For god’s sake girl, let go of the guilt.

I have a really big issue with who I was and who I am now. Besides going through a lot myself, I constantly feel guilty for people who knew me before I was sober.

I remember times that I’d be drunk and gobbing off to people. I didn’t care what I said or what I did to others whilst I was drunk.

Even before my drinking became bad and I was an emotional, angry teenager who couldn’t deal with anything.

I feel awful for the people who stuck by me throughout everything because sometimes, I could be really nasty and selfish.

Because of this, I feel like I owe people something. I’m not sure what it is I owe them but sometimes, I feel overwhelmed with guilt.

I’ve tried to reconnect with people through social media. Sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn’t.

I’ll sit for ages thinking about what people would say about me. If someone was to describe me, what would they really say?

It’s so silly because I don’t care for the negative opinions of others now but if they have some connection to my past, I feel like I have something to apologise for and something to prove.

It normally ends up in feeling really shit about myself and I become weak, almost wanting to beg for forgiveness.

And the reality is, most of these people hurt me. I may have been an annoyance in their life or have caused them some pain but they also did the same to me. Yet, I still put all the blame on myself.

The truth is no amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future.

I’m not perfect, I never have been and I never will be.

Just know that everything I have been through, good or bad, has been a valuable lesson.

I don’t hold hate in my heart anymore. People can change.

I just need to find the strength in myself to let go of the past. The present is what’s important to build the best future for myself and by holding on to the past, I am just holding myself back and burdening myself with things that cannot be changed.

Give yourself a break girl, life’s too short.

 

 

 

 

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I’ve forgotten.

After writing a blog post yesterday for the first time in ages, I decided to read through my old blog posts and wow.

I’ve realised that I really have forgotten what it feels like to be intoxicated.

I can’t remember the feeling of tipsiness after a couple of drinks. I can’t remember the physical sensation. It’s so strange. I also can’t remember what a hangover feels like. I mean I guess this is a blessing.

All I remember is my behaviour and how I felt mentally but even then, after reading my old blog posts, it broke my heart to read “I honestly believe if I do not stop drinking that I will cause serious harm to myself and/or to others… I honestly think I will end up dead.”

I remember feeling like this. I felt like this for years. Constantly suffering with the darkest thoughts and harming myself in various ways including substances.

I never ever thought that becoming sober would change as much as it has. Hand on my heart, I can honestly say I am happy. I am in control of who I am and I love my life.

I have only been sober for 1 year 5 months and I can’t believe how different everything is now. Every aspect of my life has changed for the better.

When I talk about my past and my behaviours, the people who never knew that Kelly find it hard to believe that I am talking about myself. I also find it hard to believe that I am talking about myself.

I love reflecting and I think it is super important to stay humble. Sobriety is the best choice I ever made.

 

 

The Fear of being Female

Last night at around 4am, I walked home from a night out with my friend. Two females walking home together on a lit road. We’ve walked that route a hundred times and as I was sober, not alone and there were lots of people around, I felt it was okay to walk home with my friend. After all, it wasn’t that far.

We were approached by a drunk man who asked us which way we were walking home. He told us he was walking in a particular direction which was different to ours. We crossed the road to be safe and also avoid awkwardness and continued walking.

Mid conversation with my friend, I look around and see the same man crossing over from the path he should of taken home to the path we were taking and felt instantly alert and anxious. I didn’t say anything to my friend until I was sure that he could be following us.

We crossed over again… and then again and at that point, it was clear that this man was following us.

Now, whether he had any intentions, good or bad, I felt fear. We both did.

The man caught up with us and we let him pass, pretending we were looking for something in our bags. Once he passed, we watched him continue walking and looking back for us. We hid in a doorway of a pub until he was far enough away but still in sight.

We were left feeling anxious, intimidated and frustrated.

As a feminist, I want equality and I truly believe that the world is becoming more equal. Yet for some reason, it doesn’t feel equal in society.

Girls are installed with fear. Fear of being attacked, raped, murdered, assaulted. Just for being a girl on her own in public.

We continued to walk home. This time, we were overly alert. Any person, doorway, road… we looked at over cautiously and made sure it was safe.

