The heart is the strongest muscle in the body.

It is safe to say that life in 2018 has been a roller coaster of emotions that I never comprehended could be experienced by a person, yet here I am on April 23rd in a positive mood. This will be a relief for many people to read. Here’s an update:

I spent the first week of easter holidays in “the fog” as I call it, which basically means that life is happening but you’re behind some kind of haze. I was still crying every day, having no clue what I was doing and genuinely worrying about myself and my own sanity. I’ve refused anti depressants, sleeping pills…all of it. I’m relying on myself to become “okay”. At times this is a very burdensome task. I enjoyed things that I was doing but making myself enjoy things was highly exhausting.

In the second week of Easter Liam and Lisa came to Penang. When they came to visit I was adamant that I could not stay in Penang. I hated everything, I wanted to run away, go back to Leeds and sit in my sister’s house, hug Alby and just close this chapter. I started to tell people that I was leaving, decision made. I spent the 3 month mark on the beach in Langkawi but I was deeply sad. Liam and Lisa were incredible, listening to me, talking about the same things, just being perfect selfless friends. Then I started to actually enjoy things. I became aware that I was genuinely laughing. I thought about the future. This was progress.

Then one night we went out in George Town. This is a huge deal for me because it’s Jerry’s place, same streets, same bars, same people…huge difference, devastating hole. I haven’t managed to do it successfully. However I stayed out until 3am, drunk, chatted with Jerry’s friends, sung songs and didn’t once cry! Oh and I also took some photos in a bath. You’ve no idea how refreshing it was to go out and spend time with my friends and not be absolutely distraught under the surface.

This second week of Easter gave me hope. Hope that I can be a normal person, hope that I can feel joy, hope that I might be able to piece together my life. Liam and Lisa left and I told them I was coming home forever. That’s how sure I was that I wasn’t going to be ok enough to pull this together.

Thank you guys for an amazing week of laughter, friendship and stories. Triple L elite for life ❤

Next it was back to work. New term, new topic, new chance. I had to make a decision and act upon it. I love my job. That’s hard to achieve as a teacher. The first couple of weeks back have reminded me that I enjoy it, that I’m good at it and that I have a purpose. Something inside my head clicked in the last two weeks. That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s like one day I could suddenly see colour again in a world that was black and white. I could hear things and have thoughts that weren’t loops of traumatic memories. I enjoyed eating food again. I suddenly realised that I am alive, I am a person and I have a life. It’s taken me over 100 days of devastation to realise I’m alive but honestly I thought it’d last a lifetime.

The above quote is why you need a job and a routine to help you move forward. It made me laugh- ah laughter you’ve been missed. And so, I have made a decision. The first decision I’ve made for myself. I’m staying in Penang. As soon as I made this choice I felt better. Finally something to know, something to plan for, a choice. I have a lot of positive things going on over here that existed before this happened and are still quietly existing now, it’s just been impossible to access them for some time now.

I’m back to fully appreciating sunsets again and taking far too many photos of the sky.

Nova and I are staying put in our apartment and in our life.

This is not to say that I am not sad, angry or that I’ve forgotten anything. I’ve not forgotten anything at all. The other day I was swimming and I “realised” Jerry was dead and I felt like I was paralysed in the water. I thought “oh wait this is a panic attack” and had to breathe it out. It’s going to be hard, it was horrendously traumatic so I don’t know how these things go or what the rules are. It’s nothing to do with “getting over it” but more that I’ve got to a place where I’m not currently defined by this happening and where I can use Jerry as a focus for strength rather than his absence causing me to not want to exist anymore. He’s always going to be important and I’ll always be very sad. Some days sadder than others. However I’ve thankfully found my personality again and I’ve had lots of positive moments. I’ve felt real happiness again. The looks of relief and happiness on my friend’s faces when I’m making jokes and being normal is enough to show me that I’ve been someone else entirely for a while now.

I’m going to be okay.

Here’s me dressed as a Golden Snitch because it’s cool and I’ve always wanted to.

And finally. Holly you’re the best friend a girl could ask for. 23 qualities that I possess and a shoe box full of gifts. I needed that ❤ I’ll only embarrass you with one page. Love you x

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