I am home.🌍🐥💛

So, I went through a really bad patch there for a little while. I was quite ill due to my Anxiety. I lost a total of an awful lot of weight which I couldn’t really afford to lose and in all honesty, I was/ am a bit gutted about it. It’s the first time possibly ever that I haven’t thrived off the feeling of losing weight. Actually, I felt a bit ashamed at how much weight I’d lost. Interestingly enough though, I’ve recieved so many comments/ compliments from so many people who didn’t realise what’s been going on about how beautiful my figure is and how jealous they are of my body. I’ve felt like screaming at them and explaining that I was almost starving myself. Not purposely, but that I just could not eat and anything I ate, I threw up. I was getting sick multiple times every day and was coming home from work to my dad in tears because I was so tired and felt so miserable.

‼️This is a message to you, no matter who you are, please don’t get bogged down in comparing yourself to others because you never know what’s going on behind closed doors!‼️

One of the days a few weeks ago I went to Alisha’s house after work and had to stop and sit down in South Campus for about 20 minutes before I could continue on my short walk to her house because I felt so faint. After finally making it to her house I was a state. I could barely string a sentence together because I hadn’t eaten all day and only for her being the best person in the world and looking after me so well I’m not sure what I would have done. I’m not exaggerating when I try to explain to you how much I was struggling to keep going.

I’m so lucky like that, and I know I write this in every blog post but I genuinely have the best friends in the world. 💛 Over the last few months they have looked after me and loved and prioritised me while I wasn’t really able to look after, love or prioritise myself. They always have and always will keep me going. My friends mean everything to me! ❤️

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Last week I had an absolute melt down. There was a lot of really crazy stuff happening in work and my mind exploded. I over-thought myself into a state of absolute, irrational panic. Only for Cathal and my closest pals at the other end of the phone or I think I would have completely given into my mind and taken the week off work. I don’t cope at all when I feel my safety is under threat. Cathal made me a promise that no one would ever hurt me again; a promise that I knew he couldn’t really make. But a sentence that I needed to hear and believe more than anything. And I did believe him. Not because of the words, but because I am absolutely sure that with my pals by my side that nothing and no one can hurt me the way I’ve been hurt in the past.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing I know that I’ll never really be on my own again because I know that my friends will always answer, no matter how often I call. I’m pretty sure Cathal called into me every day last week to check I was still breathing and it’s for reasons like this that I believed him when he said it wouldn’t happen again. It’s because I have faith beyond belief that my friends will look after me and keep me safe. And prioritise and love me when I’m not capable of looking after or loving myself.

I am beginning to feel a lot better. All in baby steps. 🐥 I still haven’t put on any weight but I’ve stopped being sick which is a huge relief! Katie made a comment about how she hasn’t heard me complaining of feeling sick in ages and said she’d noticed how I’ve started coming back into her office to steal sweets again. I can’t begin to explain to you how good it felt to hear that. To hear people have noticed me looking and sounding healthier again. I’ll keep working on the weight thing but at least my appetite is slowly returning!

For International Women’s Day I saw a really wonderful post; someone’s selfie. The caption went along the lines of how important it is to value and love yourself first, along with valuing all the other amazing women in your life.

The post really made an impact on me. It talked about not comparing yourself to others (which is much easier said than done) and just learning to be kind to yourself. I thought it was brave of this person to post a selfie talking about how much they loved themselves which, after some thought made me sad. It shouldn’t take bravery to openly love and appreciate yourself!

One tip my old school counsellor gave me years ago was to stop internally criticizing and putting the people around me down. That judging others was only heightening my judgement of myself.

I’ve never really felt confident and happy with myself; something I’m definitely getting better with. But this whole Anxiety relapse has completely knocked me. I feel really fragile, physically and mentally. I quite desperately want to put on weight or at the least, stop losing it which currently is seeming a little impossible. I’ve been trying to focus on the progress that I’ve made but that’s also hard when every time I go back to the doctor I hear I’m down more weight, despite feeling like I’ve been improving in leaps and bounds.

I will get there though! I  know I will.💪🏼

Loving myself from head to toe is my absolute goal and one day soon, I will realise this goal, no matter what it takes.

