Friday, February 9, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

This past week has been very full on! Its been my first full week of Tafe and I'm really loving my course. I feeling overwhelmed (which is understandable) as I have been given all my assignments and what's expected of me at my course, but bring it on!
I haven't been trying to do much else other than making sure I survive Tafe and keeping my anxiety in check. I saw my psych on Tuesday which was good and something I needed, I've also been trying to get in lots of down time where possible and not plan too much.  I did however see The Greatest Showman with Jocelyn on Tuesday night and I can see what all the hype is about, Hugh Jackman is amazing and it's a great family movie.

Onto Friday Favourites:

Greenhouse Academy season 2 - next Wednesday season 2 is finally released (so if you're single like me throw in a tub of ice cream, maybe a cat or two and your Valentines Day plans are sorted haha) and I am so excited! I'm currently re-watching it for the 4th (?) time to get ready to binge all of season 2. I really like this show and I have no idea why but it's drawn me in despite it not being something I would normally watch. Also this song from it is currently stuck in my head, please send help!

This what anxiety looks like (for me) blog post - this took me a long time to write down but I am so glad I did! It gives a closer look into what goes on in my head an update on how my Tafe studies are going. I am so proud with how I've coped and I'm really enjoying my course, of course today I am dead after 2 full on days but I am happy and feel like I am finally getting somewhere. At this stage I'm just praying I find/get a good prac placement, as I want to start getting up my hours sooner rather than later (I need 120 prac hours and don't want to do it full time for four straight weeks).

Dusk 8 pack soy candle sampler - this was my reward to myself for surviving last week, I really like Dusk candles and find their soy range really nice and the scents not too overpowering. I like how I get to try a range of different scents (including 2 of my favourites - raspberry rosewater and watermelon lemonade) and the candles are so cute while also being a decent size. You could even buy the pack and give the individual candles away as gifts if you wanted.

Everyday movie - I always find at the start of the year there's always a stack of movies I go see at the movies but as the year goes on less get released that I get excited about. This is one those films I intend to see at the movies, I saw the trailer at the movies on Tuesday night and despite seeing it multiple times before (YouTube black holes are real!) I really loved it. It's such an interesting concept and seems like such a great film, the book is currently on my to read list to but whether I read it before or after I see the film is another matter! 

Smash Lunch Bowl - I'm not a huge sandwich fan and would much rather take a salad, soup, leftovers  (we have access to microwaves on campus) or something not a sandwich to Tafe if given the option. The problem is that it can be hard to find containers that are big enough for a decent size portion, won't leak and are microwavable. I was thrilled when I found this among the back to school stuff at Coles and it's been a great container. It fits a decent amount in it, while not being too big or bulky and its microwavable if I take things that need to be reheated up. So far I've had no complaints and it even comes in cute colours (I have the pale blue) which is a fun bonus.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This is what anxiety looks like (for me)

The following two photos in this post were taken just under 24 hours apart (a week ago), these are to help show you the realities of what it's like living with anxiety.
This photo was taken after my first day at Tafe, it had gone well and I was feeling on top of the world. I posted the selfie on Facebook with a positive caption and it got multiple likes within minutes. Yes the anxiety was present but it was at a low level compared to what it had been in the morning.

This photo was taken the next day after the biggest panic attack I have had in years. I look broken. all the make up that I had put on in the morning had been washed away with my tears, my face is puffy and my heart is still racing. I'm in my car in my driveway after driving home from campus after the attack.

In both photos anxiety is present, while it is more obvious in the second it doesn't mean that it's not there in the first. Every day I do things and make decisions surrounding my anxiety, what I can cope with and how it will affect me long term; I can't work full time, I have less stamina than most people as I spend a lot of energy keeping my anxiety under control in new situations, I need routine, I bite my nails (severely I might add) and fidget a lot, I take medication daily and see my doctor regularly to make sure its at the correct dose, I see my psych every 3 weeks, I need more support in new situations to start off with, the list could go on and on...

