Already on the final page of 2017, where has that year gone to. Time to reflect on the last 365 days. What does your summary say about your year?
Mine has been a very interesting year full of twists and turns. Sad points include losing my nanna, an aunty and 2 close friends to cancer; however a blessing was having 2 close friends cleared of the horrid disease. Just hoping other close friends are afforded the same blessing. I have met some true knob heads who have really tested me, but I’ve also come across some truly amazing and inspiring people, some of whom will be lifelong friends. I left the NHS, making the tough decision to hang up my paramedic ticket. My tolerance levels have massively reduced and taking calls from people insisting on an ambulance for ridiculous things, along with the higher archy more concerned with stats than lives, I just didn’t think it was conducive to my health!! Which brings me nicely on to finally starting my anger management sessions. The funny thing is, I’ve not been angry since the 2nd session 🤣🤣 I have built a gym in my back garden from scratch and just need to finish the inside. I can do my training in there now though so no need for gym membership any longer. I’ve had 2 holidays but I am so ready for another one if anyone fancies taking me!! I’ve had yet another house move but hopefully settling down for a while now (we shall see). The problem is, I only moved back to help look after my nan and grandad but now they’ve passed I don’t have any firm ties to Hindley. I just don’t know where else I want to be so for now I will remain here.
It’s been busy with my mental health campaigning. I have been blessed to deliver 15 talks in various settings, 6 group sessions and some 1-1 support through the foundation. There have been 6 radio interviews, 11 TV appearances and 17 features via other media platforms. Something else happened this year but I can’t think what it was. It was something big; if only I could remember…. INVICTUS GAMES!!!!!!! Whoop whoop 😁👍💪
Many of us will be starting the New Year having to learn to cope without someone we loved, cared about, worked with, or just knew in passing, but someone who impacted our lives greatly. We never forget but we have to learn new ways to live without their physical being. They remain with us and in us, in our hearts and in our memories. Some lives where taken from us suddenly through a medical emergency, others expected with a terminal illness. Sadly though there are others who thought there was no other way out of a nightmare living within them. The only way out they could see was to end the nightmare themselves. All these losses will impact us greatly and we must give ourselves time to go through the grieving process but then learn to move forward with our life. We have to embrace each new day. I know there will be some of you reading this who, right now, can’t see a future but trust me, there is always a way through the mud. In my heart I never thought I would be here now. I wanted to be shot in Afghanistan on my last tour in 2012 so that I wouldn’t have to complete my operational tour, in 2013, 14 and 15 I almost gave up and had planned to take my life because I saw no end to my nightmare. However, I trudged my way through the mud and I made it to some solid ground. It takes time but once you believe there is a way through, and you have the will to get better then your fight comes back. I couldn’t have got through it on my own though, I had some special people in my life who supported me every step of the way. I will always be thankful to each and every one of you. If you are in a similar place right now going into 2018, I pray that you find your warrior spirit and face it head on. Reach out to someone without fear of judgement. Some people won’t understand but there are others who will. You can turn the tide if you want to….
Every year I have made New Year resolutions but this year I have decided not to. I have decided that they are just another reason to beat yourself up and find fault with yourself if you don’t stick to it. I’m not going to have a go at myself anymore and neither should you. We tend to focus on what we didn’t do rather than what we did do and that’s not healthy. Yes have a focus, yes set goals but make them realistic. Choose goals that yes, may hurt as you work hard for them, but choose ones that will make you happy once you reach them.
Things I already have planned for 2018 are: continue to train for Invictus Games 2018, participate in the London Marathon (notice I didn’t say run 🤣), finish my study, complete my gym build and launch my business. I do have other exciting things that may come to fruition but I need to make sure I’m not over committing myself (oh my word I’ve grown up all of a sudden). I have a busy yet exciting year ahead for me! I am honoured to have some really great people in my life and I TRULY want to thank you all for being there.
I truly hope that 2018 is the very best it can be for you all. Please don’t say you will leave your old self behind. Instead, just tell yourself that actually you are ok. Don’t set yourself any rules, just turn the first page of your book for 2018 and start writing my friends.