365 Days, it’s not ‘just a year’

This blog is slightly different to all the others I’ve written, this is a snippet of why hope is so important to me, why I refuse to let go and most of all why I still keep going. This is a small glimpse into my story, and why I refuse to quit on hope.

365 days ago I found myself experiencing the worst day I can honestly say I have ever had in my life. Up until that day I think I had convinced myself that every day had been the worst day, but nothing compares to the pain of this one.

You see 365 days ago, at 4pm, I lost the most precious things that belong to me. The reasons I kept going, the motivation to wake up every day and put that smile on my face. Even though I knew that smile was getting harder to put on every morning , I knew deep down I had to keep trying. I couldn’t give up. I had four reasons to not give up.

On this day I lost it all, I started the day with everyone around me, at the end of my arm, in eyesight, hearing every sound that was made.

I ended the day alone, with no one to reach out too, staring into darkness, with nothing but the sound of my sobs echoing around me.

The longest 24 hours in the world followed, not knowing if I was awake or asleep and simply having a nightmare. Would there have actually been any difference? The emptiness of my heart reminding me with every breath that this was in fact reality.

The pain I felt over those first few days and weeks was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and nothing I ever want to feel again. The image of a heart shattering is literally what it felt like inside of my chest, only it was stuck on a loop, so that every time I thought I was getting a break, ‘BAM’ there it was all over again.

The only thing that kept me going was knowing I needed to fight to get everything back to normal. I had to have some hope that it would get better. That day I sat and cried, and I cried hard. Those were some of the most painful tears ever, the realisation of not just who I had lost, but what I had lost too. The time, the memories, the firsts, the lasts, those special days I could never get back.

The first time I realised that I might be able to survive this fight I saw the brightest rainbow I’d ever seen. It was the first time I stepped into their bedrooms after they had gone, the sun was shining through the windows at such an angle it created a beautiful rainbow across their beds. A smile appeared on my face, then by some sort of strange coincidence I started to notice rainbows everywhere.

Having this small symbol of hope, that to me signified what it was that I was fighting for, that constant reminder was what I needed, and is what I still need today.

Holding on to something that I could find anywhere I went, or take with me which I could look at as and when I needed it was so important. It gave me strength at the times when I needed it the most. It reminded me of how far I had travelled on my journey so far, and most of all it was reminding me of where I was going.

For you see, what I am fighting for isn’t over, I have four rainbows of hope that I lost on that day. I can’t stop fighting till I get them all back. This is why hope is so important to me, without that hope the motivation would fade out. The willingness to keep going despite bumps, setbacks, hurdles, even pandemics would simply dwindle down to nothing.

Over the last 365 days not every day has been full of positivity, and strength. It isn’t all about being super strong and courageous a hundred and ten percent of the time. It is however having hope that even the bad days will pass by, they will become less frequent, and they will become easier to manage.

It is about recognising that among the tears and heartbreak there has to be a small amount of hope that you need to hold on too, and it isn’t easy to start with. Without that hope the days become longer than you’ve ever known, the nights become darkest than the deepest caves known to mankind, before you know it you’re stuck. Like I was, searching for that glimmer of hope.

Once I found that chance to grab onto my lifeline, my fight, my symbol of hope. I have refused to let go. Like anything that you hold onto for a long while, your grip inevitably weakens at times. This happens to me too, and I lose vision of my preferred goal, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s ok though, to lose your grip, it’s ok to slow down, it’s ok to take smaller steps, heck, it’s ok to step back if you need to.

All these lessons are ones I have learned along the way. Some have been very interesting and that I will save for another day!

365 days when each day feels like forever, and every night goes on for eternity, is not ‘just a year.’ 365 days when you miss first days of school, Christmas, birthdays, Easter, GCSE results day, Prom day, sports day, parents evening, is not ‘just a year.’ To be told to wait 4 more weeks. To not worry and not be upset because it’s ‘just 4 weeks, you’ve got through the last few months’ is one of the hardest things to hear when 4 more weeks goes by at snail pace. When the only way you can say goodnight is by sending a text. Or when your biggest fear is that at the end of that 4 weeks you’ll hear ‘it’s just another few weeks.’

Each one of those days are missed memories, missed hugs, missed ‘I Love You’s’ and missed celebrations. It’s down to you to decide if it’s a day of missed opportunity.

For me, today, on day 365 of this fight! I will say this.

I am still fighting, my hope is in my rainbows.

Every fight is worth fighting for, hold on to hope with everything you have, even if it is just your little toe! The rest of you will follow.

My message to anyone who is going through an experience similar to this is to keep dragging yourself out of bed every morning. On those days when you don’t want to, those are the days to try the hardest of all. That hope to find your fight unfortunately isn’t going to be tucked up in that bed of yours. You will only find it if you believe you deserve it, and you do!

If you know of someone who needs that hope, passing by them thinking that they will ‘get over it’ may work for you, but if you were the one needing someone what would you be silently asking for? Not everyone reaches out, a broken heart, a broken family, breaks ties. Broken ties sometimes means others need to reach in to offer help rather than people reaching out.

Once strong enough stories can be told, be shared, hope given, then strength from living nightmares can be gained.

Those people who fall into the deepest holes find a way out, with the help of some butterflies and a rainbow or two showing the way.

365 days of missed goodnight kisses, of hugs, all in one image. Hold On Pain Ends.

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