On the 27th of September 2016, The Ciara Chronicles turned one. One! That means that I stuck at something for one whole year without giving up on it. If my younger self saw what I’ve just written there, she would be appalled because she was such a driven person who was determined to succeed at anything she’d try. But my present self, a person who’s battled with her mental health for a number of years, is so proud to have finally kept something up for longer than a couple of weeks. A blogging milestone has been reached!
A year on and so much has changed. As I’ve said in previous posts, I occasionally look through some of my earliest posts and can instantly see how much I’ve progressed in 366 days (it was a leap year, remember?). The one thing I’m proudest of is that this blog was a project I set myself, a self-help project, to get out of one of the worst depressive episodes I’ve ever been though and you know what? It worked. I expressed my feelings through a different form of creativity that I was originally used to and it worked. But what’s changed? Let’s see…
I’m dancing again. I, Ciara Kennedy, am finally dancing again after so many years. I was recently watching an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix (if you haven’t watched it, you need to!) and the main character said that she never felt that she was loved. The episode then went through a series of moments throughout her life where love was present in different ways, one being her passion for musical theatre. She had given up performing but never lost her passion for it (as she lives her daily life bursting out into musical numbers), but she didn’t realise that this was one of the loves of her life. I’m not really sure if I described that well but, I never related to something as much as I did to that. Dancing is the love of my life!
If you compare these two blog posts, Expectations VS Reality: Dance and The Dancing Journey, you’ll just see how far I’ve come in the space of a year when it comes to dancing. Strictly Come Dancing started back last week and I cried three times in the space of a half an hour because it was just so overwhelming. I kept thinking to myself, “You are finally ballroom dancing. You are finally doing something that you’ve dreamed about for the last twelve years.” Who knows? This could be the prime of my dancing life!
This is not something I talk about on my blog at all, mainly because I don’t have one! But that’s okay… It can take a while to come to terms with, but it’s actually totally okay. Since starting the blog, I ended a relationship then a couple of months later ended up entering into another relationship, a relationship with an ex from 2009 and ended that too. I’ve realised that I’m just not ready for a relationship, and commitment just isn’t my thing right now (I’ve committed to blogging for a year – that’s something!). I need to learn how to love myself before I can allow anyone else to love me or for me to love them. Plus, I’m only 24. I’ve got loads of time!
Being 24 and having no love life seems like a normal thing in this day and age, but it can be completely terrifying when you’re single, stuck in a job you hate, living at home with your parents and some of your friends and colleagues are in long-term relationships, having babies, engaged and taking out mortgages. Ah, I’m sure I’ll swipe right on the right man someday and I’ll catch up on what my friends are doing, or maybe I’ll just delete Tinder altogether. That definitely seems like the better option. You’re 24, Ciara. You’ve got loads of time, remember?
When I finally went to my doctor last year and told him how I was feeling, he prescribed me antidepressants but told me that I was to only take them if I wanted to. My doctor is not the type of doctor who will hand you a prescription for some sort of medication willy-nilly, so for him to prescribe me something straight away, it meant something was definitely wrong with me. He also knows that I’m not the type of person to resort to medication and that’s why he gave me the option to take them only if I wanted to. A year on and I still have that prescription in my purse.
I’m quite opposed to medication as a healer to my own personal mental health problems, but I’m not knocking it for others. You do you! I had been on the prescribed medication in the past and just felt that it wasn’t going to be my way of getting better. I wanted to find my own way of getting better and within the year, I found that through writing, exercise and that one time I went to a therapist. I also found that within the year, there were people in my life who were having a negative effect on my mental health and removing them also improved things.
I wouldn’t say my mental health is 100% better and I’m pretty sure it never will be, but it’s definitely closer to the 100% than 0%. I still suffer from anxiety and panic attacks but nowhere near as much as I used to. I still have my bad days where it’s a struggle to get out of bed. I still freak out because I have no plan on where my life is going to go. But I know deep down, it’s okay to have those days and hopefully there will be brighter days ahead.
Of course, I could go on and on about other things that have changed within the last year but I would end up being here all day. I couldn’t be happier and prouder to have set myself a challenge back in my darkest of days because it just shows how much things can change in a year. I’ve always been a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and “what’s for you won’t pass you”, and these quotes have definitely come into play since September 2015. Maybe sometimes you have to set your challenge or goal to overcome your obstacles, and once you achieve that goal, my goodness is it satisfying!
I know I’m not one of Ireland’s top bloggers and only do this as a hobby, but I’ve had a number of people talk to me about wanting to start a blog and what advice can I give to them on blogging. I’m no expert in blogging, but all I can say is just do it and write to your heart’s content. Write about whatever you want as there will always be someone out there who will want to read what you want to say. You don’t need to have a huge audience to be a successful blogger. You don’t need to be on every form of social media to feel satisfaction from your blog. You just need to write about what you want to say and what you want the world to hear. Just do it!
Thank you to everyone who’s read and supported my blog over the last year. It’s a scary thing to start, putting yourself out there to speak about your problems, but it’s been worth it.
Here’s to another of year of blogging and happiness!
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