We entered conversation about how frustrating the whole situation was. Don’t get me wrong, men do get attacked. It’s not okay for anyone to be attacked whether they are male or female. Yet as a female who has male friends, it seems that it’s the girls who fear more than males do. We continued talking about past experiences and what we do to make sure we aren’t attacked every time we walk home.

As a child, I was taught to scream fire instead of rape because otherwise, I might not be helped. I was taught how to defend myself against a man if I was being attacked. I was taught to stay quiet if I was to be raped in case it angered the man and it escalated into a life threatening situation. I was taught to scratch any man that attacks me and pull their hair to make sure that if anything happened to me, I’d have DNA evidence of my attacker. I was taught to walk home with my keys in between my knuckles to use as a weapon in case of an emergency.

I’m sure men get nervous walking home too but they have no idea of the fear installed in girls for just being a single girl on her own in public.

The reality of is that men are stronger than women. If it was a female following us last night, I wouldn’t have felt that fear. I’d of known that I could defend myself if I needed to but as discussed with my friend, it seemed that if we were attacked, we were still not sure we could successful take on this man and get away.

One in five women in England and Wales has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16 (ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales, January 2013) and women are nearly five times as likely to have experienced sexual assault as men (ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales, year ending March 2016).

I guess this is why we are fearful. It’s just sad that a difference defined as gender can cause such a difference in levels of fear.

As a female, this is the equality I want. To be taught not to fear a man. To be able to walk home and not feel objectified or vulnerable. To not constantly think of an escape route or to decide which object in my bag could be my weapon. To raise daughters and grandaughters to learn self-defense for general safety and not to protect themselves from males.

I honestly believe this is why females are more feisty and defensive to any man that approaches them. We may appear stuck up or rude but we are already on the defence, preparing ourselves for the feeling of vulnerability we all know to well. Already subconsciously defending ourselves.

I hope this changes.

 

 

I went to the worst place on earth… School.

Today my foster sister went to her school prom and she looked beautiful. She goes to the school that I went to at her age. I wanted to feel happy and enjoy the moment but instead, I felt insecure, anxious and sad. 

We went to a place called Foster Gardens where everyone has their pictures taken. It’s a lovely opportunity for people to meet up with their friends and take group pictures with a pretty background. Perfect for instagram.

However, I noticed so many people alone not having people to take pictures with and it broke my heart.

It reminded me of being at school and feeling isolated. Constantly battling to stay afloat whilst feeling like you’re drowning.

Everyone’s experience at school is different but I really hated school. Don’t get me wrong, I loved learning but I hated the social aspect of school.

I was a bubbly, sociable person but I was also insecure and suffering with my mental health. I hated injustice and couldn’t stand bullys which also got me into trouble.

I know I had friends at school and I know there were good times but it is so hard to remember them. Most of my happy memories are crushed by people letting me down or simply worse experiences.

School was the time that I started self-harming and drinking. I constantly felt out of control and I constantly felt like I had to prove myself to people.

When I went to watch the prom tonight, I remembered every single person who bullied me, every time I cried, every time I walked out of school because I couldn’t cope. I remembered all the rumours which were so silly but caused so much drama, all the people who said they were my friend and were not. I remembered the pressure of looking a specific way and I remember the people who got bullied because they didn’t fit the criteria. I remembered it all.

I really hope that the good and decent people never listened to those rumours. I hope that when I was really suffering mentally, people felt sad for me instead of believing that I was an attention seeker. I really hope that any one I ever upset or hurt, they can forgive me because I really am sorry.

And if we went to school together and you see me on the street, at a party, on facebook, then please say hello. And if for some reason I hurt your feelings, definitely say hello. Lets start again!

 

Still learning that self-love

So far on this journey of airy fairy self-love

I have deleted unhealthy social media pages. I went through facebook, snapchat, instagram and said goodbye to all the fitness pages, healthy eating pages, models, celebrities etc. I knew seeing all these “perfect” people were affecting my mood but it wasn’t until I deleted nearly 300 instagram pages that I truly understood how social media was affecting me in such a negative way.

