As Spring has now sprung, I felt it was appropriate timing for a round up of events and feelings. This week has been a mixture of emotions but it’s made me feel very reflective so I thought I’d share it with you. Apologies in advance, but at least I’m not subjecting you to 30 photos of pink bakeries. I’m currently in bed listening to Thin Lizzy – Dancing in the Moonlight. I recently discovered my love for this song this evening via Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats (if you haven’t heard of them, please, please give them a listen. This is one of my favourites, but this one is probably their most famousLlama Supporter and I had the pleasure of hearing the latter about 30 times on repeat at a Birthday party in the summer accompanied by Dad style singing). I’ve listened to Dancing in the Moonlight 8 times already tonight. I’m like that when I find a song I like I listen to it constantly, which is probably why Mummy Sue has moved Roy C – Shotgun Wedding to a different unlabelled position in the Jukebox that I am yet to find and memorise. But anyways, now I’ve set the scene, back to what I was actually waffling about.

I had my final session at counselling this week. I feel like it will be something I go back to as there aren’t enough sessions to cover everything well enough. In the end we didn’t even discuss my assault really at all. This was a personal choice, partly because I thought 5 sessions were not enough to fully talk about it. But also because my biggest fear was that I would reopen everything and then be left without closure and in an even worse position than I started. I originally applied for counselling about a month before I decided to write my Honest Llama post. At that point in time it felt like a disease literally eating my soul and consuming every waking moment. On top of that I had the general stresses of vet school, my IBS symptoms and then my finance nightmare began. I felt like I was on a tiny boat with all these massive suitcases full of stress and something hard to go overboard before I sank.

Luckily it turns out I picked the best one to sling into the abyss. Writing that post helped in ways I could never even dream of, but mostly it gave me a tiny bit of freedom. Not freedom from it being with me all the time, but freedom to actually show when things upset me and not care about having to explain it to people. That alone has changed my life, I no longer try and hold it together until I get home. Something I had no idea before Christmas would make such a difference. I have made a few strangers feel incredibly awkward but I’m sure they’ll get over it. Unfortunately we have had quite a few cinema trips recently that have ended in tears. The latest was Sunday night when Llama Supporter and I went to see The Love Witch. I check every film description and review online before I go now, yet it still happens. We settled in our seats in the Watershed and chatted whilst the adverts ran. The film rating came up next to it, the words ‘extreme sexual violence’. I didn’t know whether to be sick or cry, Llama Supporter went white as I squeezed his hand. I was the end of the row against the wall and couldn’t make a swift exit so sat there frozen to the spot. With sweaty palms. The film was visually beautiful, the best way to describe it is 1970s in modern day. Everyone dresses and acts like it’s the 70s but they have mobile phones and drive brand new cars. It’s a bit bizarre. Unfortunately that’s as much as I can tell you about the film because I spent the entire 2 hours waiting for the extreme sexual violence to occur. Which it did, about 10 minutes from the end. Another cinema I have left in tears.

Nights like that make me forget the amazing weightlessness I felt from writing about it and makes me feel I haven’t come anywhere on the road to recovery, like I’m stuck in Groundhog day.  I still haven’t had a single night without a nightmare of some description, something I fear will never leave me. Some nights I’m lucky and only have one that wakes me, some nights its relentless and I wake up to wet hair where I’ve been crying so much. At the moment I don’t know what to do to combat them. I have tried so many things, Lush baths before bed, reading, watching a film, listening to music, painting, the list goes on. If you have any suggestions please share them with me.

My funding nightmare has become something even The Two Ronnies couldn’t write. I am off to Student Finance tomorrow after lectures to talk to them face to face to hopefully once and for all sort something. I’ll let you know what occurs but don’t hold your breaths, I’ll probably be retiring before they make their minds up.

As for my IBS, as it’s stress related you can imagine what it has been like recently. Overall the FODMAP diet seems to be working, I have less days where I’m in agony and I’m trying really hard to stick to it. Unless I’m outside Peggy Porschen then no one can stop me. Unfortunately I’m having days where I can’t work out what’s triggered it, which is upsetting as if I pinpoint a trigger food I try to avoid it in the future. Sometimes I know it’s stress or hormone related but the days where I’m actually happy and it happens sucks! I’m just aiming to get through the next few weeks of term and exams and praying that I will have a more relaxing summer, so it gives my digestive system time to chill out a bit. The plus side to all of this is that I’m actually trying lots of different foods and quirkier places to eat. If you ever need Gluten-free, Dairy-free or FODMAP friendly places to eat let me know. Coté in Highgate even took all the onions and garlic out of my order for me, something I had to explain twice and the waiter looked at me like you’ve come to a French Style restaurant and you don’t want any form of onion?! But they still made it Llama friendly. I can also tell you where all the nice toilets are, but that’s probably something you’re less likely to ask!

I don’t want to speak to soon with summer exams looming, but academically I’m ok. I passed my mid-sessional exams and feel positive about revision (maybe ask me again in 3 weeks).  The one thing I’m struggling most is integrating into the year. Thankfully I’m not completely alone as I have other re-takers around, but I honestly feel like a lonely, old dinosaur sometimes. My resting bitch face could potentially be one of my issues. I think this has been highlighted more by having lunch on Friday with my favourites from last year. Which was great as I miss them so much, but it made me feel even more like I am seriously lacking in friends at the moment. Llama Supporter says I’m spreading dramarmalade everywhere (his new favourite description of when I’m being dramatic! And it’s now here to stay as I think it’s hilarious) and that it’s not as bad as I’m imagining. But I beg to differ. Vet School is stressful enough (if you hadn’t already gathered) so it’s nice to have friends to enjoy it all with. So if anyone is actually reading this, please come and say hello.

Ironically, on that note I’m off to bed. Thankfully it’s Friday tomorrow and hopefully we’re off for an mini adventure over the weekend, weather depending. Thank you if you’ve made it this far, I honestly do appreciate it.

Much love

K x


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