I started Tafe last week, I had been unemployed for almost 2 years and figured it was time to study something to upskill and hopefully get employed. Monday went well but on Tuesday I had a panic attack.  I felt like I was drowning while trapped in a box and I was thankful to make it to student services in time before it got worse. I had been feeling fragile all morning and even apologised to the lecturer that he would be getting the anxiety version of me (do we need to apologise for having a mental illness?) but at 11.00am something changed, none of my strategies were working and by 11.30am (which was when break started) the attack was coming whether I wanted it or not (I didn't!). I'm so thankful to the staff in student services who were amazing and helped me calm down and assured me it was ok and they always saw panic attacks during the first week. Once I was calm enough they helped discuss my options and helped book an appointment with a careers counsellor the next day (I thankfully didn't have class on Wednesdays).
As soon as I got home  I took the medication I reserve for extreme anxiety situations which helped my heart stop racing and shut down my anxiety ridden brain, I finally got hold of my psych and texted a few people just because I needed to process what had happened and get their view on it. I was feeling like a failure and just wanted to run away from the situation. I posted the above photo to Facebook because I felt that I needed to show people just how bad anxiety can be.
Normally the day after I have a panic attack I spend the day hiding and recharging, but this time I couldn't. One of my friends is heading over east to live and we had a final catch up before she left, I also met with my bible study leader who was concerned about me before I had the careers counsellor appointment in the afternoon. It was really full on and the complete opposite of what I would normally do.
The careers counsellor meeting went well, the student services officer I had seen on Tuesday also came with me. We discussed what I was interested in, why I chose the course I did (desperate for employment? I enjoyed IT in high school?), what I thought set off my panic attack (the course too full on? Lecturers overwhelming me?) and my employment and volunteer history. I wasn't particularly keen to do another IT course and I admitted I found the class load really overwhelming plus all the additional work I would need to put in which I wasn't expecting.
We ended up discussing my volunteering history including how much work I do for ReachOut and what attracted me to that. Because of that we settled on a Cert. 4 in Community Services, there were no places at the campus I was currently enrolled in but there were places at a campus 20 minutes away, so I decided to transfer into that course instead.
I will say that the current campus I was on had no parking and starting at the end of the month we would have to pay for parking. Even getting there at 8.00am didn't mean you got a parking space and you would have to park quite a distance away (off a main road) and walk, which didn't help my anxiety at all.
The load for this course is also a lot less (despite it still being a Cert. 4) and only 2.5 days, so I'm on campus 12.00-4.30pm Wednesdays, 9.00am-4.00pm Thursdays and 9.00am-3.30pm Fridays. Which is totally doable and leaves Mondays and Tuesdays free to do catch up work, psych appointments, ReachOut work and self care (or retail therapy haha). I will also have 4 weeks of prac instead of class in May but that's only 3 days a week which is manageable for me and how many days I want to work.

This all happened a week ago and a week later I am in a completely different place than what was I was this time last week.
I've survived my first day of Cert. 4 Community Services and LOVED IT, I honestly didn't think I would be so excited about studying something. While I am feeling overwhelmed by the assignments I'm also so excited to get into them (remind me when I have them all due!). I really like the lecturer I had on Friday (I only started Friday) and I'm told the lecturers I have on Wednesdays and Thursdays are also good ones.
I've set up an appointment with student support services tomorrow on my new campus which will be good. I would much rather have things put in place now to prevent panic attacks and my anxiety getting in the way than wait and it effect my studies. I'm not too sure what will be put in place, but I would like my lecturers to know that I have anxiety and to be understanding when I have bad days. I also want extra support during my prac as that's going to be a source of anxiety to some stage.
I saw my psychologist today and walked through the attack with her (starting from when I woke up, to the attack happening and what was going on in my brain when it was happening) and she told me there was NOTHING I could do to prevent it from happening. I did everything right and followed the strategies exactly, sometimes these things just happen and its ok. She also thinks this course is perfect for me and did admit she had some concerns regarding the Cert 4 in Computer Systems Technology. She did point out that I was in a stressful workplace for 6 months and didn't have a panic attack at all which is saying something about m old course and it not being right for me.

