22 things I have learnt and accepted.

As I approach my 22nd birthday, I have spent many hours reflecting on this past year and it has overwhelmed me with various emotions. I really have been on a rollercoaster journey (sorry not sorry about the cliche), since coming out of hospital, but I wouldn't change the way it has worked out even if I had a choice.

When I turned 21 I was still fresh out of St. Andrews hospital and I look back and see that I was hiding behind my doubts and insecurities 90% of the time. I knew what I wanted to get from my recovery and I knew what I needed to do to get there but at times it felt like the biggest challenge I was yet to face.

Although I love a challenge, nothing could fully prepare me for this one.

At times I felt scared to take charge of my own recovery as I was worried I would make too many mistakes and/or relapse but with the help of my community mental health team and loving family I was able to eventually stand on my own two feet and get to the place I'm in today. After all of the challenges I have faced this past year, I feel like I have finally entered a healthy mindset and have developed the skills I need to continue making progress and making a life worth living.

I have learnt many lessons since last May, and made many mistakes, but they have allowed me to fully blossom and I can finally say with confidence that I am proud of the person I have become.

So with all of that being said, in honour of turning 22 and celebrating my birthday out of hospital for the second year running, I have compiled a list. This list contains a mixture of things I initially found very difficult to accept but they are also things that my younger self deserved to hear...

1) You're not going to be liked by everyone.
2) You DO NOT need to weigh yourself everyday.
3) The size of your clothes doesn't matter and the number on the scale doesn't define your beauty.
4) You do not need to wear makeup everyday to feel beautiful.
5) You are worthy.
6) You will have your heart broken multiple times before you find true love. You WILL find true love.
7) You will want to quit but don't - It will be worth it.
8) It is ok to say no, it doesn't make you a bad person.
9) Tequila will NEVER be your friend, ever.
10) You were given a voice for a reason.
11) Do things for you not anybody else.
12) Not every opinion you have needs to be shared with others.
13) You will make mistake but don't let them eat away at you. Learn from them.
14) You don't need to hold onto toxic friendships just because you once shared happy memories.
15) Being honest gets your further than you realise.
16) Will you regret sending that long ass text in the heat of the moment when you're angry? The answer is yes, yes you will!
17) Put your phone down and look around. Life is too short to live through a screen.
18) If you are able walk away from a situation to avoid confrontation, always walk away.
19) It is completely normal to get attached, but it is also healthy to let go.
20) You do not need permission to prioritise your mental well-being over college/work.
21) Asking for help is a sign of strength NOT weakness.
22) Recovery is worth it.

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