I’ve spent the past few days flicking through the pages of my old journals. I’ve read about moments in the past two years that have brought me great joy, and moments that have brought me great sadness. I’ve relived things that had forced me into making decisions I didn’t necessarily want to make but had to. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here now, writing this post or re-reading my old journals.

October has become an incredibly important month to me. This month marks the first anniversary since I decided to open a door to recovery and took that first step through it. There is no specific date – it took it’s time happening – and it was far from easy. Those first few weeks were filled with arguments and tears and heartache. I considered myself lucky if there was even an hour that managed to crack through the stormy skies that followed me around, allowing a few rays of sunlight to warm my heart momentarily.

Things got better for a while. My mood had pulled up from threes and fours to sevens and eights. But then I crashed. More arguments. More tears. More heartbreak.

When Christmas came around, despite having discovered tissue damage in my right eye, things started looking up again. I focused on the good things in my life. On seeing Rhys Ifans playing Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic. On meeting one of my idols, Aaron Sorkin. On seeing the latest in the Star Wars franchise with one of the only friends who stuck around for the hard times.

And then 2018 began.

It started with seeing Les Misérables on stage for the first time. Then The Phantom of the Opera and A Monster Calls…

The rooms I was frequenting were filled with inspirational people: Andy Serkis, Carey Mulligan, Celie Imrie, Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Orlando Bloom, Martin Freeman, Graham Norton, Natalie Dormer, Keeley Hawes, Blake Lively (the list really does go on this year!) …

I took on social media managing jobs alongside my copywriting ones, with clients I actually enjoyed working with for a change…

The ring my grandfather had worn, that had been sitting in a box untouched for forty-seven years, became mine…

I went on TWO holidays. One to Scotland with my oldest friend, and one to Belgium with my soul-sister. Both holidays changed my life…

My tissue damage healed…

Hours upon hours were spent, filled with unadulterated laughter, with family and friends, both old (and I mean, people I hadn’t seen in fifteen years kind of old) and new…

I went to exhibition after exhibition, event after event, all throughout London, exploring the city that I love more than anywhere else in the world…

Articles that I had written were picked up and posted all over the internet and I even joined the Fearless Femme volunteer team with one of those articles being published in a physical magazine…

I became an organ donor…

I finished a novel…

And then I finished one more…

Recovery isn’t easy. Far from it. It’s still littered with shame and anxiety. With panic attacks that shake you to the core and voices that try to convince you that you’re better off dead. But you know the thing about litter? You can pick it up and throw it in the bin.

I’m surrounded by people I love. People who don’t judge, who don’t question. People who just wink and smile and tell me that Bill and Ted will solve all my problems. I’m surrounded by art and culture and inspiration. I am surrounded by sunshine and rainbows on the cloudiest of days. No. Recovery definitely isn’t easy. And to say it’s a slow process would be understating it. But it’s definitely the road I’m happiest on.