Sunday, 30 December 2018

2019 in review- You are not alone

Hello everyone,

It's come to the time when I write my end of year blog. It really doesn't feel like two minutes since I wrote my end of year blog last year.

This year has been a pretty hard year for me for a number of reasons and circumstances. I've also struggled a lot with my mental health, but I'm grateful for the support of the people who I've had in my life. I've never found making friends easy or had many of them for that matter either so those of you who have taken the time to listen to me, it means a lot to me - thank you. 

There can be a lot of comfort in not feeling like you're alone, the opposite are feelings I have known well - talking about I feel and about the things I find difficult has never been the easiest for me due to social/general anxiety.  I've always worried if people will be understanding and supportive or if they will laugh, judge, simply not get it or if I will bother others. Also expressing my thoughts and emotions is difficult for me. 

Due to my anxiety/social anxiety and dyspraxia, day to day life and situations can be a challenge and I also can experience panic attacks and low mood. I’m also a big overthinker and have challenges with confidence and low self-esteem. It can take a while to get to know me and for me to feel comfortable, especially due to my anxiety and quietness. It can be so easy to think it's just you who finds these situations difficult or why you may feel down.

I also struggle to find confidence in sharing my ideas and opinions due to my social anxiety, I can worry that I will offend people or that my ideas, stories or experiences aren't interesting and others will roll their eyes and think, "what is she on about?"

There's been a lot of talk about mental health in the dyspraxia world this year which in my opinion is a long time coming, but I hope in future this is something which is developed more alongside the social difficulties people may face. I think it's really important that people aren't put into the same bubble and that people are known as individuals with their own unique circumstances so that there aren't stereotypes. 

Some people may have different challenging situations to me, or complete them in a different time frame, or may have had more of a support network - outside of close family and had more general support -than me. Understanding is also something which takes time and time to get to know people.

This year my boyfriend Matt became vice chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation. A quieter member of the board who has used his IT skills, passion and understanding from his own experiences and his anxieties and difficulties in social situations. He is building up his confidence to promote inclusion within the charity which is something important to him/us. I am also grateful for the members of the youth group I have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with and those who from
various communities I’ve spoken to online. You have really opened my eyes.

This year I've realised that things take time and that it's ok to be on your own journey and time frame. Also that I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit for.  Next year I hope to believe in myself more, build up my confidence and manage my anxiety/low mood.

Thanks to Matt for all of his support and strength this year and a special thanks to my border collie Toby who is always happy to see me, appreciative of snuggles and for always wanting a toy to be thrown. I am very grateful for the kind words Mollie King has given me this year, they give me strength in difficult times. I hope this next year is a bit kinder.

I hope the year ahead is kind to you,
Take care  of yourselves

Lots of Love

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