- I have been mostly well this year, bar two dips (one around the time of my ESA tribunal, and another when I started a part-time job which I later abandoned). I would say I have been fairly stable, dips notwithstanding, probably because I have not been working and have had a quiet life.
- I started this blog on March 28th of this year and it has proven quite successful. Now that means that not only do I get an ego boost by seeing people reading it/retweeting and whatnot, but it has helped me analyse my relationship with God and my own mental health by writing about it.
- I won my ESA appeal.
- I won the Best Newcomer Blog award at the Christian New Media Awards in October – of which I have written elsewhere but it still makes me smile to see the award on my windowsill or listen to the iPod I won! I have also won an award at The World of Mentalists Awards.
- I met some other bloggers earlier in the year which was very nice, and I hope to meet them again at some point.
- I have been able to see my friends in London a few times, and I am going back there in January.
- I moved house, and now have a lovely study with lots of drawers and desk space, a TV (thanks Santa) and my laptop.
- I have made friends at my local pub – not especially close yet but still, people to talk to.
- I have met lots of lovely people through my own church, and also through a group that the Baptists ran. I also got involved with a late-night free coffee van servicing the clubbers on behalf of the local churches.
- We got a new vicar in our church and I have spoken to him about my desire to do more full-time work in the church, i.e. that I am considering ministry.
- I got confirmed earlier in the year and met a really nice woman who is a priest in a neighbouring parish.
- I seem to have won a few things this year – 6 CDs from Premier Radio, a Bible via Woman Alive, and so on.
- My diabetes is now under control for the very first time thanks to an injection called Victoza. In fact all my health markers are now perfect and I have lost a stone. Sadly I seem to be stuck at my current weight, but there you go.
- I have stopped binge-eating altogether.
So for all these things, Lord, I thank you. It has been a generally good year. There were some downsides to it though:
- I have not been able to find work despite having a good year health-wise. There are simply no jobs in the area and without my psychiatrist agreeing to my learning to drive, I am realistically looking at the summer season before I am likely to get a job. I feel like a fraud, being well but on sickness benefit, even though I know that it is to prevent my being ill that I am on it.
- I have yet to make close friends with anyone, certainly no one as close as my friends in London and my friend in Edinburgh. I never meet anyone outside of church/the pub.
- As ever, I lack a boyfriend, because no one is ever interested. Not sure why.
- I have, especially lately, been spending too much time at the pub. I love the pub, pub life and drinking and meet people there and have a conversation which I really enjoy. However it has started to become every night and the blog has started to be affected, so I need to be more moderate. That could be my motto, really, “be more moderate!” as I have a tendency to take things too far.
- As a carry-on of the drinking, I am in some financial difficulty. I have spent £1,000 of my savings, which I never intended to do, and seem certain to go into more of those savings. I am a bit embarrassed to tell my parents, but I will have to eventually. The fact being that even though my parents give me money on top of my benefits, I spend so much on drinking (I have a mega-tolerance) that that is just swallowed up. I also spend a lot of money on clothes and bags and so on. This is part of the reason why I am so keen to get any sort of work.
- I am quite bored – this may be why I am so well, but it is nonetheless annoying.
- I have been feeling a little down over Christmas, and am uncertain where that is heading.
Overall things are good, but there are a few concerning features. I certainly need to be more moderate with my spending, and with my drinking. That said, I thank God that I have so few and so slight problems in my life.
- I have had 4,938 views of my blog in total.
- Most visitors came from the UK, followed by the USA, but I have also had visitors from Nepal, Chile, Myanmar, Botswana and quite a lot from Singapore.
- My most popular posts are the Guide to Self Injury and Scrupulosity: Religious OCD
- Most popular search terms are to do with self injury, scrupulosity and Nicky Gumbel.
- Weirdest searches: “did mr.wilson from the dennis the menace show ever have a brian injury” and “jesus icon sticking plasters” and “god!what makes a mental brake down in the brain?” (I have definitely brake down in the brain before!)
- Cutest search: “fluffy therapy pets” (I wrote about my cat, Fluffy!)
- Creepiest search: “self harm porn” (Ugh)
I don’t really go in for New Year Resolutions, but some things I would like to do are to write articles which (might) get published in offline media, to perhaps work on an actual book, and to overcome my stage fright/shyness and do some public speaking. I can see that I might be able to make a small living that way, and I would love that. I would also like to give up smoking, but as a large part of me still loves the habit, this seems less likely.
I would like to thank all who read this blog and who follow me on Twitter and Facebook for sticking with me this year, and I hope to have many more interesting posts in the future.
Happy New Year!