Alternative title : I’m not about to pretend that 2017 was anything more than an utter shit storm of epic proportions … That said, while you can’t polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter!
2017 began as a nightmare, a grief infused devastatingly painful experience that I’m still amazed I managed to get through … Losing my dad imprints on my every waking moment, but that very first day of 2017 will always be the one that will hurt the most. Waking from a massive stress driven Migraine with the dawning realisation that my world had changed forever and that nothing would ever fix that left me, in turn, broken beyond repair. It was an excruciating level of pain, every inch of me felt the emotional and physical repercussions of that grief. I wanted to stop feeling … And for a little while the feeling did stop and a quiet numbness took over.
A resigned numbness that this new reality was one I would have to accept and no amount of throwing myself on the floor in a shrieking stroppy mess would change that.
A numbness that made things bearable … Just.
However, as Christmas approached I started to find everything too difficult to deal with, my heart became a scrunched up ball of fear and hurt and grief and anxiety and depression and no amount of hugs or Horlicks or festive fun or toffee vodka would shift it into a more positive place. The impending first anniversary of losing my dad (New Years Eve) was faring far too much of a harsh concept for me … So I threw myself into work, working much longer hours than before, I needed something to focus on, I needed the stress and adrenaline to feel something other than the darkness … I was sticking a plaster over a gaping wound … And in doing so, I further neglected my own self care, my relationship with food started to suffer and meals would be left unfinished or skipped altogether, I ‘forgot’ to take my Thyroid medication (which is a major no-no!), I avoided the gym in favour of re-runs of “The World’s Strongest Man” (hey, I binge reality TV when I feel crappy), I didn’t want to acknowledge the Christmas period at all. I refused to listen to the cheery music (I near ripped my radio out of the car when Mariah warbled on 3 stations at the same darned time), I refused to watch Christmassy movies (opting instead for “Rogue One” and “The Force Awakens” as I still can’t get tickets to “The Last Jedi” – no linky here in case of spoilers! SPOILERS! It’s also the reason I have logged out of Facebook, people seriously have no concept that sharing pretty much the whole movie in a status is just plain bad manners), heck it took my mum donating her faithful plastic tree to me before I even considered adding decorations to the house and even then we ended up with a Kylo Ren toy at the top of the tree.
I didn’t want to face our first Christmas without my dad. It felt too hard to do it. I didn’t feel strong enough to do it … I just didn’t want to do it … As though avoiding it would somehow stop the day from happening. But alas, I had no bloody choice. I’d been nominated as host for this years festivities … Didn’t matter that my oven has one bloomin’ shelf, or that I have no idea how to cook a turkey (I also don’t eat turkey), or that lying on the floor face down had become a pastime I was starting to thoroughly enjoy. Nope, none of that mattered, because the expectation of a 3 course meal had been set …
And gosh darn it, not only did I get the timings right, but I also didn’t poison anyone (*phew*) with dodgy prawn cocktails … Also, the Christmas pudding trifle was a triumph! A TRIUMPH I SAY!
With all this said, 2017 is also the year I quit my rather unfulfilling job and traded it in for one in which I can see a career path forming. It is also the year I came to accept that having Anankastic Personality Disorder (OCPD) is just part of who I am, there is no cure for it, only management … It is the year my other half and I started hiking the Wainwrights (I still bloody hate Helm Crag!), the year I learned how to dead-lift (yep, even with a dodgy shoulder), the year I got a new tattoo (that I didn’t share with family until at least 4 months afterwards, actually some of them still have no clue I have it), it is the year I dropped toxic people from my life (oh so many toxic people), the year I started studying (again!), the year I howled the lyrics to “Song to Say Goodbye” while watching Placebo live … The year I realised that I am my own worst enemy, and that needs to change!
2017 is the year that taught me that I am strong, I am resilient, that I will make mistakes and that making mistakes is perfectly fine (as long as I learn from them … And as long as no one gets hurts, obviously), that there is no shame in crying (even if it’s at the fruit and veg aisle of the local supermarket), that there is no such thing as perfect (regardless of what my brain tells me) …
I guess from a personal growth perspective 2017 has been a total kick in the pants … It hurt like hell!
What has 2017 taught you?
Peace and love
PS – I’m still not managing to get back into the whole Twitter lark but am slowly falling back in love with Instagram though so you can keep up with my mini adventures away from LHB HQ across there! We’re going to be in York for New Year so be prepared for plenty of photos of the Minster (it is one GORGEOUS building) and the Shambles (obviously!) … We also have a giant firework which contains the remainder of my dad’s ashes that will be sent skyward, we’re hoping with a bang but chances are it’ll just fizzle and pop.
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