Here we are at the end of another eventful year.
I read back on my "Rounding up 2012" post, mainly to see if I had got what I wanted to get out of this year and was pleased to note that all I really wanted was to start getting medical treatment and to have a safe home for my family. I think it is safe to say I can put big fat ticks next to those.
This year has been beyond hard at times. If I thought 2012, or at least the latter part of it, was hard, 2013 felt impossible at times.
We started the year in a hostel. One room to live and sleep in for the three of us, albeit a clean room, with our own cooking facilities and own toilet. There were many times when it was upsetting living there, with various families often arguing and being aggressive or the communal bathrooms not being cleaned after use properly. That's not to say we weren't grateful for having a roof, or that our living conditions were cleaner and safer than others, of course we were and always will be.
A real low point in our nine months of homelessness was in May, around the time of Harry's third birthday when we were served notice as we had been declared intentionally homeless. Whenever I look back on that point, the utter helplessness I felt is all too real once again. On one level I want to forget it, on another it was just another step during a year in which I learnt so much.
The appeal process pushed my marriage to the absolute limit. The husband and I spent a couple of days apart. Being on top of each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as dealing with the real possibility of being kicked out of a hostel takes its toll. As much as you should look to each other for comfort, it becomes all too easy to lash out at those you love.
Appeal lodged, just about every agency involved, fast forward a few months and at long last, we had a home. A true high point of the year. One full of excitement, optimism and for the first time in years, a sense of security. We know we are fortunate to be in social housing. It may get a bad press but it is secure and affordable; as a young family there isn't much more we could want from a home!
Harry has settled in wonderfully to his new pre-school and loves it. We have submitted his school application for September 2014 and he is still learning all the time. I have enjoyed seeing his love for being read to grow, the enjoyment he gets from learning and his determination to do things himself. He seems to have the best and worst qualities of both the husband and myself; we are looking forward to seeing how he develops over the next year.
This year has also seen me start to have the treatment that I so desperately need and want in an effort to try to live a better life. Early 2014 will see another MRI and consultant appointment to see if the initial operation did what it was hoped (enable my CSF to flow rather than get stuck) which will, hopefully, be followed by some more pretty serious surgery. More on that as and when!
We ended the year with a fantastic Christmas spent with my amazing family. Once again, we could not have got through this year without them and on a more personal level, my amazing friends and followers have helped us so much as well.
2013 was a hard year; so much tougher than I had thought it could ever be but I have learned so much, found a strength I never knew I had and rather unbelievably it has brought the husband and I closer together than ever.
That was our 2013. How was yours?