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Sharing secrets


This picture always makes me laugh- trying to get shoes on me in Topshop 14 days after my hip replacement!

When I started blogging, I started it for myself and myself alone. My first blog, Champagne Lifestyle Student Budget (of which I know I had a loyal readership, many of whom are still here!) as a way to distract myself. I was about to go into my second year of my politics degree at Queen's, it was the summer, I was bored and waiting for a hip replacement. Yes, you read that correctly. I suppose I feel this has been a big secret I've been keeping for many years and it was something I wasn't ready to share until now. I am almost 4 years over my hip replacement and my life has improved dramatically. Although I still suffer with a bad back that requires some hospital attention, my hip replacement gave me a new lease of life. 

I was 19 when I had the replacement and from the age of 14, I was plagued with orthopaedic problems after I had a SUFE (Google it to understand) pinned. This essentially was the wrong thing to do as my hip was so badly slipped. For the next 5 years of my life, my hip head died and I lost 4cms of length in my left leg, leaving me with a prominent limp. This obviously made school an utter joy and at some points, I did have a concerning amount of time off (but it has engrained a strong work ethic in me!). 

I always thought I was very resilient through it all but now sitting here, almost 10 years on from when it started, I realise that I had to grow up quickly. From doctors to hospitals to tablets, my teenage years weren't exactly what you would describe as normal. There was no snogging random boys at discos or having sneaky cigarettes. I turned into an adult at a time when most people were exploring what it meant to be a teenager. However, I never realised that through doing this, I would meet some of the most phenomenal people in my life. Many of my friends are in their 40s and 50s. I feel like they get me more than half the people my own age. 

You probably wonder why I am wittering on about my hip replacement and why am I telling you this now. Well it's for one big reason. I realised that my blog has truly changed my life. My blog was an experiment to get me through a rough time in my life and it has turned into the reason that I am now sitting at 23 years old with my dream job. 

I wanted to write this post to encourage you if you are walking through darkness right now. My five long years of pain felt like they would never end. And it gets to the point where that pain becomes a normal way of life. But it's not normal. And you deserve to be happy and fulfilled. But you are the key to that. Everything in life has divine timing. I know I was meant to start my blog for a reason. My blog has been a friend to me, a comfort and a welcome distraction. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, or in my case, a blog at the end of the computer.

To those of you who continuously read and support That Belfast Girl, thank you will never be enough. I hope you all now realise what this adventure has meant to me. It's not been all happy behind the scenes but you have allowed me to share my happy times as a document to look back
on. I'm forever grateful.

I promise you that your life can be anything that you make it. Just keep the faith. 

All my love,

That Belfast Girl
xxx