Where It All Started

  • I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this blog for quite some time, but every time I’ve sat down and put pen to paper, I’ve made an excuse as to why I shouldn’t. People won’t read it. People won’t be interested. I don’t know what to say. But in reality, I’ve just been scared. I’m scared to show such vulnerability, I’m scared to talk about something which isn’t talked about enough. I’m scared of being judged. But I’ve realised now that I absolutely shouldn’t be! If nobody reads it, that’s fine. If nobody’s interested, it’s ok. If just one person reads this and resonates with what I’ve been through, then it’s been worth it. There’s a lot of people who don’t know what I’ve been through, there’s some people who know parts and there’s only a few people who know it all. But over the course of the last 7 months, I’ve truly hit rock bottom and managed to pick myself back up to be stronger and better than before (as cliche as that sounds). I’m hoping that writing this blog will be able to help someone, as well as helping myself by speaking openly about everything rather than shying away from the truth like so many others may do. There’s no shame to be felt in admitting our struggles, but there’s great pride to be felt in overcoming them.
  • So, I’ll start with where all of this began. On the night of Christmas Day 2018, I was the victim of a crime. A serious, yet worryingly common crime. I was sexually assaulted. Now, I’m not going to talk about the details of what happened that night, more about the effects this had on me and the people around me. This was the night that would cause my anxiety and depression to hit an all time high. The night that would cause me to deal with excessive drinking and an eating disorder. The night which would result in me quitting my job and struggling to leave the house on my own. The night which would cause me to lose friends and push my loved ones away. The night, which in the end, would cause me to want to end my own life.

    Now this all sounds very doom and gloom and I apologise, but that’s been the harsh reality of my life during the last 7 months. However it’s not all doom and gloom! I’ll also talk about how opening up helped me to understand myself better. How counselling was the best thing I did. How I regained my confidence, got a new job and rebuilt my life. How I realised that I have the best family and some of the best friends around me. There’s so many positives now that I’ve overcome the difficulties and I feel so proud to look back and see how far I’ve come.

    So Christmas Day night the crime happened. I spent around 6 hours in a police station from 2AM Boxing Day morning and at 8AM I was taken home at which point, I completely broke down and wondered what the hell I’d just been through. When I got home that morning, it was the first time I’d told my parents what had happened and they broke down with me. I was in complete shock and I could barely speak. I was uncontrollably sobbing but felt absolutely numb at the same time. I was told the police would pick me up again in 3 hours to go to the medical centre. For the 3 hours whilst I waited, I didn’t stop crying once.

    Boxing Day is my Grandma and Grandads wedding anniversary and despite my Grandad no longer being with us, we still like to do something to celebrate. We’d planned to go out for a family meal but instead, I was to sit in a medical centre for 4 hours having tests and checks done, and by 1PM I was so ill the police sent me home to try and sleep. The following day I met the officer at the police station to do a recorded interview and had to relive the last 48 hours all over again. It was horrific. I’d never experienced anything like it and I’d never cried as much as I had in the last 48 hours. It all felt like I was living somebody else’s life. I felt drained and confused and wanted nothing more than to wish it all away. But it wasn’t going away, it was only the start of a long and horrible time in my life.

    The difficulty with going through something like this is that there’s no manual. There’s no guide to how you should feel or how you should overcome it. There’s no time limit on when things will begin to get better, and quite frankly there’s no confirmation that things ever will. It took me a lot of hard work and a lot of perseverance. Plus not to mention, A LOT of support from the people closest to me. And I can’t say that I’ve completely dealt with everything. I still have bad days, I still cry and I still have sleepless nights, but not every day has to be a good day all of the time. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have “bad days”, but as I’ll speak about in a few posts time, bad days aren’t bad days, they’re thinking days and absolutely crucial in your recovery.

    Later on in this blog I’ll be speaking about my recovery in full detail, as well as quotes which have helped me along the way plus facts and statistics. I’ll quote extracts from books, blogs and podcasts. And as much as this is my story, I hope that someone, somewhere can resonate, and that in some way I can help someone. No matter what you’re going through, you are never, ever alone.

    If you’ve got to the end of this then I thank you, greatly. Blog post 2 will be posted next week talking openly and honestly about the next part of my journey.

    Much love,

    Steph xo

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