2018 Year in review

As 2019 is fast approaching, I am taking a look back on some of my highlights, as well as lowlights throughout 2018.

HIGHLIGHTS

Moving to Dublin

In January, I had to move up to Dublin permanently for work. While working in Brown Thomas, I commuted or stayed in my friend Sophie’s house but once I got my internship, I knew I couldn’t commute and couldn’t stay with Sophie forever. However, as everyone probably knows, finding accommodation in Dublin that is affordable is impossible. Thankfully, my neighbour at home in Laois is originally from Dublin and her parents offered me a room to rent until I could find friends to live with and a place to rent. I lived in Dundrum until August and while it was lovely (and very hand when Longitude was on as I was a 10 minute walk away from Marley Park), the commute to work was shocking even though I work in Dun Laoghaire, which is technically  a 20 minute drive away but I had to get the 75 bus which would take over an hour and a half and that’s not ideal!!! I also wanted my own space, a place that I could say is my own apartment and bring people over whenever I want and basically just have that little bit of indepence that I had in college back again! So when Valerie and Robbie messaged me saying they were looking for a place and would I be interested in sharing an apartment, I jumped at the chance and I have honestly, never been happier. We have a lovely apartment in Ranelagh, it may be small but it’s perfect for now. We moved in together in August and I am absolutely loving life again and love being reunited with college friends! I am really looking forward to the next 7/8 months (even though the struggle of finding somewhere else to live then will be back but I’ll worry about that then lol!!!)

This was the first night I stayed in the room! Don’t worry, it has since been glammed up and is definitely a Sarah Jane room now according to my friends!!

The day we got the keys!!

 

Madrid 

I started the year off by going to Madrid to visit Sarah and Rachel for a weekend, although I had to leave early for an operation on the Monday!! It was so nice being around the girls again and I needed the pick me up and distraction before my operation so the timing was perfect! Our friends Niall and Laura actually came over that weekend too so it was a very fun filled weekend!

Of course, I went back to Madrid in October for a little Tarragona reunion with Sarah, Kate and Jacob and what a fun weekend that was too! I was a bit more spontaneous in October and when Sarah told me that her and Kate were getting tattoos… I decided to FINALLY take the plunge and get my little ones I have wanted forever and I did! I was delighted I got to share that moment with the girls, because they know how much my ‘Be Brave’ one means to me and also how terrified I am of needle but I got through it!!!

‘Be Brave’ is a very personal tattoo to me and resonates with my love for Demi Lovato and my personal struggles! The heart with the plane is a bit obvious as I’m never in Ireland for too long lol

I don’t think I have ever been sober for less than 6 hours in Madrid because both weekends, a lot of alcohol was consumed!!!

Image BOB Awards

With work, we got to attend the Image BOB Awards and wow! It gave me a taste for the industry I want to be in and the life I need to live if I am being honest. The company I work for were one of the main sponsors on the night hence why we had to go! 

My IMAGE BOB Awards Outfit

I absolutely loved my dress and I am dying for another excuse to wear it!! It was such a fun night and of course a late one too… I think I got home around 11 am the next morning; I shall be saying no more about that πŸ˜‰

One of the stand out moment of the night was the fact there was an opportunity to win Taylor Swift tickets on the night and when I saw this, I was like I’ll do whatever I have to do… and I had to sing! So when they asked for volunteers, I legged it to the stage and grabbed the mic. Needless to say, I didn’t win but I gave it my best shot lol 

Amsterdam

In May, I ventured to Amsterdam to visit my best friend Melodie and I absolutely loved it there. I didn’t do all the stereotypical tourist things which is probably why I enjoyed it more.

It was very relaxing and I was just happy to be reunited with Mel again!

I did write a blog post about my weekend there and you can read that here

Demi Lovato 

Ok, so if you know me, you will know (if you don’t I am disappointed!!!!) that Demi Lovato is my QUEEN. She is my idol, my everything. God that woman is my world. I have looked up to her since she was on Disney Channel so you are talking 2007 I think. So over 10 years, I have idolised her. The reason is because she has gone through a lot of the same struggles as me such as Body Dysmorphia, anxiety, being bullied etc. So when she announced a tour, I freaked out! However, I was left broken hearted because she didn’t announce an Irish date. One evening, I got a call from my good pal Sophie who was like ‘Em, what are you doing on June 16th?’ and I was like I’ve no plans blah blah blah and she then said ‘Good because you are going to see Demi Lovato in Manchester’ AND I KID YOU NOT I ALMOST FAINTED. I ran down the kitchen to my Mam and told her and I started to cry on the phone! I was excited!!!!

