going south for me too...just as I thought everything was getting good...bam! bowel disease. I'm trying not to be toooo optimistic about 2018 because I don't wanna be let down.

      Buuuuut fingers crossed for both of us <3