Today saw the end of Christmas visiting with a drive from Maynooth to Thurles to visit Hubby's grandparents, and from there on home to Galway. It was a looooong time in the car, and it gave me a long time to think. It's New Year's Eve. Normally I'd like to spend it with friends, but tonight, having been away for a few days I'm more than happy to be sitting in with Hubby and a nice fire, back in the comfort of our own home. But it's also a time that gets people thinking about the year just passed, and that's what I was thinking about today.

I started to post something glib on facebook, good riddance 2013 or somesuch, but I changed my mind. True, it has been a nightmarish year for quite a significant proportion of time, but so much has come from it. So, instead of saying so long 2013, you utterly sucked, I'm going to give myself a few minutes to think on the good that has come from the chaos of the last 12 months.

Because even the darkest cloud can have a silver lining. Painfully clich├ęd I know, but true!
This!!! My blog. I love it. I love the freedom it gives me, the chance to express myself without fear of judgement (to my face at least), the opportunity to talk to other people who've been where I am and vice versa. This time last year almost no one knew how difficult things were. I had taken to self harming yet honestly believed I was still in control, but just a few short weeks later I had a complete breakdown. But that's all in the past. Now, there's no more hiding. Now I'm someone who has spoken at a conference about mental health, someone who's written articles on the subject, someone who's organised an event (well, piggy backed on another) raising awareness on the stigma around mental health. Trumpet blowing? Maybe. But I never saw any of that coming, and if you'd told me, I wouldn't have believed you. We're not out of the woods, but we're certainly a lot closer than we were 12 months ago.

I have no clue how this next 12 months will go. But I know that no matter what it throws at us, we'll be ok. Everyone is struggling with something, it just manifests differently for all of us. But if we can learn something from that struggle, then it won't have been for nothing.

So do I have something remarkably insightful to offer for these last few hours of 2013? No. Not in the slightest. But I'm hopeful that the coming year will see things continue to improve, for me, and for everyone who's sharing this adventure with me. You will honestly never know how much I appreciate your support, and how much it's helped. Thank you, so much.