2016, well it’s been a funny old year hasn’t it? For me it’s been both amazing and tiring. I’ve had a lot of family hardships mainly around my sister and her mental health.
This is my little sister with her little boy. She’s two years, 4 months and 1 day younger than me. Growing up we did not get on, mainly because she was the baby and my mum made a lot of excuses for her. I hated being the eldest. Things changed when we hit our teenage years, she became gorgeous and I was a bit jealous and i’m fairly sure she resented me because I was the eldest. Thankfully these days as adults we get on so much better and I’d maybe even class us as friends. She’s battled bouts of depression for the last 10 years and for me that’s the hardest thing to watch and I don’t think I fully understood until the end of my relationship with my daughter’s father where I developed severe anxiety and PTSD.
The beginning to middle of the year was trying for all of us but thankfully she finally started to get the help she needed. It’s not all easy for her, or any of us really, being someone myself who suffers from certain mental health issues (although not the same as her) I know it’s an illness you’re never cured of. There are ways to cope with it, to make it easier to live with and I know now my sister is doing everything she can to not fall back into that dark place she went to this past year. She’s a stronger person than she’s ever been and I know she’s ready to say goodbye to 2016 and wipe the slate clean.
Because this year has been especially trying for her I’m taking part in the #GiftToFamily which is run by the Equity Release branch of Saga. Inspired by the idea behind random acts of kindness they’re encouraging bloggers to give back to family members they feel deserve something extra special this Christmas. My sister is of course the person I wanted to surprise with an extra special Christmas gift.
I decided to treat her to an afternoon at a spa. Raising an incredibly boisterous five year old alone along with working as a dental nurse is incredibly demanding, I feel like it’s so important she takes some time for self care during the holiday season. Hopefully she can get away before the big day so she’s refreshed for the festivities.
I recorded her reaction to receiving her Christmas gift early;