When life gives you lemons.

November gives me chills. And not because it’s freaking cold outside but because November is my reminder. Reminder to be grateful for being alive.

So here’s the thing, I had cancer. And before you give me your pity and puppy eyes, please note that I said had. Which means I have no more. And yes it was “traumatic” and fucking hard but truth be told there is people who are going trough worse shit every day so let’s just acknowledge that, and that I am not anymore. I am healthy.

I don’t mean to sound like a twat. I’m sure you’re very kind and respectful individual, and asking if I’m ok? is more than nice but I don’t want this story to be my cancer story. Simply because I’m not ready to share it yet. I’m still bubbling it in my inner self and trying to form it into words that won’t sound too painful but also too vain. But that story will come out one day. And it might be an essay, it might be a book, who knows? But this is not it.

This November marks eight years of me getting leukaemia diagnosis and I’ve been reflecting A LOT. Whenever I catch myself being ungrateful little shit and care for material more than I should (which I hate to admit I’ve been doing quite a lot lately) I just stop and give myself a huge fucking reminder how good my life actually is.

Apparently there are two kind of people in the world: when life gives you lemons you can either throw them back at it or squeeze them and make a lemonade. However I’m more of a take a lemon, slice it and bite into it after shoot of tequila kinda gal.

What can I say, I do love tequila. But also I am not letting anything or anyone else being in control of my life.

I spent too long just sort of drifting and letting things happen to me. Both good and bad things. And I know how fucking miserable and little I felt during that period of my life. Those crippling feelings of emptiness and uselessness.

We’ve all been there. For one reason or another, we have ALL been though something that made us wonder if we’ll make it. That’s why I’m writing this after all. For you. So you know you’re not alone.

Life is hard on it’s own. Without depression and anxiety thrown in there. And sometimes life doesn’t seem to be fair. Or even remotely good. But you can’t live surrounded by your troubles and worries EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for the rest of your life.

I read an article recently that says how people who are happy are desperately looking for things to make them miserable.

MIND.BLOWN.? To me it sounds very familiar. I’ve been doing that over past few months. Whenever I woke up feeling good and my mental health was under control I’d find a thing that I could moan about.

Well I think fucking not Barbara. Get yourself together. AND I DID.

I flicked through my diary and photos from eight and seven years ago. It was enough of a reminder.

And you know what I’ve learnt? GRATITUDE. AND HAPPINESS IN EVERYDAY little things. Like having time for yourself. First sip of your morning coffee. Or fresh bread. Hot showers. Nice face cream. Or breathing crisp air.

I had power of being in control of most important thing – my happiness.

And I am happier than ever before.

A lot of it is about being in control –you can worry about not having a secure job, or enough money or reliable network of people but this level of control is something we can all create ourselves.

It’s normal to occasionally whine about the weather, and tube delays and how the dress on your wish list is out of stock – we don’t have authority over that.

It’s ok to keep dreaming bigger and aiming for more that doesn’t make your less grateful. It makes you having a purpose in life.

I want to have a family and write a book and buy my own home – but I won’t be unhappy because I don’t have those things yet, because I’m grateful for everything I do have and I am more than aware that something more awful than being in my overdraft, or gaining weight, could happen.

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