2014 has been, to be frank, a horrible year. It has seen my absolute darkest times but also, some really hopeful times. Here’s my 2014 in pictures.
Starting with a positive. 2014 was a year of impulsive holidays. In April I went to Paris with my two best friends from uni and spent a lovely few days exploring the best Paris has to offer. From a moving wander round the Vincent Van Gogh exhibition to staring in awe at the extravagance of Versailles to sitting outside on a Parisian street sipping wine and eating snails!
Then in November there was a trip to Rome with two amazing friends I met whilst an inpatient/ day patient at Vincent Square. Completely spontaneous and booked without a second thought, we set off for three days in Rome. All three of us left anorexia (mostly) at Stanstead and made like true tourists- touring the Vatican, gawping at the Colosseum and indulging in pizza, pasta, coffee and of course wine!
2014 was a year of university. I returned to university in January to sit the exams I had had to defer the year before and complete my final year. I took a module in Epidemiology , sat the exam and then started my dissertation working in a research lab looking at protein expression in Clostridium difficile. Whilst it took me longer than intended and ended up being a very frustrating and stressful experience I have now finished that part of my life and can say I honestly enjoyed it- stresses aside. And somehow I came out the other side, despite sitting exams whilst physically and mentally severely unwell with straight 2:1s for my final year exams.
2014 was the year I lost control of my mind and very nearly killed myself in the process. In February my anorexia morphed suddenly and without warning into severe bulimia. In May I was admitted for a week to an acute psychiatric unit following an episode of self harm. I thought it would end there but it didn’t. I was under the crisis team and on the 2nd June they came to visit me and everything went out the window. The police and an ambulance were called and I was removed to A&E where I was sectioned and re admitted to the acute psychiatric unit I had been on before. My time there was horrendous and traumatic, I attempted suicide multiple and was within minutes of succeeding several times. I spent over a month on 1:1 observations, was restrained daily and spent many an hour in A&E waiting to be stitched back together again. During my time on the ward I was diagnosed with BPD and was discharged nearly two months later mentally in not much better state than I went in. I moved back to live with my parents and within two weeks was re admitted as a day patient to a psychiatric hospital in Oxford. I was discharged in September and have stayed out of hospital since but with many wobbles. I’ve a long way to go but I’m much better than I was in June when I was utterly set on killing myself.
During 2014 my self harm became severe and I’ve spent countless hours in A&E being stitched and glued. In July I hit an artery which wasn’t treated at the time beyond stitches. A month later suffering from severe tachycardia, breathlessness, dizziness and marked loss of fitness I had a blood test done. That night I was called by hospital and the next day admitted for an emergency blood transfusion and vitamin infusion- I had a Hb of 5 and an undetectable iron level.
2014 was a year of friends and family. Who in my darkest moments where there to sit by my side, an in my lightest moments share laughter. People who stuck by me through everything and are the reason I am still alive. My amazing parents not least among them.
I’m going to finish this post with my first tattoo and the hope I cling onto when entering 2015- a year I never expected to be alive to see.