The reality is that I will always have anxiety and I work SO HARD to keep it under control and manageable. So while I might not look anxious or show the physical symptoms of anxiety it is there, I might just be having a good or ok day or I'm doing such a good job at hiding a bad day so you won't notice.
I'm what anxiety looks like but I am one of many who have anxiety and live with it on a daily basis. There is no picture fits all when it comes to mental illness and that's ok. Remember just because you can't see mental illness doesn't mean its not there.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

When the anxiety won't leave you alone

All the what ifs are circling in my mind and I can't stop them. I want to let the tears falls but know that if I do my anxiety will win and I can't let it, not this early in the game. 
I want to pack a bag and run far away as far away as possible but it's not practical and after all these years I should know I don't have it in me. I'm in a much better place than I was when I last did Tafe, I've been diagnosed with severe panic attacks and received treatment for them, I see a psych every 3 weeks and know the signs but I can't help and wonder whether I will face panic attacks.
I've done things I never in a million years I thought I would do despite my anxiety and I know I can handle Tafe yet the anxiety is telling me I can't and I will fail at it. 
I have these dreams of being trapped in places, my old workplace and the first high school I attended and these have been returning lately. I'm told its due to anticipation anxiety something that is normal yet I long for a dreamless sleep one where I'm not trapped in these places. 
I've had these urges to do things that don't need to be done just yet but my mind said they had to be done or else. It's like my mind is preparing me for the worst, the anxiety that will rule me and take over my life so I need to be organised. I've gone through and repacked my bag for Tafe multiple times, checking the orientation room's location over and over again and looking at the map so I know where I need to be tomorrow morning. I know the time I need to leave by and the time I will most likely leave by because my anxiety will mean I can't stay in the house a minute longer tattooed in my mind. I have what I will wear tomorrow (down to the shoes and jewellery) planned out, how my hair and make up will be done and all these other small (unimportant) details sorted. 
I can pretend that everything is fine but deep down I am struggling to keep the anxiety at bay and wishing it would leave me alone. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

I know it is Thursday but tomorrow is a public holiday so it makes sense to have Friday Favourites today.
I officially enrolled in Tafe last Monday which was scary as it now feels real, my first day is this coming Monday and I have 4 really full on days with Wednesdays off (which is good as it means I get a chance to recharge). One of my concerns about the days is working out where to fit in my psych appointments as my psych only works Tuesdays and I really don't want to miss class but I can't miss psych appointments. I texted my concerns to my psych and we moved my appointment back a week so I won't miss the first Tuesday class (I had an appointment on the 30th) and she has written me a note to give to my lecturer explaining the situation. I am told my Tafe has really good student support services which is good to know if I ever need them (I can't say at this stage). I think my biggest issue will be building up my stamina and reminding myself its ok to feel overwhelmed.

I've been having a nice quietish week, as I know next week will be really draining. It's been nice to take it easy and apart from an employment agency meeting (to get me suspended from attending appointments as I am studying which counts as a job seeking activity) this week has been relatively stress free.

Moving onto Friday (well Thursday) Favourites:

Cat pencil case - I needed a new pencil case for TAFE despite having quite a few pencil cases of course but they were either too big or too small (or I was using them for storing other things other than pencils), I have had my eye on this one for quite a while and was able to grab it during the sales when it was 20% off. It's a great size and fits everything I need perfectly.

Fade to Us by Julia Day (out 6th of February) - This was a really enjoyable book and it was nice to see Asperger's representation in a female character instead of a male character which is what is often shown (males are more likely to be on the spectrum). Brooke was a likeable character and it was great to see her grow throughout the book and admit to herself what she really wanted.
Natalie was a really well thought out character and it was obvious that a lot of time researching Asperger's went into writing this novel. I liked how Natalie was aware that she was different but embraced it and knew her limits.
I had no idea where the book was going but was pleasantly surprised and liked how the theme of family really tied it together.
It was a great book and one that I hope people will take a chance on and enjoy as much as I did.
the blub reads:
Fade to Us is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.      Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC— having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s–and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.                                                                                                                                     After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah–the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…                                                                                                                                                        When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?
Butterfly Foundation Canvas bag (not the exact pattern I have but similar) - I have no idea if I will be needing text books for my course, but unlike last time where I had a bag that I used for everything (not just study) this time round I wanted a bag this time round that was just for study. As I will also be taking my handbag to class, I didn't want something really big (though still big enough for text books) but still sturdy and this one looks like a fun bag and being canvas it's also sturdy.

Jeanswest Sale - easily half my wardrobe is from Jeanswest and I love it when they have sales. The quality of their clothes is amazing and I have items from them that I have been wearing for 3 seasons now and they are still going strong! It's gotten to the point that I know my size in their clothes (well for jeans and tops, dresses are always trickier for me) and I'm a gold level member which means free shipping (even on sale items) so if I see something I like and I know it's my style I don't hesitate to order it online. I ended up ordering 2 new tops (this one and this one) in the sale which were both down to $20 (from $60 and $50) which I didn't really need but I figured with starting Tafe next week some new clothes wouldn't go astray.

Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel - I just finished book and really loved it, I loved it so much that after I read it on my Kobo I ended up ordering it online to put on my bookshelf! It was such a different topic and you could tell that Alyssa put a lot into researching face transplants to make it as accurate as possible. It was really cleverly written and I loved how the book was broken up into seasons which is represented what Maisie was going through. I can't recommend this book enough!
The blurb reads:
When Maisie Winters wakes up, she’s in the hospital. 
The last thing she remembers is running through the hills of her neighborhood one misty morning. Slowly, she puts the pieces together: Before she could make it home, a storm gathered. Lightning hit a power line and sparks rained down, the hot-burning electrical fire consuming her. Destroying her face. Where her nose, cheeks, and chin used to be, now there is . . . nothing.
Maisie’s lucky enough to qualify for a rare medical treatment: a face transplant. At least, everyone says she’s lucky. But with someone else’s features staring back at her in the mirror, Maisie looks—and feels—like a stranger. The doctors promised that the transplant was her chance to live a normal life again, but nothing feels normal anymore. Before, she knew who she was—a regular girl who ran track and got good grades, who loved her boyfriend and her best friend. Now, she can’t even recognize herself.

Acclaimed author Alyssa Sheinmel has created a gripping and gorgeously written tale of identity and love. This is a story of losing yourself, and the long, hard fight to find your way back

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

And the word of the year is Flexibility

On the 9th of January I had my first psychologist appointment of the year and my psych decided to
give me a challenge this year: to be more flexible. One of the big things with my anxiety is that I am a control freak and am in no way spontaneous, I like to plan things and know what is going on around me.
Being unemployed for so long has really taught me that I am not in control of my life, it's meant that I can't plan things in advance and things can change at a moments notice if I get a job interview. But despite being unemployed and having to be flexible I've still tried to control as many things as I can. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with liking control and sticking to a routine but when it limits you it's a bad thing.
From the get go anything out of routine would scare me, one of my anxiety triggers is new experiences which also means out of routine experiences. In school I would stay awake obsessing over the smallest of things; swimming lessons at school, a relief teacher, sports and swimming carnivals (though I blame that on Dyspraxia and my lack of coordination more than anything else!), new classes or learning activities and don't even get me started on school camps! I was able to memorise my high school class timetable within the first week of the school year (and then I would start to memorise my friends timetables once I saw the patterns) as it was a routine that I had to stick to. If I knew what was happening during the day I could prepare myself for it but when things came up and I wasn't prepared then I wouldn't cope.  That's still my mindset even now and looking back it's clear to me that not much as changed. I internally freak out when people ask me to do things last minute that I haven't planned for, if you give me 24 hours notice I am fine but anything less and I struggle (though at times 12 hours is fine).
So this year my aim is to be open for new things, take on new challenges and not be afraid to go with the flow. This means saying yes to new things, agreeing to do things last minute, not being afraid to put myself out there and not to stress or worry when things don't go my way, this is all easier said than done which is why I am focusing on it.
This year I am working on my (mental) flexibility and trying to target yet another of my life my anxiety rules.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

I can't believe its 2018! I am already starting to get into the swing of things for 2018 but I did have a lovely staycation between Christmas and New Years. I made sure to do a lot of self care and relaxation before the craziness of the new year hits. I went to the movies and saw Wonder, hit the sales, caught up with friends and just did nothing which was perfect.
I officially enrol in TAFE on the 16th which is super scary but exciting. I go from feeling happy about it to anxious in a matter of minutes and I know the first couple of weeks will be intense so I will probably spend every spare moment hiding away. But as I have been telling people I am in a much better place anxiety wise and I have a great support network, plus the campus is 7 minutes from home so I'm not relying on public transport so unlike last time I won't have to take 2 buses there and back. I know its the right thing to do but sometimes the right things to do are challenging and this one is going to be a challenge to say the least!
I have been joking that all the Tuesdays for January are busy! On the 2nd I had a doctors appointment which was to get referrals and doctors notes so thankfully nothing bad, then next Tuesday I get to see my psych (who I love to see) and the following one is enrolling in TAFE (which is scary!).

