As it’s the final day for 2018, a lot of us are taking time to reflect on their 2018, I’m going to do that but I am focusing on my mental health journey largely.
I kicked off the year doing Run Every Day January to raise money for Mind, by day 31 I’d ran a total for 71 miles and was mentally good, but physically broken. January will always be a challenging month for me and this really does help me get through, for my sins I’ve signed up to do it again this year and have a personal target of 100 miles…
I made it a priority to say yes to more things, both in work, in terms of Instagram and in my personal life. I did things that made me feel inherently uncomfortable; for example turning up to a gin launch event, holding an event for 40 people, going to No House Rules events on my own and whilst I loved each, anxiety doesn’t care how nice, or how kind others are to you, it doesn’t leave until you do. I listened to people talk about how confident and comfortable I seem in these situations, I am not, trust me, but I do try.
I also learnt the power of the word no, and when it’s right to use it. I cut myself some slack at work and don’t always work 12 hours a day, signing off when I needed to and remembering I can’t do everything. The 12 hour days aren’t an expectation of my job but more one I placed on myself, and as everyone told me, the world kept going and no one batted an eyelid. I became more responsible with what I was using no for and I reflected on the people in my life. My mental health became my number one priority. This led to me losing people from my life who I miss dearly, but ultimately it was the right thing for me to do.
My mental health is good, for the most part, for me it will always be a “can do better” but I’ve got through most of this year without complete disasters, yes I’ve fallen asleep crying irrationally at times and making no sense, there are times when I’ve just needed to be left alone and to the people around me who understand that sometimes I just don’t know why, and how to ‘deal’ with me I am eternally grateful. They exhibit patience from places I do not know of and have a virtue I can’t find.
My family remains incredible, both those who are stuck with me through blood and those who you welcome into your life and hope never leave. I watched two of my best friends welcome their little boy into the world after years of heartbreak and through his arrival my ‘additional’ family grew a little bigger.
I achieved milestones at work that I had been striving towards, I travelled a little more (Prague was incredible and I’d go back in a heartbeat), I finally fully renovated and completed my living room, albeit on the 30th December but there’s nothing like cutting it fine. Instagram has led to me meeting kindred spirits who have become both inspirational to me (and I don’t mean because of their beautiful interiors, but that helps) and true friends and I launched the Ginstaclub which I’m hoping has many more runs to come.
For 2019, there’s going to be more from me, the blog will grow content wise and you’ll see more people featured here. The gin reviews will focus on the craft element, how it was created and the faces behind them as much as the taste, the interiors will be about making your home your own and ginstaclub (the frequency of which is to be determined) will be continued to help make fun drinks at home that don’t cost the world and have ingredients you can actually source without visiting 33 shops and searching the depth of Ebay.
Talking openly about mental health will always be at the forefront of my agenda and I hope more people will join me in doing this for the new year. I wish you all the best for yours – and enjoy celebrating.