This time last year I wrote about the difference a year can make however this is another year on and rather than the bittersweet feeling I had a year ago, I’m ready to celebrate.

The difference is this time last year I was reflecting on how far I’d come, how I’d managed to overcome the abuse I’d suffered for so long and how I’d adjusted to life as a single mum. I was joyful at how I’d survived and coped, however I was also disappointed, I’d hoped I’d have made more progress a year on and therefore my happiness was laced with disappointment. Truth was a lot was all in my head and another year on my feelings are very very different. I’m actually actively enjoying life now. I’ve taken big steps forward, my confidence has grown and I’m no longer worried about sharing the experience of what I went through and how I’ve overcome it. In fact I openly talk about what I endured and have actively engaged in supporting others sharing how I have overcome everything. Most importantly I’ve really started to live the kind of life I’ve always wanted to.

A lot of it is small things, little daily tasks and rituals, small hobbies, interests and tasks I once was coerced into not doing or enjoying anymore. Most of all though it’s a sense of gratitude I have, I’m grateful to be in charge of my own happiness, responsible for my own contentment and grateful to not have someone sabotaging my enjoyment. Whether it’s been planting sunflower seeds, setting up a composter, cross stitching a Peter Rabbit picture, reading a book or baking a cake, it’s all been happily done in my own time at my own leisure with a little chubby toddler hand reaching up to lick the spoon. It’s been little moments I can be grateful for and take the time to enjoy. It’s been small achievements (and some pretty big ones #toughmudder2019) that I can be proud of.

The current lockdown situation has amplified this gratitude, I’ve had many a moment where I’ve imagined what it would’ve been like to be stuck in quarantine in the situation I was in. It doesn’t bear thinking about and the knowledge that some are makes me proud and grateful that I’m free. Glad that I’m safe, that I’m loved and I’m happy and when I’ve been getting cabin fever not only have I been reminding myself that at I’m least I’m safe from the virus but that I’m also safe from my past. So my anniversary to me and my celebration of my freedom couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m staying home and staying safe on a different level to others. I’m safe and happy at home from more than just covid 19.

Happy anniversary to me and toddler P, the dream team, here’s to enjoying what’s not a bittersweet day anymore but to what’s a bloody good one to celebrate!

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