Well here I am, about 3/4 of the way through my flight back to Ireland. I haven’t managed to get a wink of sleep because I’m so excited to get home, so with just over an hour left of the flight I’ve decided to turn on some Westlife and write a post. ✨
Dad currently thinks I’m in Long Island partying it up and isn’t expecting me home for another 5 days.
I changed my flight home and decided to surprise him pretty last-minute. It wasn’t because I wasn’t having fun, it was just because travelling and living out of a big, heavy suitcase on a budget is tiring. It’s amazing, but tiring. It’s been a long summer, as fantastic as it’s been and I am just in desperate need of a cuddle from my pup. ❤️
Travel plans were starting to get messy so I just decided that good old Dunboyne was calling me too loudly to ignore anymore. 🇮🇪💕✈️
As I said, I haven’t slept on the plane yet and I’m exhausted. Not only from today’s journey but from the last week of travelling and from the whole summer in general. Every time I go to close my eyes I start imagining the moment in about 3 hours when dad opens the front door to me. Then I imagine Sally bouncing over and I start tearing up. (It’s happening as I write this.) The anticipation is killing me.
This summer has made me realise how lucky I am to have a home and friends and a family that I miss so unbearably and am so excited to get home to. And of course, the greatest dog in the world! 😍🐶❤️
Getting slightly off track now, but one of my first days at camp I found a dirty old squeaky dog ball in the high ropes shed amongst all the equipment. I joked about how squeezing it would keep me going while I had to be without Sals. It stayed in the shed all summer, with my team occasionally taking it out and playing catch with it while I got to squeak it a little. I’m not sure why but I ended up getting so much comfort out of such a small, insignificant, slightly disgusting item. The ball is currently in my hand luggage ready and waiting for Sally. 😂😎
I’m writing about the ball because it meant nothing to the others on my high ropes team but regardless they never judged me for having the occasional squeak (lol) and always joined in when I took it out to play with.
I talked about home constantly in America. I’m sure it got annoying for the others but they were always enthusiastic and supportive and listened to my stories about home and looked at the 1000’s of Sally pictures I showed them daily.
It’s because of these amazingly wonderful people that I got through what was a seriously challenging but seriously fun 3 months.
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this in another blog post, but it’s funny how I’ve known these people for such a short period of time yet, they genuinely feel like family.
I feel like without knowing one another very well we’ve been through so much together and I have no doubt that when I get home I’m going to struggle adjusting to not being with these people everyday. I feel genuinely privileged to have made so many new, super fantastic friends from all over the world. All of whom I will never forget and really hope I get to see again very soon. 🌼💛
Camp was tough! Going over I’d heard so many positive stories of people’s experiences of different camps. I don’t think I actually heard one bad report. I now fully understand why, although I don’t think it’s fair to talk about the camp environment without reiterating how hard it is.
I struggled with the lack of alone time. It was very rare to get an hour to myself.
I also struggled a lot with feeling home sick. The hours were extremely long and the work was hard but every minute kind of seems to have been worth it.
Summer has been filled with a lot of really high highs and also a lot of really low lows but I don’t think I would change a single thing about it. ✨ (Apart from maybe packing more socks…)
I’ve worked so hard the last couple of years to get my mental health under control. I decided early on at camp that I was going to finish this summer no matter how hard it got. That if I arrived home in August with a smile on my face that I could officially do anything. Well, here I am!
I kind of feel like this is the last chapter of what has been an incredibly tough few years.
***Here comes the plot twist.***
So, as most people know, I’ve been on medication to control my anxiety and depression for a very long time. The dose has been lowered and I came off the meds for a while before I started college but I don’t think I was ready at the time and I ended up being put back onto them.
I’ve been wanting to come off the medication for a while now but the doctor advised me that with camp coming up I should stay on them as none of us knew how my body was going to handle the new environment.
I kind of went to the States with the idea that camp was going to be the official test. If I could handle it, well then I had definitely put the worst of my mental health problems behind me; if I couldn’t then I still had a lot of work to do on myself.
About two weeks into camp going to the health centre everyday to take my medication just became too much of an effort. The weather was generally amazing so I figured in that respect it was definitely an ideal time to come off them. I came to the conclusion that if I was going to get through camp it was going to be on my own. Due to my own strength. So, maybe slightly irrationally I decided to stop taking the medication entirely. This was either going to be a really good or a really bad idea.
I have now been off the meds for 7 weeks and during that entire space of time have experienced just 2, well more kinda 1 and a half panic attacks and my mood has been generally fine!
I know that I will always have to look after myself and my mental health and I know that this isn’t a total end to all panic attacks. What I do know though is, that I am strong enough to take on anything now. I know how to deal with my attacks and I know that once I’m careful and ensue to give myself regular breathing breaks, I can now take on the world entirely on my own!
I’m not entirely sure yet how camp is going to have changed me but I know that it has. I know that I am a better, stronger, happier and more confident and in control person because of this summer and that is more than I could ever have wished for.
I never fully believed that I would get myself to America, never mind get to the end in such great form. This is a pretty cool feeling, not going to lie.
So, when I said thank you to my high ropes team, and to all the amazing friends that I made and to the leadership team and to everyone from home that encouraged me to go to America, and when I said that I would never forget any of you or what you guys have done for me, I 100% meant it!
This has been the hardest, greatest and most unforgettable 3 months of my life and I don’t have a single regret. 💫🇺🇸🌈❤️
As for college and winter and everything else that is about to come at me, I am ready! I’m already looking forward to next summer and whatever adventures it has to bring.
For one final time, thank you again to everyone. For all the little things. For being cool about my squeaky ball. You guys all helped me to get to the place I’m in right now. You’re all superstars. 💫😉
Hope everyone, home and abroad had an incredible summer and I’m looking forward to seeing and catching up with everyone. I love you all.
Keep adventuring and having fun and last but not least,
Kimbo. X ✨🍄💖🌸🌹💛