DECEMBER ROUNDUP

This month I...
  • Cooked healthy meals at home
  • Decluttered my home in preparation for 2015
  • Read Inferno by Dan Brown and I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 
  • Watched The 100, Hart of Dixie and The Carrie Diaries
  • Wrapped all the presents in brown paper and shiny ribbon
What have you been doing this month?

"THIS IS YOUR LOSS. GRIEVE AS YOU MUST. DO WHAT IT TAKES TO HEAL."

First of all, an apology. Over the last few months I've really neglected my blog; if you are a regular on HIW you might know that my dad passed away in August. I made the decision to head back to Uni in September and complete my final year, but it hasn't been easy. I was instantly overwhelmed; being a third year Law student is hard enough, and I was juggling that with running a society, attending blogger events, trying to post regularly, family commitments and trying to improve my fitness. It can be helpful to keep busy and throw yourself into work and university, but everyone needs time to themselves.. I haven't had a single weekend to relax at home in three months, and I'm exhausted. 

Something had to give, and at the end of the day blogging is only a hobby, and it was one that was making me feel guilty when I didn't work at it. The one thing I always say to new bloggers is "blog for yourself; post when you want about whatever you want, and don't feel guilty for not posting or for having different opinions." It's just a shame I can't take my own advice. I've cried over my blog before, over low traffic and a lack of responses to posts I worked hard on, and it's such a shame because blogging is supposed to be the thing that makes me happy. Recently I've been invited to some fantastic Manchester blogger events, and met some amazing new people, and I'd love that to continue in the New Year. I know it's a little early for resolutions but I'd love to get back into the swing of blogging, but without making myself feel guilty when I don't post. 

Secondly, I just wanted to talk a little about how I've been coping with my dad not being here. I know that everyone grieves in different ways, and I don't think there is any right or wrong way, but hopefully some of my experiences might be useful to any of you who are struggling. This semester has been really hard.. I've lost all motivation for doing anything. I used to love to cook every day, but recently I've relied on oven food and takeout which has resulted in me putting on weight and feeling worse. But I also couldn't motivate myself to exercise, and some days I couldn't even leave the house. My attendance at uni has dropped significantly, to the point where I've been called into uni to talk about it. I had a meeting with my academic advisor the other day and I only wish I'd seen her sooner. She was full of very helpful and practical advice. I also went to see my GP, and I felt just a little bit lighter after I explained everything to her and my advisor. I don't like to talk to my friends and family about dad because they all worry about me when I cry, so I prefer to do my crying on my own. But this only results in me pretending like I'm OK for a few days around friends and then going home and breaking down. Alone. 

Sometimes it feels like time should stop, that the world can't possibly carry on without dad by my side, but it doesn't. And I know he wouldn't want me to waste my days away crying in my room. I would say allow yourself time to grieve properly, most importantly find someone you can talk to.. Friends, family or someone else like a GP or an advisor at Uni. Manchester University has a counselling service, which is where I'll be going in the New Year. You are never alone through bad times, no matter how much you think you may be, there will always be someone out there who is willing to listen.