A few weeks had passed since we booked our Manchester tickets when Demi announced she was coming to Dublin and OH MY GOD I FREAKED AGAIN!!! Sophie was back texting me and before I know it, I have tickets to see her in Dublin too! We had standing tickets for the Dublin date and as you can see from my photos below, we were SO close to her. I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I did at those shows. She sang Skyscraper in Manchester as a tribute to the 22 angels who lost their lives at Ariana’s gig and OH MY GOD, I bawled. I cried all night. I was shook. She didn’t sing that song on any other tour dates and I knew the minute she started making a speech, I was gone. I was crying!

Obviously, what happened to her during the summer then hit me really hard. I was actually on my way to a date and was on the bus into the city when my phone started going crazy with text messages from my friends asking me was I okay after hearing the Demi news and Sophie sent me a message explaining what had happened to her and I had a panic attack on the bus while on the phone to my Mam. I was broken over it and just kept thinking she can’t die, she can’t die. Thankfully, she’s doing good again and hopefully this is a turning point for her. 

Travel

I managed to travel to 2 new countries this year: The Netherlands and Portugal. I went to Albufeira with Mam and Dad on our family holiday and I loved it. I adore Portugal and hope I get to go back soon!  I also managed to travel to Berlin and Manchester too! In total, I was on a plane 11 times this year. I travelled up to Belfast finally and it was great to see the Giant’s Causeway and the Titanic! Very successful travel year for me!

Midweek adventure to Belfast with Darina

Milan to see 5 Seconds of Summer

One of my good friends Giana and I became friends because of the band 5 Seconds of Summer. We have gone to many shows together and it wasn’t going to change this year. They were going on a world tour this but instead of going to a UK date like usual, we decided to go to Milan for a weekend and wow, what a weekend. Seeing the boys live again was incredible, I actually could see them live every weekend for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t get sick of them!

Not one of the best pictures from a 5SOS show but between the focus on my camera being shit and me being drunk, this was the best I could get of all 4 of them, I have great individual ones lol

You know my slogan as “The most luckiest, unluckiest girl you’ll ever meet”? Well, you’ll get a laugh about something that happened in Milan in my lowlights below. 

My Birthday surprise from Mel

So possibly the best moment of 2018 was Melodie surprising me for my birthday. I was genuinely so shocked when I saw her walk up to my table at The Ivy that day and so were my parents, they had no idea. She was the last person I expected to see that day but certainly the best! The best gift I could ever receive!!! 

Summer

If you know me, you know I am not a huge hot weather fan. However, when Ireland finally got summer weather, I soaked up every moment of it. I started going out in Dublin after work with friends, watching the World Cup matches in pubs (mainly Brazil games lol) and of course, my love affair for Dicey’s began then! I just began loving life more with the better weather. Ireland is an incredible country when the sun shines and we truly saw that this year. It wasn’t great when I was recovering from an operation but I made up for it when I could.

My Mid 2018 Life Update

Let’s hope summer 2019 is just as good!!

LOWLIGHTS

Not one but two operations

In case you are new here or completely not aware of my condition, I have Polycystic Ovaries (and Endometriosis, but I only found that out in July). I had my first operation in July 2016, with another one in January 2017. I have been in serious pain throughout the last 2 years and have seen many, many doctors, I have had many scans, endless blood tests and so on. In January, one of my doctors told me I needed to have emergency surgery after an appointment but left it up to me to decide when to have it.. and when I asked how soon, he said the following Monday, meaning I had to change flights home from Madrid lol.
I was always told in that hospital that I only had one Polycystic Ovary and I was getting fed up of my gynecologist saying there was nothing she could do for me, so I went on a mission to find another gynecologist. In June, my GP referred me to another and once the latest blood tests came back, it was evident that I needed to be seen as soon as possible. Mam rang this gynecologist on the Monday, I had an appointment on the Wednesday and was having surgery on the Friday. That’s how serious we are talking. After this operation, I was informed I have 2 severe Polycystic Ovaries and stage 1-2 Endometriosis. My gynecologist was hopeful that the operation and medication I’m now on would keep my condition at bay for at least 5 years but said it could be 5 months and it is looking like the later as the past month has been a huge struggle for me pain wise. I’m prolonging going to see him again as I want to get through New York before I have another operation, which I know is what is going to happen.

