Monday, 25 July 2016

My Very Last Minute Holiday

When I say last minute, I mean it. We booked it on the Saturday and flew at 8am on the following Thursday, for a week in Greece. 

Not only did I have the initial excitement of the holiday to try and deal with but also I had been informed by Mrs Spraggan herself that she too (and the other Mrs Spraggan) was flying to Greece that same day. From receiving that information, it just got weird! We were flying from the same airport, from the same terminal, at the same time. What are the chances of that? Pretty slim I reckon. Fortunately for Lucy, we were going to different parts, so were on different flights! 

We spoke via twitter on the morning of the flight, and all I heard whilst walking to our gate through the airport was "Theres Lucy," and "Lucys over there." We actually made it to our gate early and I sat messaging Lucy for a while, and because she is a lovely human being (sometimes) she said she would meet me, probably to shut me up, ha! Anyway she told us where to go and she came out to us, bless her, what an angel. She went on to be a bully, like normal- only joking. But Lucy had made my holiday before it had even started. 

Her hugs are the best.

I feel like I look like a proud mum with their kid.

I dont think that there is any better feeling than stepping off a plane in a hot country and just being hit by the heat there. Somehow, shortly after we had just stepped off the plane, I managed to injure myself- on a toilet door handle? Great start! We got a bus to our hotel along with a few older people, I couldn't help thinking that we didn't fit in... It felt like a pensioners bus trip. Despite this, the views were absolutely gorgeous and I came to the realisation that Greece is such a beautiful, picturesque place, of which I only managed to capture one photo on bus journey, which is blurry.

When we arrived at the hotel, the first thing I saw was the pool, I'd say you could get 10 people in it if you're lucky! Luckily, this didn't really affect us, as we dont really spend a great amount of the time around the pool as I much prefer the beach. 

On our first full day we decided to go to a small beach, which was more like a cove, close to our hotel. Honestly, it is the most beautiful beach i have ever been on in my life. It was surrounded by many, many trees, of all different shades of green, mostly olive trees. The sea was so calm and peaceful- which I love, I lost my glasses in the sea last year as it went over my head, so I hate rough seas, it makes me nervous. It is a pebbled beach for the majority of the space, although there is some odd patches of sand where you can avoid getting a rock in your back whilst sun bathing. 

See what I mean about the rocks and the sand?

I could have happily stayed on that beach all holiday but my family decided that they wanted to try another beach, which was an added 10 minutes walk from the first beach we visited. This beach was not my type of beach at all. It was all pebbles, but it was a long walk to the sea- unlike the other beach. The first thing that caught my eye was the huge crashing waves, uh no thank you. We decided to have a dip in the sea anyway and try to make the most of this beach, but I just could not stay at this one. It was so rough and there was a harsh drop in the sea itself, that was me out straight away. 

For the majority of the next few days we returned to the little cove where we used both sides of the rocks to put our stuff and for mum and dad to sunbathe. We took ourselves a little picnic of a ham and cheese baguette and a piece of fruit each, and sat eating it watching the boats go past and the occasional crab crawl along the pebbles. 

Woah, Ebony in a bikini!

I also spent my one year clean on holiday. I'll post the link to my post on being a year clean below, incase you fancy a read. Everybody made me feel so, so loved on my special day. Even Lucy Spraggan and Georgie Spraggan messaged me first! Lucy saying "Well done ya little ray of sunshine. Anything is possible. Xxx" and Georgie saying "Well done lady, 1 year clean AND a bikini pic both in one day! Very proud of you. Here's to the rest of the years... Every single one! Xx"

We even caught the sun setting on a few nights during our stay in Greece. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It was also rather funny watching people line up along the wall, taking their 'selfies' with the sunset in the background- especially those who felt the need for a bit of skin in their photo, so did the occasional pulling up of their tops, instagram worthy?

iPhone photo.

iPhone photo.

Yes, we joined them having photos with the sunset in the background.

