Tuesday, 11 December 2018

A look back on 2018

2018. What a year. I say what a year as though its been amazing but in actual fact its been really tough. On January first I started my bullet journal and set myself a list of things that I wanted to achieve. So in this post, I want to share with you the highs and lows of 2018, as well as a thought on 2019.  This may be a long one so grab a cuppa. 

(Trigger warning, talk of weight, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and emetophobia)

As 2017 reared to an end I was sure I wouldn't see the end of 2018, I was suicidal and severely emetophobic and couldn't see how I would possibly make it another 365 days. Spoiler alert, I made it through. 

2018 was a hard year, my grandad had a severe stroke, my great grandad passed away, my brother was involved in a nasty motorbike accident, this summer I went through something traumatic which hasn't been shared on here, my family has fallen apart and to top it all off we are currently waiting for MRI results for my mum as she has fallen ill again and we are holding our breath hoping she doesn't have another tumor. It's been hard. I've spent so many nights awake, sick with worry. In fact, being completely honest, I got through it by turning back to bad habits, since January I have been in the worst self-harm relapse since I first fell ill at 16. I'm hoping that is a habit I can kick in 2019, but I'm aware that the journey won't be linear. 

2018, however, was also the year that I spent 6 months living in Italy, traveling the country, going on solo adventures and falling in love with city life and Italian culture. It was the year that I became a Time to Change young champion and started to use my voice to be part of a change (and I was in the same room as Jonny Benjamin), it was the year that I started a government petition which so far is at 26,600 signatures and the year I dyed my hair far too many colours.

But did I achieve what I set out to at the start of 2018? 

So I set myself a set of goals in different parts of my life, some I achieved, others I didn't and others I no longer want to achieve, things change. Heres the original list: 

Daily life goals

- Practice gratitude  -the year started off well, by the end of the year I stopped doing this. This is something I hope to start up again in 2019, its helpful for my mental health.

- Walk 10 minutes (minimum) a day - achieved, some would even go as far as saying I walk TOO much.

- Wear my braces - I have a retainer to wear at night, again not achieved, partly due to my emetophobia, partly due to laziness, but apparently, I now grind my teeth in my sleep due to stress so its another reason in the new year to really try to get on top of this.

Mental Health

- Get over my emetophobia and anxiety - this was poorly worded! But also not achieved, although I would say I am maybe 10% better than I was at the start of the year, and I am now doing CBT therapy to try to get my life back. It's all about baby steps

-Be happy and resilient -I am not happy, it's hard to admit that because I have a roof over my head, food on the table and money in my account but I haven't been happy for a little while. Againt this is something I want to work on in 2019

Physical health 

- Eat more and put on weight (get to 7 stone.) - I began 2018, only eating to survive, my emetophobia and anxiety meant I felt sick a lot of the time, wouldn't eat and so I lost a lot of weight and began the year weighing 6.3 stone. I am now a healthier 6.10 stone. I have a bum again and it's cute! 

-Practice yoga and meditation regularly - again not achieved, however, I do have a yoga mat and maybe practice yoga once every 3 months or so (baby steps) and I also now have the headspace app and use that to help me sleep. 

Blogging and activism 

-Start up #MHChatHour again - achieved. I started the chat up again at the begining of the year, however, I fell out of love with it and it became a chore. So I stopped it for good. I don't regret that. 

-Grow the podcast and blog - I gave up with my podcast, the blog, however, continued to grow at a great speed. This year my blog hit 50,000 views which is amazing, with 17,000 of those views being from this year! 

-Become a Time to Change young champion and go into schools and raise awareness - ACHIEVED. (That one deserves capital letters) I became a young champion in September and in December shared my first testimony to a group of primary school teachers. What an experience! 

-Start my Etsy store - achieved! This summer I started my Etsy store and almost made 20 sales. Its only a small number but it was on the list and I made it happen. 


- Go paragliding - not achieved and I am not sure I am fussed about this anymore 

-Go on my first date - not achieved, one for 2019.

-Learn to play the Ukulele - not achieved 

-Go to a karaoke night - achieved! It was so much fun, I loved it! 

-Have a singing lesson - not achieved, again I am not sure I am fussed about this anymore 

-Go rock climbing - achieved. For my 21st birthday I went indoor rock climbing and it was a lot scarier than I thought it would be. My issue was I look down everytime once I've got to the top. Would I do it again, not sure, but I am very happy I did it. 


- Italy - Lake Garda (achieved), Venice (achieved), Milan, (achieved), Verona (achieved), Bologna (achieved), Rome (not achieved), Pompeii (not achieved), Turin (achieved), Pisa (not achieved) 

-The Netherlands - Amsterdam (not achieved) 


It's safe to say it has been a year and a half. I hope 2019 is kinder. I have a lot of work to do on myself, I have a lot that I need to work through and process and let go of still, but I'll manage! I'm not quite sure what my goals for next year will be, that will be my task for January 1st 2019, but I've got a good feeling about 2019, I feel ever so slightly hopeful. I mean surely it's got to be better than 2018, surely it has got to get better. Well i'd like to hope. 

I am constantly learning and whilst it has been a painful year, I think it would be safe to say that I am strong in ways that perhaps at the beginning 2018 I didn't know about. 

I wish you all a lovely Christmas and New Year. Thank you for sticking with me. 

Here's to 2019


  1. I am so proud of you Angela! You have clearly come such a long way in 2018, and have fought so many battles. I'm in awe of your strength and your capability to carry on, even in dark times. You're an incredible writer too, so it's no shock to me that you hit 50,000 views- congratulations! More than anything, I hope that 2019 is so much better for you. You are a beautiful soul and you deserve so much happiness.

  2. I love that you start, quite early, with this spoiler alert. Wonderful sense of humour.
    2018 has been such a tough year for you, I know, I chatted with you numerous times & supported any way I could, and I wish 2019 shall bring you some inner peace & calmer days ahead, after all that you had going on!

    Healing is never linear, because illness isn’t either, to begin with. You know that, but you know something else? You are an amazing fighter, to have come thus far! You will beat this, you will pull through & you’ll improve, with all the hard work you did & do, CBT, support, Time To Change.

    Now, your goals : you achieved a LOT out of what you set yourself to do, and this, despite your studies, your struggles, travels and I think this is really an amazing series of achievements! I’m proud of you and know you can do some of these whenever you are ready for them. There’s no pressure, only goals.
    May 2019 be only one year, not the additional half that corresponded to extra struggles.

    Great post (and glad I DMed about the numbers earlier, that was so confusing for my kg.fraction brain).