I’ve also stopped putting pressure on myself. I love working out but to balance university, work and some sort of social life is hard enough without adding the gym into it. Whilst I enjoy going, by making myself go, it becomes a chore and it makes me miserable. I’ve decided that my happiness will not be defined by weight. When I go to the gym, I become addicted (story of my life) and I put pressure on myself to constantly look better. I am never satisfied. From discovering this, I’ve realised I really need to give myself a break. I need to become happy in my own body before working out. I want to work out because I enjoy it, not to increase my levels of happiness due to weight loss.

I’ve realised that what I want most in the world is to be in a healthy loving relationship with a bestfriend and have a happy and healthy family. Such simple life goals. But in order to achieve this, I really need to chill out. I need to let go of the past. There is a lot in my past that I have let go of but for some reason, I define myself and my abilities on the successes and failures of past relationships. Absolutely bloody ridiculous! I know! When I am lonely, I reflect on past relationships and blame myself as the reason I am alone. I know that I have standards and the reason I am single is because the men in my past were just not right for me. We were at different stages of our lives. We were together for the wrong reasons. We wanted different things. Yet, I still punish myself for the failures in my life. I really want to and need to evaluate this section of my thought process. Failed relationships doesn’t make me a failure, it just means I’m strong because I didn’t settle for less.

It frustrates me that I am aware of what I am doing to myself. I’m aware I am punishing myself for something so ridiculous. So, this has got to change. I need to let go of every single person I’ve dated. I’m sick of holding on to memories that will never be the same again. I truly believe that in order to achieve self-love, I’ve got to say goodbye for the last time. It makes me really sad that people can come into your life, change your life and then leave forever. I hold on, hoping that they’ll come back and change their mind or just want to be friends because we did have happy memories. But this is not realistic. It needs to end now. I honestly blame social media for making this so hard. There are always reminders of the past and it’s hard to truly move forwards but I reallllly need to do this for myself. I want to do this for myself. 

Come on Kels, you got this!

Thanks lovers x

My Journey to Self Love

I have been feeling really shitty recently and for every socially constructed flaw in my life, I blame myself.

I feel like I’m having a quarter life crisis. 

Society makes me feel shit for being single. I worry that I won’t find the right person. Then I worry I won’t have children. I worry because I’m moving to a new place next year and I won’t know anyone. Then I’m moving back and a lot of my friends will be gone. How am I going to find stability? When am I going to be content in my life. Are people not attracted to me because of my life choices? My sobriety? Because I’m a “mature student”. Or is it because I’m ugly. Because I’m unhappy with my weight.

Then, I start to criticise myself. You are single because you are fat, ugly, damaged. You don’t fit in to society. You’ll never belong. You’re not as clever as you thought you were. Why bother.

When I used to have these thoughts or experience these emotions, I could numb them with unhealthy coping mechanisms. Now, I can’t and I’ve realised that it’s time to start to really love myself.

In reality, I know that I am beautiful, I have a perfectly fine body, I am successful etc etc. But it doesn’t stop my mind telling me otherwise.

So, this is my mission. I am on a mission of self- love. In order to be happy, I need to learn to love myself. I need to give less of a shit to what others think of me.

In all honesty, I have no idea how I am going to do this but I’m sick of being my own worst enemy.

So here is where it starts. Kelly, I love you girl.

 

 

My last alcoholic drink

*TRIGGER WARNING*

A year ago today tonight was the last time I drank alcohol.

I went into it with the intention of having fun and I was determined and positive that I could and would control myself under the influence of alcohol.

I was drinking Rosé wine with my boyfriend and I facetimed my mum at around 9pm all happy and giggly.

We then went to my house and played beer pong. I was still laughing by this point. We were ready to go to bed and by this time, I didn’t know what time it was. I went upstairs to the toilet and my boyfriend had just gotten into bed. My best friend called me whilst I was on the toilet and in all honesty that is the last thing I clearly remember.

The night suddenly turned into my worst nightmare and I feel I need to share it. People don’t understand why I don’t drink and I don’t need to justify my reasons why. However, when I tell people that I go crazy, they say “so does everyone” or “everyone has a night like that”, I want you to know that if you only ever have one awful night of drinking, that is a good enough reason for you to want to stop drinking. Don’t feel pressured by society to carry on because English culture is one of the biggest binge drinking cultures in the world.

