Firstly, I have to give credit where it is due and admit that today’s post is inspired by the lovely Alice at More Than Toast. I loved her “what 2016 taught me post” and felt like maybe looking back on last year and seeing how far I have overcome might not only be cathartic for me but may FINALLY be the missing piece in the jigsaw to getting some sort of blogging mojo back.
Not to pull any punches 2016 was shit and followed a number of years which have been getting gradually shitter for the last 10 years. Yep, how terrifying is that not only has my life been on a downhill slide for a while now, but I am also old enough to refer to things that happened 10 years ago and not be referring to my childhoodL
10 years ago I graduated Uni. I had my forensics degree and I had secured a job in the local police force. I think I was about as happy as I could have been. The future was bright and I was ready to embrace it.
Sadly, the job with the local police force was where it was all going wrong. 5 years of constant mind games and horrendous bullying I walked out one Christmas Eve a broken woman. I wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping and had reached levels of low I never thought myself capable of. However, the one positive I thought I had come away with was I had met OH. Ha ha. My time lines get a little blurry, but I think I must have had a couple of ok(ish) years before OH kicked me out of our house 9 months after buying it. Then came Raoul, then Grandad got bowel cancer, and within a week of his “all clear” Dad got his terminal diagnosis.
I entered 2016 knowing there was a good change my Dad would not come out of the other side of it. I hoped and prayed for a miracle but on the 24th June, the day the world was watching Brexit happen I watched my Dad take his last breath. He took one final breath in, and never breathed out.
I have no idea how I survived it. My Dad was my rock, the one person I could rely on and the world is a much darker place without him in it. Two weeks after burying my Dad, my Mum had a heart attack and I was back to hospital visits and predictions of gloom.
2016 wasn’t all bad. The one positive has been that S and I had our first date. He has become something of a rock for me, which is as terrifying as it is useful. Having someone who I can call when things get rough means a lot, the ass kicking he gives me when I need it, the motivation he gives me to keep moving forwards is something I need. But it does make me worry. I am in a position where I have no idea what I would do if he left; he is my grip on reality and the one ray I can see in an extremely bleak life.
Mums care has fallen on me. I know it would, it’s why she moved to be closer to me but I had no idea quite how much time it would take. I feel that I have stopped being me and I don’t see an end. That’s the thing that seems to get to me at the moment; I don’t know when this will end. We thought we just had to survive Dad dying, but then I had to get through the heart attack, then there has been a whole plethora of other health issues. Every time we get one beat we seem to be faced with another one. And I don’t see an end. I don’t know where to turn to for help, and I worry I am drowning.
I just want to give up, walk away from it all. I would love to go somewhere where nobody knows my name and I could make my life what I wanted it to be, rather than this disaster it appears to have become. I feel like I am trying and failing at everything I put my hand to. I am constantly fighting with my sister, the family has fallen apart and I worry I am not enough to fill the shoes my Dad left behind.
So, to get this back to where I started, what have I learnt from 2016? Well, I have learnt that I am strong and that I can’t be broken. I am either too stubborn or too stupid to stop fighting I don’t know how to. 2016 is the year I faced the worse thing I thought would ever happen to me, something I didn’t think I would have to face until I was a proper adult (although 2016 has also made me realise there are no proper adults, we are all just sucking it and seeing) and I made it through to the other side. I am bruised, I am shaken but I am not broken.
I am also a lot braver that I was this time last year. I stress a lot less and I don’t waste time worrying, well not as much as I did. There’s no point. Things that would have once terrified me don’t as much. In fact, my only concern is that I don’t waste my life, as I know life is short and every second is precious.
So here’s to 2016, you took so much but you also taught so much. 2017, any chance you fancy being kinder?