Happy Monday all, and welcome to another week of lock down (sigh). I know it’s hard, but it’ll all be over soon, and we’ll return to our new ‘normal’ before we know it – hopefully appreciating the little things far more than we ever have before.

As I’m currently back in the North West, I found myself going through some of my old things. I came across some things that sparked great memories, and inevitably, some that provoked an emotional (and sometimes an unwelcome) response.

It got me thinking though. If I were to write down something that I once found to be an impossible task, perhaps something that I thought I’d never actually achieve, or a time I never thought I’d get through, I might surprise myself. Was it, and is it still impossible?

I came up with a few ideas that I wanted to share with you all, but I also wanted to share some of our fantastic communities contributions as well.

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Our Stop The World community tackled the impossible by…

‘Walking in to teach a class full of Year 9’s, minutes after having a severe panic attack. I was exhausted and it was so obvious that I’d been crying. I honestly didn’t know how I’d get through the lesson but I did.’ – L

‘Passing my PhD – even though I felt totally out of my depth and almost gave up in the first 2 years’. – S

‘Passing my driving test when 38 weeks pregnant! My first instructor was an arrogant ex army man who kept the window down and would make a point of shouting at me when people were around if I made a mistake. Although I did my best, I finally got out of the car and rang my husband to pick me up. I’d had enough. I didn’t give up though (even if I really wanted to). After 3 failures, I changed instructors who was a kind, calm and patient instructor. I passed and two weeks later I gave birth to a little girl!’ – G

‘Completing Tough Mudder when I was at my unfittest (and probably fattest)!’ – H

‘Returning to work after being signed off sick for almost 3 months after being diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I was terrified and I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it again but I did and I haven’t looked back since’ – C

‘Cooking a meal from scratch, as my husband did all the cooking. It was easy to get into a routine of ready meals and cereal when he died. But on a Sunday, I cook a meal for me, Derek’s Dad, and my Mum, which I deliver plated up to each of them. The thing about cooking is, you need a reason to do it and it’s the social aspect that you miss – the eating with someone. But cooking for my Mum and Derek’s Dad has given me the reason to try and I’ve not had any complaints yet’. – J

‘Getting back into exercising after a period of not moving at all due to being unwell. I felt I’d failed because I hadn’t moved for so long which created a kind of fear that I couldn’t shake. Eventually, I built myself up to it and managed to remove the fear and find it fun like I used to.’ – H

‘Passing my driving test. It took me 7 attempts, a lot of tears and tantrums and at one point I’d just decided that I just wasn’t meant for driving. But I DID IT in the end!’ – L

‘Getting through 2016 losing my Dad, and going through a horrific OFSTED inspection. I was struggling with the losing my Dad and coping with my job at the same time, so I made the decision to take step back and take a different job to be happier in what I do.’ – S

‘Running the London Marathon in Summer 2019. During my first run in October 2018, I only managed 3 km and I cried all the way home at the thought of running 26 miles but I trained hard and it all paid off when I crossed that finish line 6 months later.’ – N

‘Getting through my year abroad. It wasn’t the dream placement that everyone else had and the year just felt like it would never end.’ – H

‘Ignoring suicidal thoughts and getting through another day’. – S

‘Recovering from a break up. My self-esteem and mental health took a huge hit after my partner and I split after 5 years of being together. I spent a long time pretending I was okay, but other stresses took over and my confidence took a knock I just couldn’t recover from. Even though, I still struggle with the feelings of rejection and can’t help but reflect on what we had, I’m finally at a stage where I know I can move forward with my life and be happy without them. 12 months ago, that felt pretty impossible.’ – L

‘Battling an eating disorder to enable me to become pregnant (even though I still live with it day by day) but now I have a beautiful little girl!’ – C

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I don’t know about you, but reading all these really brought a tear to my eye.  If you ever begin to doubt yourself, please write down some of the things that once felt impossible and remind yourself how much you’ve already got through.

I am so inspired by every single one of you.

Love always,

Lauren x

Positive of the day: It’s 1:08 am on Monday morning and I’ve already wrote a blog post. I love that I can do this at the moment.