2023 Rewind

Life is always full of highs and lows, but I can't say how truly shit this year has been. It's been full of the lowest low points of my life and at points, I honestly didn't think I would survive. I can't think of anything better than leaving 2023 behind and forgetting about everything I've been through. It might not seem as bad on paper, but when your mental health is already rock bottom, it's hard to keep fighting, especially when there's nothing left worth fighting for.


The year started with working either side of New Year's. I actually slept straight through the night and of course, woke up alone. My best friend, Hannah, came over for a little trip and we had a lovely couple of days together. I then went on a very last minute city break to Krakow, which was a very busy but rewarding trip experiencing some historical world sites. All of that seems like a complete lifetime ago. When I got back, I surrounded myself with family and lots of planned activities. 


February started with isolation as I ended up getting Covid for a second time. It also is when my mental health plummeted even more and I finally reached out for help in the form of counselling and then anti-depressants, after suicidal ideation. It didn't help that on top of everything else, house renovations meant disaster after disaster, only adding to stress. 


I tried to stay positive as much as possible. We had a girls trip to Jamaica to celebrate my mum's birthday which was absolutely beautiful. It only got worse when I got back, when the person I loved the most walked out when I was at my lowest. I was terrified of doing something stupid. I left the door unlocked at night, in the hopes someone would come in and murder me, I would sleep with a knife in the hopes I would cut myself and I started to self-harm. We had the nicest night together as I tried to stay as positive as possible and then he left. 


The month was all about my friends. I reunited with a lot of childhood friends and it was lovely to see so many of them in a weekend back in Wakefield. I saw a couple of high school friends I hadn't seen in years and then another who I hadn't seen for a few months. We also celebrated my mum's birthday with a funny party and a lovely meal. 


May called for a visit to Liverpool to visit my best friend and to celebrate Eurovision. We had lots of themed events and it truly was the perfect getaway. I had such a lovely time, although sadly got my first ever parking ticket despite having a permit. When I get back, it was time to start on my garden. My mum came over for a couple of days and we spent some quality time together. I also made a trip to my oldest sister's to see the family and it was lovely to spend time with them all. From there, I drove down to Wales and saw my dad too. At this point, I was starting to see fleeting moments of positivity and one quote really stuck with me: “Sometimes you gotta laugh through the tears and smile through the pain, so that you can live through the sorrow.” – Alex Tan. 


My birthday month started with continued garden projects, this time with my mum, cousin and nephew coming over to help with some fence painting. I also had the entire exterior to the house completely cleaned and refreshed. Birthday week started with afternoon tea in the garden the day before, birthday brunch at a garden centre and then the traditional The Ivy tea for the evening meal. As I had annual leave, I then travelled to Wales to spend a few days with my dad for Father's Day, before returning to Wakefield to look after my grandma as my mum had booked a holiday. It's a good job I did because we ended up spending almost 12 hours in hospital together. 


July was a turning point. It helped that someone I had become very close to over the last year reconnected and we spoke daily. I finally got back in to doing some activities for myself, including getting back into archery which was lovely. I had visits from my mum and another high school friends. Plus, I had an entire week at the Great Yorkshire Show before the loveliest family barbeque. I finally felt like I could smile again. 


School holidays meant my oldest niece and nephew we out of school so I went to visit them for a few days and we did lots of exciting activities together: restaurants, bowling, cinema, arcades, zoo, mini golf, walks and games. I also hosted my first garden party with all my cousins and then later that week babysat my baby nephew for the first time and he was a golden child. It was bliss. We also had a family barbeque and I attended my one and only wedding of the year! Plus, the house was finally finished!


September reignited my love for musicals and shows and I started to see almost one a week. I felt like I had truly the hardest year of my life by this point, so I wanted to go on another holiday. I booked a somewhat last minute trip to the Dominican Republic and then a couple weeks before, my mum decided to come so I added her to the booking too. It was a lovely start to the holiday, but then food poisoning literally wrote me off for over 3 days which was very disheartening. 


I went a little overboard with Halloween decorations this year, because I really wanted to try and celebrate the little things as much as possible. Hannah came back to Nottingham for a long weekend and it was lovely to hangout and spend time together. We also had a games night with some other friends. The biggest step to life improvement was getting back into exercise for the first time since pre-Covid which was defintely a shock to the system.


Autumn walks started the month lovely, alongside celebrating Bonfire Night both at home with family and at a special event at a nearby farm. We also celebrated my nephews first birthday. Things then went downhill again, as my grandma was admitted to hospital and just as we thought she was coming home, she devastatingly passed away. I had wanted to travel down to see her the night before but as she was doing well, I didn't. I was at work when I got the call to say it wasn't long, so I raced home and by the time I set off, she passed away just minutes later. It's also when the person who I had become closest to, disappeared again. I just wish someone would prioritise me. 


Despite it all, I had a lot of Christmas events planned and I had spent money on them. Between the bouts of tears, I was encouraged to attend and complete the pre-booked evets. A trip to London started the season, followed by a sister's Christmas weekend, family Christmas party, work do and then Christmas itself. Tears have been plentiful this month and I've ended it with 3 night shifts. I haven't even mentioned that the week of my grandma's funeral, my car had a lot of damage done to it when the catalytic converter was stolen off it...in a locked NHS car park, whilst I was working a 12.5 hour night shift. I can't tell you how devastated, angry and hurt I was! It's currently in the garage whilst the insurance make a decision but the mechanics think it will be a write off as it will cost more to replace than the car is worth. It was the last thing I had left of my grandma and I wanted to hold on for it as long as possible. For it to be taken away from me in that way has really hurt me. 

...And that's how the shittest year ever played out. I simply have no other words to describe it, because that sums it all up pretty well.