Baby steps 👣💪🏼✨

Man, this semester has been tough! The blog and life in general have had to take a back seat to college work. It’s been non stop, and I think a lot of people have felt in the same boat. It’s been overwhelming too. In my last post, I think I  kind of predicted a ‘breakdown’ coming and in some respects I was all too right.

So much has happened in my personal life on top of learning the ropes in a new job along with trying to Final Year. Yes, I’m taking about Final Year as a verb. 😴

Having so many of my closest friends studying abroad this year has also been tough. I’ve missed them all a whole bunch. One night a couple of weeks before Christmas after I’d had a really tough day I started feeling somewhat homesick?? Even though I was at home with dad and Sally, I was just missing all my M8s so bad. It was the strangest thing. 😥😂

But of course, my friends have still been there 24/7 from different countries and my college girls have been the best, as always! ❤️

It’s kind of funny because I am so, so aware of how amazing all of my closest friends are and how much they do for me and care about me but they still literally never fail to surprise me and constantly seem to prove themselves as ever more and more amazing. This is 100% an appreciation shout out to them all for dragging me through and I think I’ll actually be forever grateful to them for keeping me going. No point naming everything they’ve each done for me because I’d be here forever but, last night I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. I genuinely thought I was having a heart attack and I could not for the life of me calm myself down.

Anyway, I managed to get through to Adam who was with my other besto Ash and the two of them were absolutely hammered. Even in their questionable state of minds they immediately put their night on hold and totally talked me down. I was absolutely overwhelmed by how much they helped me last night and I’m so grateful they were there. This morning Alisha’s mom was going to call in after dropping her to the airport to check in that I was okay. This afternoon Ellen called over and had made me a ‘We’re just fine’ playlist so that if I ever panic like that again I’ll be prepared. She also brought me a little world map that I can scratch off all the places I’ve visited and remind myself how brave I’ve been. Then tonight Adam called over before he left to go back to Spain and didn’t leave until he was sure I had calmed down. (I got anxious again lol)

I mean, in the space of like 24 hours I’ve been totally surrounded by the best of the best. I am honestly the luckiest girl in the world. Without even telling them how much I needed them all they’ve surrounded me. ❤️

It was funny because especially over the last two months while the college work has been super intense for all of us in Third Year Social Policy, everyone has just pulled together. Everyone has been leaning on/ supporting each other and that’s been so nice.         -I was having a bit of a meltdown one morning in the library and three of the mature students in my course, who, I think were also somewhat freaking out, brought me for brekki to cheer me up. My Social Policy family are all legends, too! 💛

It’s proven as a comfort to have everyone else struggling along side me. I know that sounds so selfish, but I think the most comforting sentence in the world to hear when you’re overwhelmed is: ‘Don’t panic, I haven’t started either.’

The last couple of months, I haven’t been painting or doing much of what I enjoy. Keeping up with Emmerdale has been the height of the excitement and over the last two weeks I’ve even fallen behind in that. My anxiety has been sporadically intense and my mood has definitely dipped at points, especially as of late. I’ve just kept my head down, taken it all very much day by day and tried to prioritise my mental health where possible.

When I finished my last essay due before Christmas,  I burst into tears. I cried for a solid hour after finishing because I just could not believe I had made it to the end. I finally felt the biggest sense of relief and just pride. Pride in myself, that despite all the work, despite all the bumps along with way, despite a serious lack of sleep, despite everyone being away for the year, I had made it through final year assignment season no.1, and most of my first winter without medication in about seven years.

Christmas can be a really difficult time for a lot of people. Usually I’m not a fan at all, but this year my friends all travelled home for Christmas and I haven’t been as excited for Christmas as I was this year in years.

From the minute my last essay was handed in life started getting back on track. Seeing all my friends again was amazing and the hugs I got made everything okay again. ❤️ This Christmas was extremely busy between seeing everyone and working a lot and I’m pretty worn out. Exams start next week but I haven’t even had the time to panic about them yet, so I’m really hoping that the ol’ anxiety decides to behave! Two days after my exams end I’ll be on a plane to Slovenia to be reunited with Alisha and Cathal which is super exciting and I’m hoping will give me something to look forward to during the exams; so much so that I’ll be able to continue eating and sleeping during this exam season and remain somewhat sane. whether that will happen or not, I feel is possibly wishful thinking! 😂😴😳😥

I think this semester kind of reminded me how strong I am, as cringe as that sounds.

I spent New Years in Edinburgh for a camp reunion. I was extremely anxious before I left and had basically decided by the night before I was due to fly that I was not going. My anxiety was just debilitating and I had overthought the whole weekend so much that I wasn’t sleeping or eating and I couldn’t stop crying or getting sick. The Joys!

Anyway, once again my friends were quick to remind me that after America I can do anything. That if worst came to the worst I could just stay in my hostel room and catch up on some much needed sleep and that I was only an hour’s plane journey away from home.

I ended up going and having an absolute ball! I kind of reminded myself that I am much braver than I give myself credit for and that when it comes to being independent, after I’m done with all the overthinking it’s actually kinda grand! I came home absolutely delighted with myself and the really big, not so baby step that I had just taken.

A few days ago I went for a proper lunch in a little restaurant all on my own! This time one year a ago I would never have dreamed of doing that,  I just found myself being so hungry that I barely gave it a second thought. All these things seem so little but are all adding up. And I’m not going to let last night’s panic attack set me back. Alisha, my soul sister is constantly pointing out little things that I’ve started doing that I don’t even notice I’m doing, that before I never would have done, or at least done without freaking out. Just, like saying things to people that need to be said, or – eating in a restaurant on my own!

But the bottom line is that I made it, purely just by taking constant baby steps and now they’re all slowly turning into one big, giant step. I’m still here and still smiling. Mostly.

I’m pretty emotionally and physically exhausted at the minute but feeling so grateful for all the insanely amazing people in my life. (Sobbing a little rn..) ❤️😂

2017 was the most intense yet amazing of my life. I accomplished so much but I’m absolutely by no means done yet! 2018, I hope you’re ready for me and all of my goals.

I wish you all a super happy and healthy New Years filled with lots of luck, laughter, love and PLENTY of baby steps!

I promise I’ll get back to my blog more regularly after Slovenia. For now though, lots of love and for everyone facing into exams, best of luck!! It’ll all be over soon. We got this! ❤️ Also, never forget, no matter how hard things seem,

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 🍃🍄🌟🌸🌼✈️💖✨