 

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I have decided not to rerun for VP Welfare and Equality. Not a decision I made lightly! It’s absolutely bonkers that this time last year I was over half way through the campaign and had no idea what was ahead of me; but was full to the brim with excitement and enthusiasm. I can honestly say that I am happy with the job that I’ve done. I think that I’ve done myself, my family, my friends and my dog proud. ❤️

12 months on and I am an entirely different person! I have learned that it’s okay and sometimes important to stand up for myself- a completely new concept to me; but also that sometimes you just have to let things go. I have learned so much about people and how to read them. I have learned to absolutely prioritize my own health, an invaluable lesson. I have learned my limits and also exactly what I am capable of. I have learned to believe in myself and I have learned to some extent my worth. I have discovered how much further I can go when I take the leap and trust in 5 seconds of Bravery, and I have learned to have faith in myself and my abilities. I have made some of the best friendships and have spent the entire year so far laughing. I also don’t think I panic about the small stuff half as much as I used to! I have discovered that in the end everything gets done and works out. In all honesty I never really thought that I’d make it to the end of this year but with the end of the year rapidly approaching I will be devastated when it’s time to leave. I have formed a whole new family in MSU; but after a considerable amount of debating I have decided that it’s time for a new adventure!

I am now, despite the anxiety blip and weight loss, much more confident and more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been. When I came to Maynooth first it was this big scary world and I felt completely out of my depth. Now, Maynooth is my home and I have since made it my mission to explore the place inside and out. Maynooth is and forever will be a home I have worked to make my safe space, but now it doesn’t feel in any way big or scary; which is why I know it’s time to move on. I grow and find happiness through overcoming challenges and that’s why I know, as scary as change is, that it’s time for some new fun!

I am going to make the very best of my last few months and take every opportunity that presents itself to me and walk away with a broken heart and nothing but the most incredible memories.

Onwards and Upwards!

I love you all.

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 👣🐞🌼🐥🍄🌸💛

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Fack, I can’t believe you’ve done this.👀

sally <3 This might be more of a sad blog post this time around because, well, I’m a little sad. I’ve sat down to write this post almost everyday for the last week but I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything of any real substance. I’m tired and life has been a bit tough the last few weeks.

Just before Iceland I wrote about my stress-induced tummy ulcer. It’s shit craic. Turns out I can’t just medicate the problem away as easily as I thought I could. This whole situation is as a result of stress and my anxiety being totally out of control again. It’s mad because I’ve been handling day to day challenges relatively fine which is why it’s been hard to try and explain what’s going on to people. But over the last month or two, particularly the last month I’ve completely spiralled. I seem to be spending my life vomming these days and can’t keep food down at all. I have completely lost my appetite and with that, all my energy. I’ve lived mostly on soup and fruit the last few weeks and because of all this I’ve lost quite a lot of weight to the point where I can’t really afford to lose anymore. So, as well as medicating the ulcer I have been put back on anti- anxiety meds. Just short-term, while there’s still a lot going on in my little world to stop me from losing any more weight and to keep me above water.

Anyone who’s followed my blog for a while now knows that I’ve been on medication for my mental health before and after a sum of about 6 years of inadequate health care services and treatment I went to America and took myself off the medication Ad Hoc and worked so hard on myself and haven’t looked back since. So, to be put back on medication feels like an almighty blow.

The doctors this time around have been brilliant and have assured me it’s only a short- term solution. It’s all still a bit shite though. I can recognise however, that maybe it’s necessary for the moment.

It’s mad because I haven’t thought properly about the stigma surrounding Mental Health particularly in relation to myself in a long time. I’m so open about my mental health that I’ve gotten to the stage where I just don’t care what people think anymore. I am so open with my emotions. I talk about how I’m feeling all the time with those closest to me because I didn’t in previous years and I have since learnt my lesson. I believe so much that a problem shared is a problem halved and I think that if we were all more open about what’s going on in our heads we would all feel a whole bunch less lonely and afraid. That’s one of the main purposes of this blog.

This last week though, I have felt the stigma. I was fine about discussing the prospect of medication with my closest pals and family before it happened. But, the minute I started the medication I completely shut everyone out. I felt a little ashamed and embarrassed. (I know this is ridiculous and I hate myself for thinking that way.) I’m the girl who’s gone through it all and has always won. I’ve gotten used to winning. This time though, I kind of feel like I’ve lost to life a bit and that’s really hard to swallow.

People have a funny perception of medication for mental health and it’s been such a long time since the last time I had this realisation. I have always maintained that in the height of my mental health difficulties medication was absolutely necessary and in no uncertain terms kept me alive. It was 100% the best decision for me at the time and if our country was in any way efficient mental health wise, I would have been properly looked after and monitored and would have been off them significantly sooner than I was.

People have said things along the lines of: ‘you don’t seem anxious, are you sure you need it?’ I don’t need to justify my decision but it wasn’t one I made lightly and I simply can’t carry on like this.