On to Friday Favourites:

Magnificent Mentals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow - my sister got me a tube of this for Christmas and I am in love. Once it goes on it does not budge at all and its so creamy and light weight that it doesn't feel like you are wearing glitter at all. Plus one swipe is all you need for the sparkliest eye's around.

Pitch Perfect 3 - Jocelyn and I saw this together on the 2 weeks ago and we laughed so hard. I have loved the Pitch Perfect movies from the very start (and I mean very start, I remember watching the trailer long before it was released in the US and there was a chance it wasn't going to be released in Aus) and the 3rd and final instalment didn't disappoint. Rebel Wilson shone in this film and her one liners were hilarious. I liked how it focused on the Bellas their friendship/sisterhood and I honestly couldn't fault the movie.

Beauty (Red)efined Tarteist PRO Amazonian Clay palette - I never splurge on make up but when Tarte had their cyber Monday sales this was too good a deal to pass up and I am glad I bought it. I couldn't believe the quality of the pigments and how smooth they go on and somehow the palette smells amazing. I tend not to use a lot of matte shades when I do my eye make up but it's been fun to do all matte looks and experiment with the palette. It includes 20 gorgeous shades including 4 shimmery shades (the rest are matte) and there's no need for a primer. A bonus is that 10% of the purchase price goes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. I have a feeling that I will be purchasing more from Tarte in the future.

RIP Eliza Hart by Alyssa Sheinmel - a story about 2 girls each with their secrets and struggles and 2 very different outcomes. The blurb reads:
The past is closing in.
When Eliza Hart, the most popular girl at the Ventana Ranch boarding school, is found dead on the cliffs outside her dormitory, Ellie Sokoloff is determined to figure out what happened to her. After all, Eliza was Ellie’s childhood best friend.
Never mind that ever since Ellie arrived at school Eliza has spread terrible rumors about her,  calling her a liar and a stalker, when all Ellie wanted to do was rekindle their old friendship. Or that Ellie’s claustrophobia limits where she can go and what she can do. Or that Ellie’s suitemate, Sam, is the only one who will help her . . . because to everyone else, Ellie looks like the top suspect.
Can Ellie clear her name and solve the mystery behind Eliza’s death? Her hunt for the truth will uncover secrets she never imagined, sending her deep into her own memories of her childhood with Eliza Hart.
I really enjoyed this book and found the mental illness storyline really well written. If you are after a Summer read then I highly recommend this book.

Stirling Silver Linked Heart Bracelet - I have been wearing this bracelet for years, I never take it off. It was an impulse but when I put it on I was reminded of the bible verse John 3:16 so it's a reminder of God's love. I recently bought a smaller chunkier heart version during the sales which is to remind me to love myself and not be to hard on myself (which I can be when my anxiety is really bad!). This bracelet is a great gift for either yourself or a loved one.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

I honestly have no idea what the purpose of you was and I doubt I will ever find out. It was a year of
unemployment and just staying in the same place.

The first 3 months of the year I learnt how to live alone while the rest of my family was overseas. I am thankful for how many people supported me and became like family to me during this time. I don't think I could've survived without them! I gained some independence and had to fend for myself, thankfully both the house and animals survived as did myself.

My anxiety continued to try and rule me and I spent many times just letting the tears fall unsure of what the future would hold. I am so thankful for having an amazing psychologist who wasn't afraid to tell me like it was while also supporting me. I shed a lot of tears in her office but they were healing and she showed me that I don't give myself enough credit for what I've gone through and my strength. Despite it all and almost hitting rock bottom a few times I am feeling more in control of my anxiety than I ever have and starting to slowly change my thought patterns.
I also realised that despite not thinking it does that my anxiety affects my social life, I avoided going to things because I didn't know many people or it was something that wasn't my scene. I have slowly
started going to more events and accepting more invitations and I hope to continue that in 2018.

I started to stop seeing myself as broken or damaged and instead started to see myself for the strong young women I am. Having both anxiety and dyspraxia meant that I tended to focus on my weaknesses and not my strengths but I have slowly started to see myself in a new light. It's always going to be something I need to work on but this year something started to change.

