Okay, so a lot has happened to me this decade, so I guess I am going to look back and just reflect on the lessons I have learned.
2010 – The year it started
This year I think I got diagnosed with having Idiopathic Scoliosis, and this means that there were two curves in my spine. The top one was 54 degrees and the bottom curve was 65 degrees. This lead to a lot of x-rays, blood tests and it was awful. I have a fear of needles, a deep-rooted fear, and I had to go through therapy, I know now it as cognitive behavioral therapy (if I remember my A-Levels correct) and this is where they spoke to me about needles, then they would show me pictures then eventually to have the blood drawn out.
It was about 10 weeks of therapy sessions, an hour away from where I lived, just to get one vial of blood. I was that scared and anxious, but I am thankful for the nurse and my mum for having the patience with me. In the end, I got to keep a Justin Bieber annual so I guess that was good.
Scoliosis affected me a lot growing up, I was meant to only have a back brace, but because the angles of the curves were significant they had to operate, so I now have two metal rods down my spine with 36 metal pins going along the rods. I couldn’t get a proper breath, I kept yawning because my brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen, cause my lungs were being crushed by my ribs. I loved doing gymnastics when I was younger, and in PE we always did the crab, and I couldn’t do it and that’s when I knew I wouldn’t be “normal” I guess you could say.
This was the start of GCSE’s. One of the most stressful years of my life. I wanted to do GCSE PE, but couldn’t and that was gutting, so I chose French, bad choice. Anyway, I was good with exams, for the most part, I revised a lot and it was a good year. I can’t really remember much from these years as they were ten years ago hahaha.
2012 – When shit hit the fan
This was the year of my op, my final year 10 exams, my DofE exhibitions, my history trip to America, my mum’s wedding. This year was busy. I had to have my op on the 28th of May, after my American trip and Exhibition, because that’s the last time I could have so I could still go on holiday with my Nanna and Grandad, as I couldn’t fly for 3 months.
I will start with the America trip. We went to New York and Washington DC as we were studying American History for our GCSE. It was a good trip, apart from I fell out with my best friends at the time, Sophie and Catharine, I mean we have fell out a lot over our friendship and I guess that’s one thing I regret, because we aren’t as close now, but they will always be girls <3, anyway we made up and then went home.
We then had our DofE, and that was great I loved it, it was so much fun. I guess I loved it because it would be the last time I could walk like that and spend time with my friends for a while.
I then had my op. This operation was a big one and one of the biggest I have ever had. They had to straighten my spine. I have so many complications since the surgery. My feet are always cold, so I have to wear socks, there is a space on the right-hand side of my back that has no feeling. I feel pressure and it hurts when something slightly touches it, but it’s weird I cant actually feel touch, and slouching, cracking my back, bending it, flexibility that’s all ut of the window.
Apart from the physical aftermath, my mental health took a turn for the worst, and I don’t think it has really changed since this moment. I had to have 6 weeks of school. I didn’t have a social life, I didn’t see my friends, my mum had to everything for me cause I couldn’t use my back. I couldn’t sit up for more than an hour, I couldn’t sit on the toilet by myself. It was degrading being a 14 year old and having to have your mother do everything, and I am so thankful she did. I felt worthless, lonely and I was really out of it.
I then had my holiday with my Nanna and Grandad, and all I can really remember from it is that I had to have my scar covered, or else I would have a tan line all the way down my spine. Anyway the sun had set and we were still in the pool, and I went in, with just my bikini top on, scar on full show, and a mother and her daughter just stared at me. And I knew they were because when I walked away they were just staring at me.
Just a tip, please don’t stare it made me feel really subconscious. It was then my Mum’s wedding, and that was great. I also made prefect for my final year. And then nothing really happened the rest of the year.
2013 – The year of Love and Heartbreak
This year I finished high school, I finished my GCSE’s, after stressing so much, I came out with 3A’s, 5B’s, 4C’s and 1D. I also got my first ever boyfriend, this year. I learned a lot about myself, love and it was a year of learning for me. This is also the year I had my first heartbreak. I don’t really want to go into it, but I learned how to love another, but also love yourself and I would continue this for the next 3 years, just learning about the world, experiencing the world and that experience has shaped me into the woman I am today.
This year I also went to college. I only had a few friends, in fact, I only had about 5. I would often spend my lunch breaks eating by myself, or studying in the library. I enjoyed this time alone, cause it felt liberating to just sit and enjoy time with myself, I got to enjoy my own company. Plus there was no one to judge my disgusting eating habits.
Nothing really happened this year really, apart from me completing my AS Levels, a few college parties and that’s it. And maybe that I went into a serious mental block, ended up ditching college and I failed my A-Levels and I couldn’t get into Exeter. I felt that if I didn’t get into a Russel Group uni like my friends did that I was stupid, and I guess I just wished I realised that it didn’t matter, I just wanted to be smart like them you know? I also ended up going to therapy for my anger issues and low mood. I have also had an anger problem my whole life, I have always been impulsively smashing shit, saying horrible stuff and it needed to change. This is the year I actually started my blog, one day when I missed college, so every cloud.
2015 – The year it changed.
I left college, not getting into the uni I wanted, so I ended up going to UCLAN doing Journalism through Clearing. If this didn’t happen I wouldn’t have met my best friends. I am so grateful to have them in my life, they are all the most amazing people and I really hope that they stay in my life for a very long time. I also have met my soulmate. The man I want to marry, that has stayed with me through my really crazy moments and I am glad.
I am just going to merge these years together. My uni years, some of the best years of my life to date. I have cried, laughed, puked, screamed, even pissed myself a few times drunk, but I would not have changed it for the world. I created great stories. Learned a lot. I spent a lot, in my overdraft 90% of the time. Cried either whilst drunk, sad, in a dramatic meltdown. I have volunteered my hours. I have proven to myself that I can do anything as I got A FIRST CLASS HONOURS DEGREE! I went to my first festival. I have changed my hair from brown to red to ginger to red to short to long to blue to brown too then really short, pixie cut short as I had a meltdown drunk and cut my hair, then donating that hair, to growing it out to what it is now. I have done a lot these past few years and I am so happy for every minute. And in these years my mental health has fluctuated a lot. It stopped me from attending one first-year exam, because I had really bad exam anxiety, it put a strain on my friendships as I would (and still do sometimes) wonder if they were really my friends, I would tell myself I look fat, and I am stupid so I would fail exams, I was and still am my own saboteur, and one day I will write about my ‘health’ but for now let’s just concentrate on this post and these words.
The past ten years have been a weird, wild ride. I feel like I have experienced so much, I have learned and grew. But there is still much to learn and I can’t wait to see where the next 10 years take me. I am in the driver’s seat and I know some crazy shit is gonna happen but I am excited to see where this road takes me.
What has been the highlight of your decade?
Katy Nella x