I saw a tweet earlier today that asked what I'm most proud of in 2018. At the beginning of the year, I would have answered very differently to how I'm answering now. When the year started, everything for me was about being the best, and achieving the most. I wanted the most followers, the most engagements, the most books - and as the months wore on, that mentality slowly ground me down. It was an awful frame of mind to be in, and I reached the point where I just completely shut down.

I didn't want to blog. I didn't want to film. I hated social media. I thought everyone on social media hated me. So I just cut all ties to that community. For about 3 months, I barely posted or interacted - and it was the best thing I've ever done.

So what am I most proud of this year? Simply surviving.

Before I took my break, my mind and the environment I had created for myself was toxic. After my break, I realised that I had been putting too much pressure on myself to "succeed" and "do well". The number of followers I have; the number of tweets I receive, the number of engagements I achieve - they do not define my worth. And they do not define yours.

I realised I'd hit rock bottom when I contemplated self-harm because I didn't get a book that all my friends had been receiving. I read that sentence back and tears sting my eyes. Reading it back now, it feels like the most ridiculous and overdramatic reaction in the world - but at the time, it felt like the end of the world; that I wasn't good enough, and that I'd never be good enough - but I am good enough. And so are you.

I said no to almost everything for months, and it felt great. "No, I can't do that blog tour". "No, I can't review that book". "No, I can't do a video on that." And that is what has made saying yes to things now feel fresh, and exciting. I'm no longer dreading editing videos, or posting a blog - because I'm enjoying it again. It's not work. This is my hobby. And I needed to be reminded of that.

In the space of a year, I lost my job, had to stop my vocation because my health detoriorated so rapidly, created my own book subscription business, fought my 10 month appeal for PIP, supported my family through health issues; all whilst trying to maintain a blog and a YouTube. I've realised recently that I'm not a superhero. I can't do all those things without breaks, and self-care. And that is okay.

Whether I have 1 follower, or 10,000; 1 friend or 10 friends; I am still worthy of being here and enjoying my life. And that is why I'm proud of myself this year, and where I am at the moment. I was suicidal, and now I'm not.

Sometimes just surviving is the greatest achievement of them all.

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