I’m fairly sure that I made the best decision for me and my body but it’s all just a lot to process. Like I said though, this is a short- term solution until I properly get to the bottom of everything and give my brain a little spring cleaning.

During my Welfare Campaign someone questioned by ability to do the job because of my mental health difficulties in the past. At the time I remember thinking to myself: ‘ah fuck you, you don’t know me and what I’m capable of’ and moved on, not giving the comment a second thought. The day I started my medication I sat there wondering if that person had been right.

I have taken the time to properly think through my situation and I have decided that what that person said about me during the campaign was bullshit. I am more than capable of everything that anybody else in the role could do. Sometimes it takes a little more effort or persistence but I reckon, I’ve shown Maynooth that I have and will continue to do the best that I can; which I now believe is absolutely good enough. I have always been proud of what I’ve overcome and completely believe that my mental health has made me who I am today. This situation is no different.

I’ve had a couple of students lately facing similar situations and saying similar things to what I’ve been thinking, which is why I decided to write this post. How hypocritical it would be of me to sit back and tell others to look at going on medication as a positive step in the right direction, to look forward to what the future will bring and to absolutely never be embarrassed or ashamed of taking medication for their health, Mental or Physical; while secretly not being able to own my own story.

So I am here to tell you that whether or not I know you, or I know what’s going on, we are going to get through this together. One baby step at a time. I’ll make a commitment to not be ashamed or embarrassed of my heath and you do the same. I’ll make a commitment to reprioritise self- care and just generally be kind to myself and again, you do the same.

My good pal Gregory told me the other day that life is all about balance and that balance isn’t a straight line. That balance is all about the ups and downs and how we move forward. Well, I’m on a little down hill at the moment but you know what, the hill is about to start sloping back up again!

I’ve spent a lot of time painting and writing and spending good, chill time with close friends and my pupper, whom I can’t help but feel happy around.  ❤️ I just gotta look after myself a little extra and be selfish for a while now, I think…

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Anyways, keep tippin’ along everyone. We’re all going to be fine after a few deep breaths and a hug or two. Be kind to those around you and to yourself. The sun will come out tomorrow, it always does. ☀️💛

Smile always, beautiful people. We can and will all get through this whole mad life thing together. If you’re struggling reach out and don’t suffer on your own; like I said a problem shared is a problem halved.

Kimbo. x 🌻🍄💛🐥💐

 

Dearest all of my beautiful pals❤️

Dearest all of my beautiful pals, this is a letter to you. Whether we’re close and chat all the time, just a little or, we simply smile at each other when passing on campus. I’m about to explain to you all exactly what you mean to me- and to each other. Because we all value, in one way or another the people who make an impact on us. The people who make us smile.

I value the people in my life an awful lot. I seem to spend quite a lot of time totally taken back by the lengths people will, and do go for me on a regular basis. I try to acknowledge and be grateful for kindness all the time. Even for all the small tiny stuff.

And, by writing this letter and trying to explain to you all how much your kindness means to me and those around you, I also hope to inspire you to focus on being just a little kinder tomorrow. To go out of your way to do just one nice thing for someone, no matter how small. Because the smallest things make the biggest difference.

Life is tough! To all my closest pals; the ones who might as well be family. The ones who I complain to about how tired I am ALL of the time. The ones who I ring in floods of tears after getting on a train going in the opposite direction alone at night. The ones that even though they are several pints in..understand exactly how scared I am and calm me down, and send me the right travel information and snapchat me funny videos until I am home. Safe and sound and breathing again.                                                                                          The ones who encourage and incentivise me to face all of my fears and then hold my hand along the way. The ones that encourage me to laugh at every opportunity. The ones that not only share the same thought processes, but the same cycle as me. 😂                 The ones who slag me non-stop, but at the end of the day would do anything for me. The ones who wrap their arms around me and suddenly, I am safe.                                                                                                                                                     The ones who have believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. The ones who have taught me what I deserve and who I am. The ones who have seen me vom and cry and conquer; at my very worst and very best. The ones I drink cans with and chat and joke with all night. The ones that just really understand and know me.  The ones who make me smile everyday. The ones who support me endlessly with everything. The ones who have saved me, provided endless encouragement and support, made me who I am today and, the ones who have made me happy. 💛🌼

To all the people I have had coffee with. There are so many of you and I have never had a  bad coffee date in Maynooth! Coffee Dates have been the framework of my college experience so to say I have enjoyed every single one is impressive. Good chats always come with coffee. Thank you all and I hope you all continue to do coffee dates regularly. ☕️

To all the people who love me and are interested in me and my life and my stories. To all the people that believe in my ideas. To all the people that read my blogs. To the people that put aside time regularly, to see me. Thank you. ❤️

To all the people who have ever gone out of their way to help me at some time or another, thank you. I get muddled up and tied in knots on a regular basis and metaphorically speaking, if you all weren’t there catching me every time I tripped up I’d have broken every bone in my body by now.