Someday, I will write a more in dept blog about what exactly PCOS and Endometriosis are but it will take time! 

Pleurisy 

I can’t remember if I spoke about getting pleurisy in October 2017 but I did, and I was very sick with it. I was informed that I am prone to getting it now I have got it once but NEVER did I think I would get it while going on a sun holiday to Portugal. I need the morning I got on the plane that I was not feeling well but I just thought it was because of my operation and exhaustion from going back to work so soon after it. I proceeded to develop a cough and very sore throat but once again, thought it was down to difference in climate as it was 30 plus degrees. It wasn’t until I went out with a friend one evening (got home at 5am!!!) and the next morning, woke up with no voice at all and very bad cough. I went downhill rapidly but tried my best to enjoy the holiday. I went back to work the following Monday and within 10 minutes of my boss arriving, he sent me home and I am glad he did. My doctor told me if I had to go one more day without medication, I would have ended up in hospital as my lungs were in a very bad way!

I took a week off work and finished my course of medication which consisted of 5 different types of tablets and thought I was right as rein. Until about 2 or 3 weeks later, I started to feel unwell one day in work and had to sit beside the radiator to warm up, I knew something was wrong. About an hour later, I got the sharp pains in my lungs again and rang my doctor immediately. Back on medication for another 10 days or so.

I got my flu injection as soon as I recovered but lol that done no good as I actually ended up getting a bad does of the flu which actually had me bed bound 2 days before my birthday because I couldn’t stand up! 

Wisdom tooth

Back in September 2016, I finally got my wisdom teeth out after 2 years of suffering however, I only got 3 out as I was informed that the 4th one would never bother me. Roll on to 2018 and I was IN AGONY with the 4th one. I couldn’t wait for an appointment and decided to go to a private dentist to remove it one weekend… BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. I have a facial jaw condition called TMJ, therefore before I have anything done with my teeth, I have to have X-Rays so the dentist is aware of my nerves etc. As I mentioned before, I am not good with needles. I am also not good with pain, blood or anything with operations. I thought I was being sedated for this procedure and I paid for it too. However, the dentist REFUSED to put me out, even after I had a panic attack.I had no choice but to go ahead with it but THE PAIN OH MY GOD! I was horrendous and I cried like a baby for hours after. My face was extremely swollen for weeks after and I looked like I had been attacked because my face bruised so badly.  

Thankfully I have no more wisdom teeth to be removed because I couldn’t go through that again.

Anxiety and depression 

I have always been open and honest about my struggle with anxiety and struggles with mental health. Earlier this year, I struggled deeply but bottled a lot of it up rather than opening up to those around me. I can’t say it was just one or two things, it was a compilation of a lot of things and my mind went into overdrive. I was lonely. I was sad. I wasn’t enjoying life in Dublin like I should have been. I was very on edge all the time. I would go to bed after work and not doing anything other than go to work and go to bed. I wasn’t sleeping. I was barely eating. It was just a bad time. Something changed in May, I’m not entirely sure what it was but the spark started to come back into my life. I won’t lie, I am still struggling daily but I’m doing a lot better headspace wise than I was earlier this year. To be honest, a lot of people only see this glorious life I lead online and all my adventures but I have so much shit going on in my personal life that you actually wouldn’t believe.

In May/June, I started to not stress over certain people in my life that started causing my serious bout of anxiety and depression a few years previous and once I started doing that, my headspace changed. Those people don’t exist to me anymore and it’s been the best thing for me to think like that!

My anxiety is always going to be a part of my life and I know that. I just need to know that I shouldn’t bottle it up, that never ends well.

Again, I’ll go into better detail about my anxiety and what helps me in a blog post in 2019!