Anyway, my memory is very vague by this point.

Just remember, I went upstairs happy. Giggly. Ready to come back and cuddle my boyfriend in bed.

I came downstairs and collapsed on the floor, crying and hyperventilating. I then proceeded to scream and hold my head. Mumbling about events I had repressed and also events I thought I had mentally dealt with. I don’t know what triggered this behaviour and that is what is so frightening.

I then became determined again but my determination had changed. It had gone from being determined to have a good night to now, being determined to harm myself.

I pretended to get a drink in the kitchen and took a knife to the bathroom where my boyfriend kicked the door in. I did this repeatedly with other sharp objects. I smashed glass cups, glass bottles and in the end, I smashed my wall mirror.

The strange thing about this is that I didn’t use my fist. I wanted to hurt myself but instead of punching the mirror, I grabbed my can of deodorant and repeatedly smashed the mirror. I then grabbed pieces of the broken glass, ran away and cut my arm.

Whilst this was going on, my boyfriend was trying to catch me, restrain me and calm me down but I only saw red. I knew what I wanted and I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t care who I hurt in the process. I just needed to get what I wanted and in that moment in time, it was to hurt myself.

The next thing I remember is waking up in my boyfriend’s bed with a sore head. I sat bolt up right with the realisation of what had happened. I looked at my arm which my boyfriend had bandaged up and I felt so empty. I hadn’t been this out of control in 4 years. My boyfriend was fast asleep and I couldn’t even look at him. I couldn’t look at myself.

The feeling I felt whilst out of control drunk was a strangely comfortable feeling but it had to stop. It was dangerous. Every time I reached that level of drunk, I took it to the next step. I’ve never smashed a mirror before to hurt myself. I’d also never hurt myself to that extent before. What if next time I was so drunk that I ended my life. I didn’t want to die. I was just hurting.

The feeling I felt when I woke up that morning is one I will never forget and sometimes it haunts me. It’s not because I felt bad about what I did to myself. It’s because of what I put my boyfriend through. The responsibility of looking after me. Trying to control someone who was uncontrollable. Watching them self-destruct and being so determined to harm their body. I then remembered everyone else who had ever suffered in that position. My mum, my best friends, even people who weren’t that close with me but felt obliged to fix me at that moment in time.

I felt disgusted. The person who I became when I was drunk was so detached from who I was sober.

Sober, I would put 100% into my work and my studies. I would go to the gym. I would enjoy spending time with family and friends. I had goals, ambitions, dreams and I was determined to have an amazing life.

But as soon as alcohol entered my system, I was gone and this monster who hated herself came out. She would remind herself of ever traumatic experience she’d been through and make her relive the pain. She was self-destructive and dangerous. But most of all, she didn’t know or remember what exactly she was doing. It was like she had gone into auto-pilot.

Saying that my body and mind had gone into auto-pilot is not an excuse for my behaviour but it is exactly how I felt. My body would continue to act and behave in certain ways and I would have certain thoughts but I would lose my eyesight, my memory and my self-control.

This night was the last night I drank alcohol and I made the biggest and best decision of my life to stop drinking.

I wasn’t giving up something, I was freeing myself and allowing myself to be the best version of who I am.

It is important for me to write this, not only for other people to understand or to relate to and know it is okay to have a problem with substances but it is important to write this for myself.

It is really horrible to remember what I was like and what I did when I was drinking but it is so important. Reflection is incredibly important and it keeps me striving forwards with my sobriety and pushes me forwards to be the person I am and who I want to be.

Lastly, this is an apology. To anyone I hurt physically or mentally whilst I was under the influence of alcohol. You might remember horrible words I said or disgusting behaviour and the worst thing is, I probably don’t remember. So please, forgive me for who I was before I stopped drinking. I was suffering with my mental health and with substance misuse. There is no excuse for anything I ever did but know that I am truly sorry and I am not the person I once was.

Nearly 1 year sober.

Peace out xx