Getting a life

If you know me in real life or just through my online life, it's pretty evident that this has been a year of big change.

I've not exactly been quiet about it and I've charted my progress through living back at home, counselling, moving to Chester, learning to eat again, learning to work out and get fit, starting yoga... It's been a journey, as they say, and it's a journey that continues to evolve every day.

After years of being mentally unwell and treating my brain and body badly, or healing only so far as 'putting a plaster over things' and carrying on, this year has been a year of total and proper change.

There's been a lot of deep thinking, of digging through past thoughts and past behaviours, and replacing and renewing and relearning.

I've been rediscovering parts of me that I had lost, reuniting with the parts of me I and those around me missed, reintroducing pasttimes I used to love, and saying goodbye to unhealthy, unfulfilling habits.

As a part of that process, my diary has become busier as I meet new people, invest in new friendships, take up new hobbies and took on a new job.

Which led to a pretty huge realisation: I've not 'had a life' since I was about 18.

By 'having a life', I mean a full social life, hobbies, having fun, making amazing memories, growing as a person and being happy.

University was not a good time for me, and during that period I really retreated inwards. After that period, nothing really changed.

I'm not saying I had no friends. I'm not saying I did nothing at all. But a Pizza Express trip once a fortnight and exchanging texts with aforementioned amazing friends does not constitute 'having a life'. I wasn't being pushed or challenged or putting myself out there or relishing life and opportunities.

The point is, I had stopped truly living and loving life. I had retreating into a little box, into a little shell, and I was hiding in a zone I'd told myself was 'safe'. In reality, it was not healthy.

About a month ago, I'd arrived home from one thing or another - my creative writing course, or a session with the theatre group I help teach, or a house group evening, or a morning of meetings at the church, or a coffee trip with a friend... and it hit me.

I was so, unbelievably, hugely, wholly HAPPY.

I felt full up.

My days are full and my heart is full and my head is full and I'm learning and growing and experiencing and living.

I said I started retreating at about 18 when I went to uni. At 25, I'm coming out of those shadows.

I'm not just existing: I'm living and I'm thriving and I'm growing.

And there's so, so much more to come.

And I'm happy.

And I'm proud.


Sophie x

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