Chipped bone

In recent weeks, you may have seen my latest fashion accessory: crutches! Never a fecking dull moment when I am around. I went to Milan for a weekend in November with Giana to see 5SOS like I mentioned above. On the Friday night, we were drinking in the hotel before going out as it was cheaper and we were walking to the nightclub and I got distracted by a text message on my phone and bang! I fell over a bench! Yes you read that correctly. I fell over a god damn bench. I landed on my right foot and clearly done some damage but didn’t feel any pain until the following morning as I proceeded to go to the club and drank more to cover up pain. However, no amount of alcohol was going to ease the pain on Saturday and Sunday!! On Sunday, Mam collected me from the airport and brought me straight to hospital. Chipped bone and bed rest for a week. Lovely. Crutch life until it’s healed but how long? Well, that varies! It’s been 7 weeks now and only these past 3 days have I gone without a crutch. I still have a limp though lol. 

Morale of the story is: Don’t get distracted by texts from cute boys while walking!!!!!

Purse being robbed

In November, 3 days before I was due to fly to Milan, I went on a Tinder date. That was grand, date was nice, was a good girl and gave him a kiss goodbye and sent him home while I headed for the Luas. Only for the last Luas to pass before I got there and when I reached into my bag, my purse was gone. I texted my date but he was useless to me. I ran back to the bar and the security and I searched the place high and low but no sign. I rang the guards but got tired waiting after 2 hours so went home. I went to the Garda Station after work the next day to give a statement and had a guard ring and email telling me she will do her best to find out who stole my purse but to this day I have heard nothing. The cheeky fecker had the nerve to use my contactless in Supermacs, Centra and at the Luas 3 times before my contactless was cancelled. I did get my money back thankfully! On a side note, it can take up to 2/3 days for contactless to be cancelled on a card that is cancelled, which I was not aware of!

I don’t care about the purse, even though it was from Celia, or the amount of money and cards that was in it. It was the fact I stupidly took off my Thomas Sabo charm bracelet and put it in my purse as I was afraid I’d lose it and now it’s gone. The worst part is that some of the charms were limited edition so they can’t be replaced πŸ™

Acne

One of the side effects of PCOS is severe acne and again, I have been very open about my struggles with acne throughout the years. Back in 2015, I was on Roaccuntane for over 11 months and boy, that was TOUGH! But my skin improved greatly and I was happy with my skin! Until my condition occurred and my skin rapidly began to decrease again. But it is these past few months that it has got just as bad as it was in 2015 which was very painful.

I have a very good skincare routine but that will make no difference until my condition are hormones are dealt with.
I will share a blog post about my acne update in 2019.

Body Dysmorphia 

I won’t go into too much detail with this right now (again, I’ll write a post in 2019 with more detail!) but I suffer from a bit of Body Dysmorphia and this year, I have struggled greatly with it. Due to the PCOS and medication, my weight goes up and down quite frequently. I go from 60-70kg every few weeks and I can’t help it. Now, I know deep down that I am nowhere near as big as I used to be when I was younger but what you see and what I see are two different visions and yeah, I don’t like what I see.

Just like my anxiety, this is something I have to work on everyday and it’s a struggle but I’ll get there!

Career

I really don’t want to go into too much detail about this and all I really want to say is that I am not where I want to be career wise and that I am going to work hard on getting where I want to be in 2019.

Hair

Another side effect of having PCOS is hair loss and this is one that I am struggling with the most. If you remember in January 2018, I wrote a blog post about why I was wearing a wig and spoke briefly about my hair loss.
Well, in short, I have lost over half of my hair. I have had to completely change my hairstyle so it wasn’t so noticeable that I had bald patches or less hair.

I invested in a new wig a few weeks ago and have gotten more confident in wearing my wigs in public!

 

 

And there we have it, my 2018 summed up. It hasn’t been the best year of my life and I’m thankful it is over!

I am now looking forward to 2019 and plan on making it the best year of my life yet!

I want to wish everyone who follows me and supports me a very Happy New Year and I wish you all the very best of health and luck in 2019.

Thank you all for your continued support. Stick with me and follow my journey in 2019, I promise my best to make it a great year!

 

Sincerely,
Sarah Jane xo