I took my writing to the next step this year and had 5 articles published on The Mighty. I never thought I would be able to be published somewhere other than this blog and this was a huge (much needed) confidence boost. I got to tell more of my story and share it with people who may be going through similar things.

I learnt how to stand up for myself this year and not be such a pushover. Bullying throughout the years had taken it's toll on me and I rarely stood up for myself but this year I started to stand up for myself and advocate for my needs. I still have a long way to go in that area but it's great to be making some progress and finding my voice.

I continued to be unemployed and struggled a lot with wondering why this was. It wasn't for my lack of trying and perseverance, I applied for so many jobs and despite that I just couldn't get work. I tried to put on a brave face but there was only so much of it I could take and I found myself not coping at all. I lost it a few times and there were times when it felt like me against the world but I somehow managed to survive it.

Despite not working I managed to be very busy with volunteer work. I continued to be a Youth Ambassador for ReachOut which meant attending a workshop in February and working really hard as I am the only YA for my state. I attended comic con and helped out in the ReachOut ChillOut room which was loads of fun. I spoke at a youth mental health expo on exam stress which was very nerve wracking but I did it. I did an online bake sale to raise funds and inspired them to do it that way next year as it went so well. I became a forum mod which meant a weekend away in a new city, never in a million years did I think this would happen and my mum ended up being more worried about it than I was.
I became more active in my church and ended up catering a quiz night with one weeks notice which despite my stress turned out well in the end (a bonus was that my team won!).

I started doing regular exercise and noticed a huge improvement in both my mental and physical health. I also used to make excuses for not exercising but I forced myself to get up early and go for a 30 minute walk 5 times a week and I have stuck to it the bulk of the time. I have also started to eat less sugar and not skip meals which has helped. I continued to avoid diet coke and I can safely say I don't miss it at all and have yet to have a sip in over a year.
I also added to my collection of scars when I had what I thought was a cyst removed, but it turned out to be a precancerous growth so while I am left with a weird scar I am thankful that it wasn't worse!

It's strange to realise that you are not where you thought you would be at this age and I can honestly say it's taken me a while to accept the fact that I am not married or even have a boyfriend for that matter at the age of 23. I joke that having anxiety makes relationships harder and I am realising that it is true (to a degree) but at the same time if people can't handle the fact I have anxiety then they don't deserve to know me. It is hard not to feel jealous of those around who are in relationships whether that be dating, engaged or married. But something I am working on is reminding myself that things will happen in God's timing and I will meet the right person at the right time.

I got off my P Plates so I am now a fully licensed driver which is great and considering everything I went through just to get on the roads it's a huge achievement and proof that perseverance does pay off.

In between the challenges good things happened; one of my cousin's got married, I took a few
weekend trips away, I turned 23, I laughed way to much, I saw some amazing movies (Dance Academy, Power Rangers, Pitch Perfect 3, Wonder...), met some amazing people, caught up with new and old friends, baked a lot of yummy goodies, lost myself in books and tv shows, shopped until I dropped on a few too many occasions, played some new board games, went to the cat café, embraced change (and realised that it can be good) and did so many more things that helped make this year bearable.

So what does 2018 have in store for me? Well I am going back to study to get experience in the IT field, I have no idea what that will hold and I terrified that I won't cope with it. Of course I am putting things in place so that won't happen but it's in the back of my mind. Everyone I have spoken to thinks I am doing the right thing and have chosen the right course and I am praying that everything goes smoothly.
I hope to get a job and break my unemployment streak and that one day soon I will be writing here that I have a job.
I have no desire to stop volunteering for ReachOut and can't wait to see what 2018 holds in term of being a Youth Ambassador and Forum Mod. I feel a sense of accomplishment whenever I put on my ReachOut shirt and represent them and I still can't believe I have found such an amazing organisation to be apart of.
I want to hold onto the friendships I have made over the years and not loose touch with people no matter how far away they live whether that be by regular texts and facebook messages or scheduling regular coffee catch ups. A lot of my friends are moving away and while it's sad to see them go I know they are doing the right thing for them, but I want to do what I can so I won't loose touch with them.
But lets be honest only God knows what 2018 holds and while I am terrified to live it I am so ready to move forward.

2017 you've been a hard year and one that I am happy to see end but I have survived you and I am stronger than ever, 2018 bring it on let's see what I can survive next.

Love Erin

Dear 2016 and Dear 2015