So. How’s everyone been?

I lied to you.

I mean, if it’s any consolation, I was lying to myself as well, I just didn’t know it.  I was not ok, and I remained not ok for about 18 months.  I did head to California and hike a little bit of the PCT, along which I met some incredible people and continued to believe I was harnessing my grief in a positive way, but after I left the trail and hit Portland and New York City for a while, I was mostly into full-blown self-destruct mode.  I was drinking for breakfast and fuelling my body with donuts and nicotine.

Healthy grieving:

Not healthy grieving:

Upon my return to the UK, and to work, I became increasingly aware of how little I cared about myself and everything I did.  I put on weight (near enough 25lbs), I neglected household chores (not quite on par with an episode of ‘Hoarders’, but not the usual standard you’d expect of a grown ass woman).  I stopped socialising and arranging to do things, opting instead to read books about death and loss and everything miserable so I could wallow in it.  I basically became a fat, melancholy hermit.

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But in October, 2018, I went to Switzerland with my friend Lisa with the intention to hike.  Hiking we did, but what shocked me was how unfit I had become.  I was out of breath, my hiking clothes hugged me a little too tightly, and – worst of all – the photos Lisa took were the kind of paparazzi shots you’d pay good money to shut down.  It was the wake-up call I needed, and as soon as I got home I took some ‘before’ photos and began my journey of self-improvement in earnest.  After all, on top of starting to come to terms with the loss of my brother, I had to consider the impact my health would have on my MS diagnosis (something I’d given very little zero thought to).

 

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2018 v. 2019

I started exercising more, improving my diet, and cutting out unhealthy activities.  I started to take an interest in things again.

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Although I have accepted that life is transient and, ultimately, meaningless, I also started to actually believe, as Miguel de Unamuno wrote, that “if it is nothingness that awaits us, let us make an injustice of it.”