To the people who understand and accept the fact that I need to stop and widdle every time I go anywhere. 💧

To the people who have laughed with me/ at me when laughing at my own jokes. 🐥

To the people I know from around and have maybe chatted to once or twice, thank you. You people keep life so interesting and inspiring. Stories that make me laugh while bonding over a pint(s). Or chats in the hallways or on the streets. In meeting rooms, waiting for public transport or in coincidental groups. Chatting is my favourite thing to do! 💕😂

To all my old friends and to all my new friends.

To anyone who has ever hugged me or waved at me. To the people who pass me on the street and smile. You make my day. I always notice and appreciate when people smile at me as I walk by. It’s such a simple thing, but it has such a big, warm impact. It slows the world down a little when it feels like its spinning. 🌍 A big friendly smile always makes me smile. It’s infectious and for all you know it could be the first time that person has smiled all day. SMILE AT THOSE AROUND YOU ALL THE TIME.

‼️Tell the people in your life how much you love and appreciate them always. ‼️

To the people who have trusted me, thank you. To the people who have actively played a part in helping me succeed and follow my dreams, thank you. To the people who have advised me. To the people who have provided me with opportunities.

Life is so tough! But, life can be so much easier when we show love and patience to those we meet. You literally never know when someone’s having a difficult day and the smallest act of kindness shown to them can turn it all around, or make it all a little more bearable. Give compliments, give hugs, smile often, be positive and try to believe in the power of positivity and kindness. Don’t put each other down, build each other up! Life is easier when we lean on each other. When we talk and listen to those around us. Really listen. Aim to make the lives of people around you brighter. Be honest. Be selfish sometimes. Look after yourselves too, but we’re all in this together and don’t forget that.

Thank you all for touching me in one way or another. I am honoured to be surrounded daily by thousands of amazing, different and inspiring individuals.

Thank you all for everything. I have no doubt that there are others saying the same thing too. It’s not just me you’ve touched. You have all touched so many other people’s lives in one way or another too. Don’t forget how important you are to the people around you. Even in the smallest ways. That’s really important.

Be well, pals. This time of year is hard. We’re all tired and we are all snuffly. ☔️ Christmas can be a difficult time of year too. Look after yourself first but also be kind to those around you. ❤️ Reach out if you’re struggling.

All my love and Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 🍄💫🐥🌻

Welfare life when you’re 5″ nothing.🐥

It has been the most crazy few weeks! Welfare life moves at such a fast pace. The summer is over and I literally have no idea where the time went. It has all absolutely flown by!

It has all been pretty wonderful so far. The job has made me feel so many emotions and it’s only really starting. I get really terrified every so often, and I question what I’m doing here. But recently, when I start panicking about how I’m feeling I’ve learned to stop and breath. I’ve been through an awful lot over the past few years and I’m stronger and happier than ever so absolutely nothing is going to stop me now!

I graduated a couple of weeks ago and had all of the most wonderful people around me; friends from home, college and my course friends along with my family. I was so unbelievably happy all day and it’s a day I’ll never forget! ❤️ I can’t wrap my head around how it could possibly have been three years since my very first, terrifying day in Maynooth. I remember exactly what I wore that day and every single emotion I felt like it was yesterday.

My undergrad degree was the best and without a doubt, most challenging three years of my life. I found myself, my beliefs and my values. I’m still finding them and exploring and growing in strength and confidence day by day.

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This job keeps pushing me. I have found myself attempting to reverse back into old anxiety ways. But now, every time I go to run and hide I get pushed back out of my comfort zone and I have no choice but to do what needs to be done. It’s my job. And then, I leave my comfort zone and am always grateful for the push. Orientation week is over and I think we gave orientation talks to about 3,000 freshers. That’s a lot of people, a lot of public speaking and one more almost overcome fear. 💪🏼

In his orientation speech Paul kept saying “…all it takes is just five seconds of bravery, that’s it!” And I keep taking his advice and literally diving in! -I jumped off the pier in Salthill a few weeks ago; and couldn’t bring myself to do it this time last year.

