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New year, New me??

I wrote this at the beginning of January yet never finished or published it. Life took over, in many ways January has always been a fight for survival, so I entered the month ready for battle and convinced of failure. This meant I had to let certain things go, hence why my blog has been neglected. My to-do lists have been longer than the M1 motorway. But now I feel it is a good time to share this post, especially as it links in to my next blog, with its reflections of this January. Maybe just maybe I might have started to live, not just survive and dare I say even there have even been moments that could be called thriving. So please read my thoughts at the beginning of January and then catch up on how it ended in my next blog…


The concept of a new year is a funny one, the pressure which is put on the movement of time and of the change of a number can be inordinate. The reflection on the year which has gone. The posts which fill our social media feeds and the new year, new messages, diet culture and fixed resolutions. It can be overwhelming and difficult. I have had a very difficult relationship with New Year and January for as long as I can remember. There hasn’t been a January in the past 10 years (maybe more) where I haven’t made an attempt on my life. I recently saw something which said that suicidal intention has been found to peak at New Years’ time. I have been reflecting over this holiday period on why January and the New Year has such a negative impact on my mental wellbeing. There are so many factors which play into this. I wanted to share some of these here, in the hope that maybe it might help somebody else who is having similar feelings. But also because though I often focus on the hope and look for the positives when it comes to my blog and on the lessons learnt and the changes I have made, it is important to show that life can still be tough but that doesn’t mean the end.

Don’t get me wrong I am doing ‘well’, although I do think it is quite a bizarre term to use and definitely doesn’t give the whole picture. Although there were plenty of setbacks and challenges in 2023, it was my best year so far probably in my whole life. But all things are relative, which is something I am learning to accept. December didn’t necessarily end on a very good note and I felt like I had made no progress and that I was still so broken and useless. That the setbacks which happened overrode any positive steps or achievements. When people would ask me how my year had been I would be conflicted as there was a small part of me proud of what I have done and how far I have come. They might seem like such insignificant things to many other 23-year-olds but for me they were mountains I for so long couldn’t even dream of climbing. I achieved things this year that never seemed possible, not just in my own mind but in the minds of family and professionals. However, I still attempted on my life more than once this year, I have struggled with my mental health, self-harm, eating, lots of self-sabotaging and been in some very dark places. I have been made to feel broken, stupid and unwanted - I have also had many self-deprecating thoughts. I haven’t achieved the things my peers have at the same age. I haven’t necessarily done the stereotypical achievements and it hasn’t been ‘perfect’. We all know rationally there is no such thing as a perfect life, that there will always be ups and downs but I think society and social media had made me believe my achievements weren’t enough and my setbacks overrode any positive. But even more poignant than that my fear of the future, the fear of repeating the same pain year on year, the unknown of what might happen sends me down a rabbit warren of difficult emotions. I have been doing a lot of self-reflection and through that I have begun to really understand that life isn’t a destination but a journey. I often said that but never really looked how that affects absolutely every aspect of life. However even knowing this and understanding it doesn’t take away the fear I have facing a whole new year. It sounds bizarre but I have realised January brings me a lot of fear- even though in reality life just keeps going it feels like we start again. We have 12 months to get through, 12 months of unknown, 12 months of potential pain and difficulties. I am scared still of what the future will bring. One of the biggest fears is the fear of being hurt again. I know that a new year brings new opportunities which is exciting but also opens me up to being hurt. I have this all year but I guess its highlighted when it comes to New Year and the messages which are spread. A combination of reflection on the past, comparison with others and fear of the future seems to make January a month in which I struggle immensely. So going into this January my only goal is to survive. To make it through attempt free. To just be. I am scared, I am worried what I will face, what will happen and all the things I can’t control. Being in a better place within myself doesn’t mean it’s easy. But I would choose this fear over the fear which plagued me for so many years. So let’s just give it a go. Let’s have you, January- I am not going to lose to a named 31 days with connotations created only by the society we live in.

Lots of Love

Hannah <3 xx


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