When the day came to come home, I really didnt want to leave. Sivota, Greece, is possibly is most definitely the prettiest place I have ever been on holiday. I was not mentally prepared for the day of travelling- 1 hour 50 minutes on a bus to the airport, 3 hours 15 minutes on the plane, 20 minutes in a taxi and 1 hour 15 minutes in the car home, it tired me out! However, on the way to the airport I did manage to take a few more photos with my phone again, but they aren't of great quailty. 

Link to my post on being a year clean:

Monday, 18 July 2016

1 Year Clean!

Sometimes what makes you stronger is the hard times in your life. Being a year clean from self harm on the 17th of July, I now fully understand why people used to tell me this, and I can honestly say that it is true. For absolutely ages, I believed that it was the opposite. I had this silly idea in my head that if you were low- you'd only get lower. Now, coming out the other side of struggling with the daily torment in my head of wanting to harm myself, I am able to see how it is the complete opposite of this. When you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go but up, which makes the saying 'its the hard times that make you stronger,' true, as if you keep fighting, you'll only get stronger mentally.

A year ago I knew that I should stop, and I knew that it had to stop- and that is the story of how I made it to a year clean! A long with tears, panics, hard work, more tears, stress and effort, not much I guess.

It gets better.

Keeping a positive mindset in place isn't easy, just in general, or in recovery, but something that really helped me to wake up feeling a bit better was to put post it notes around my room with little messages on to myself. At the moment, I have 6: 'Be Brave', 'I Am Enough', 'What To Focus On: Happy', 'Positive Thinking', 'Stay Focused' and 'Always Smile'. Not only do these little post it notes say positive messages on them, but they also brighten up the room which is always nice, as they are in 4 different colours: pink, yellow, blue and green. Another thing that helps me to keep a positive mindset is good memories. I have a photo wall in my room which is filled with good memories and good people, such as the time that I got to skype Jelly and Day, meeting Lucy Spraggan, leavers day/party, shrovetide and special moments with my family and friends. Often when I walk in my room, I will stand and look at the photographs for a while, and it just puts a smile on my face. Yet another thing that really helps me is music. Even when i was having trouble, music helped. Where would we be without music? I also have a wall behind my bed which is covered in my favourite photos of my favourite singers, which includes: Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Lucy Spraggan, Justin Bieber and many, many more. This wall also makes me very happy, and both wallls just remind me what I have to be grateful for.

Every day approaching this milestone in my self harm recovery, I feel stronger. It has been a really long and hard journey, to get to where I am today but I can tell you it was definitely worth it. I still get urges, but now I'm strong enough to fight them off. I am pretty confident that once I do hit a year clean, I will never ever go back to it, but if i do, I am also confident that it will only a minor slip up and that I shall be able to carry on. With regards to this as a whole, in my mind, I feel stronger towards this situation. I now know how to effectively distract myself and to make myself feel better.

I think that the more days you go without doing it, the more you never want to do it again- well this was the case with me. Right now my thoughts are, well, if I break the clean now, i'll have to wait another year to be in the place I am in now, and i'd be wrecking the achievements that I had already met at this point.

This time next year I hope to be in the same place as I am now- still strong. Hopefully 2 years clean, but if not, thats okay. I accept that relapse may sometimes be a part of recovery. Overcoming something this big has been so, so, hard yet so, so, worth it. It is so rewarding to look back and see how bad things were before I decided to change myself for the better, and to see how i used to behave in comparison to how I am now and to see how much has changed since then. I dont say this very often, but I actually am very proud of myself.

I would just like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for being there for me through one of the toughest years of my life, and before that (if i knew you then), it really does mean the world to me.

I'd just like to take a paragraph to remember my beautiful cat Cassie, who sadly we had to have put down on the 17th of July also. She was the most beautiful but funny cat I had ever met in my life. She comforted me whilst I cried, it really hurts knowing I can't walk into the kitchen and see her peacefully asleep in her bed. I miss her so much- we had 16 wonderful years together that I am very thankful for. Rest in peace Cassie x