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Five seconds of bravery is brilliant advice! Close your eyes for five seconds and take the leap; whatever that leap may be. By the time you open your eyes you’ve already taken the step and then it’s too late to go back. Did I mention I also got that blood test I’ve been too scared to get for about 3 years?! I also booked my tickets to go to Iceland for New Years to visit all my favourite camp pals. Last New Years I had a massive panic attack the night before going to a camp reunion in Edinburgh, but I conquered that fear. The prospect of the Iceland trip scared the shit out of me which was the biggest deciding factor in me booking the tickets. 💪🏼 What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?

It’s all coming up Kim.

The team has been amazing. I have really felt so supported the whole way along and it’s all so exciting. The Union is such a busy place! I really had no idea. Everyone works so hard but they literally all just never stop smiling and being so kind to everyone they meet. I know it’s early days and I still have so much to learn and face, but I really think this is going to be one of the best years yet.

I’ve been quite ill recently and I’m exhausted. It’s been a little bumpy but again, my friends have picked me up and carried me through. I could not function without them and am constantly, everyday, amazed by how wonderful they are.❤️ Forever grateful.

Last week, for World Mental Health Day 2018 Paul and I held a mental health coffee morning. ☕️ I got to tell a whole bunch of people that it was okay not to be okay and that we are all one big welfamily in Maynooth that will get through everything life throws at us together. I ended my speech with a Winne The Pooh quote and I have never felt so empowered in my entire life.

It was SUCH a special, perfect day. My job lets me do these things. It’s fecking class! AND having a pet anxiety bath duck called Albert in work is acceptable? I actually have no idea how I got so lucky! 🐥 I say it all the time, but I genuinely think Maynooth is one of my favourite places in the world. In Maynooth I am happy, loved, accepted and safe.

SAFE- a word I’ve questioned a lot as of late. It’s a word that means a lot to me for various different reasons. I haven’t always felt safe. Safety is a feeling I have learned to take great comfort in, however it’s a feeling that catches me out sometimes because I am naturally drawn to the situation that appears safest. I know I am being so vague right now but this theory can be applied to almost all aspects of my life.

Every so often safety is a necessity, for obvious reasons, but sometimes the safe option isn’t always the best option. If we’re safe all the time and avoid these 5 seconds of bravery and don’t push ourselves out of our comfort zones how will we ever grow as people? It’s a confusing grey line that I find really hard to navigate sometimes. So, I’m really glad to have so many people around me pushing me everyday and reminding me that I am capable. A reminder that I require frequently. I spend my life feeling overwhelmed and slip into the ‘I’m doing such a shit job’ mindset all too often.

On another note, last night I faced something that to me, was terrifying.

Earlier in the week I was asked to face a certain situation that I knew was going to make me incredibly uncomfortable and force me way out of my comfort zone. My immediate reaction was to say absolutely not. Then, I rang Jimmy, my old school counsellor whom is now one of my most trusted friends. To my great disappointment, Jimmy told me to face my fears. To choose the uncomfortable option which would inevitably lead me to a place where I could move on from a situation that’s been holding me back for quite some time. He told me that whatever I chose to do he would never judge me but, gave me a little guilt- trip thing and then told me to let him know what I decided to do. 😂 He’s a wagon like that.

So far, after about ten years, Jimmy has never been wrong. So I decided to give into his guilt- trip and face my fears. I decided to take 5 seconds of bravery and to face this particular situation head on. Of course, my closest friends all jumped at the chance to stand by my side and help me face the situation and together, with them all by my side, I knew I would be A OKAY! ❤

This time the safe option was not the right one and the fact that I could recognise this and chose the scarier option is a testament to my personal growth.

So, I faced the situation and it was difficult but I did it! I’m really proud of myself, but also triggered. The situation was a really difficult one and it’s a situation that wouldn’t have been difficult for most other people. I’m conflicted as to whether I should feel happy and delighted with myself for overcoming a fear, or sad because the smallest things still trigger me and I often wish they wouldn’t, you know. But baby steps, I guess.

Despite this, life is constantly terrifyingly wonderful and I for sure hope it remains this way. I also hope that I always have the very best of the best people by my side encouraging me on.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week, dearest readers. I also hope you conquer something small this week. It’s a feeling I’ve become addicted to. 🐥

(P.S. Hope you’re all as #buzzing that Westlife have made a comeback as I am! x x x)

All the love and hugs,

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 🐥🌻👣⭐️🌼❤️

 

Homeward bound! 💪🏼🌅👒💅🏽🇺🇸

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,
Smile Always,
Kimbo. X ✨🍄💖🌸🌹💛