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Becoming ‘Strong’ | How 2018 changed me as a person

I have missed sitting down at my laptop and just blurting out all my thoughts onto the page. Chatty posts are some of my most favourite to read, I love how raw they are and you really get to see the personality of the writer and an insight into their personal life. So today’s post is a chatty one, I’ve wanted to write a post for some time now about the things happening in my life – because there is a lot going on. But I just felt like it was too personal, I was worried that I shouldn’t be sharing the things that are happening because of everyone it is effecting. However, this is my blog to do what I want with and It’s also my life and perspective of things I am sharing.

The last 13 months of my life have been a real test. It’s been eye opening and life changing in more ways than one and I have learnt SO much more than I ever thought I would, about myself, about the people around me, and about life.

It all started when my Boyfriend’s Mum got sick, I didn’t realise that my whole year of 2018 was going to be a continuous downward spiral. It’s really tough to see someone you love going through something so difficult, all I wanted to do was be able to help, but it’s out of your control and it’s frustrating.

During this time, my Nan got sick. To the point that we were all ready to say goodbye and even the doctors told us it was unlikely she would be ok. I was honestly devastated, she’s my last remaining grandparent and I had spent a lot of time with her during my childhood. Thankfully somehow, she got better. We all couldn’t believe it, but it was amazing. I’m so grateful that she survived. The only problem now is, she started to deteriorate mentally, and a few months later was sadly diagnosed with dementia.

More good news then happened, Zak’s mum was able to get treatment! After spending most of my free time in hospitals, finally things were improving. It was so great to see her improving and to see such a change in Zak’s mood.

Then we get to the worst part of the year. My mum had to go to hospital and ended up staying there for months. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because it would require a thousand words. But, she was in a really bad way, she had pneumonia and actually nearly passed away. It was so tough. It’s your mum. I would get the train and bus straight to the hospital from work and vice versa before work. I felt like I had spent the first 6 months of 2018 constantly in 3 different hospitals.

After a while and mum getting better, she came home and it was great. Until a few weeks later, and she still wasn’t 100%. She got admitted to hospital, again. This time around there were many more scans and tests until we found out that the reason she had not been well for months was because it was Cancer. That word you always dread to hear.

I was on a gap year working during this time and I have a very customer focused job. It was so hard to go to work everyday and fake a smile to not only my colleagues but to customers too. Pretending to be extra happy when everything else in your life is crumbling down. I had an awful panic attack at work a few days after finding out the news, luckily Zak was there to calm me down.

It’s all the constant waiting around that makes things worse too, constantly waiting for appointments and results, mum having to retake tests because they didn’t work the first time, it’s incredibly frustrating. In the end we found out that there is no treatment for mum and that it’s terminal.
Since the news I have felt like I have been living in a constant limbo state, I had some counselling at my University and she described it as an ‘impending doom’ which I think summarises it really well. One thing that my counsellor did also tell me was about when her mum passed away she had the thought ‘That‘s it now, that’s the hardest thing I’ll ever go through‘ and that really stuck with me. Going through this is tough but I’ll come out stronger and be able to face more things in life than I could have before.

The year I became strong | life quote about being strong

The whole point in this post is that I’ve realised, I am strong. I am incredibly strong. I am going through a horrible stage in my life, but I’m surviving, I’m getting firsts at university, I’m able to smile to customers. Obviously I have bad days, sometimes bad weeks, but I’m coping. I get a lot of strength through my family and friends which I am so grateful for, I am so glad that I am not going through this alone.

It’s changed my whole outlook on life, the main one being that life is too short!!!!! This is one of the reasons I’m pushing myself to do Youtube, stop being so worried about it and just go for it. Little things in life don’t bother me anymore, there’s a long queue somewhere – so what? People seem to moan about these constant little things in life that really shouldn’t matter, I’ve been guilty before from being annoyed about things like train delays, but in the end, there are bigger things going on in life than a problem of getting home an hour late.

The other major thing I have learnt is that YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SOMEONE IS GOING THROUGH. I can’t express this enough. I’m obviously not going to tell everyone I meet that my Mum has terminal cancer, and yet people will chat to me like everything was fine. It’s frustrating, but why should they know otherwise??? I’ve had people trying to justify smoking to me and how they’re going to die one day anyway so ‘who cares’, that really p*ssed me off, but how are they to know. Now I always think about how many other people in the world are going through things, and to treat more people with kindness and respect. You don’t know what people are hiding under their smile.

I want anyone reading this to know, whatever you’re going through, you can get through it, and you’re not alone.

I’ve been keeping most of this private for a long time but just felt the need to get some thoughts out of my head and to realise how proud I am of myself. It’s really surprised me how many people have told me how much they admire my strength and it was something I hadn’t fully realised about myself.

This post isn’t aimed to make anyone feel depressed or anything. I just found it very cathartic to write and I want it to be a reminder to myself about the strength that I have.

Clare xx

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2 Comments

  1. March 18, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    Sounds like you had a really tough year- but I love how you’re turning it into a positive and showing how you’ve grown and learned from it! I hope this year is better for you gal x
    Chloe X http://chloelxuise.com

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