What seems most disappointing, however, is the fact that when I think about the year past I tend to think of it in terms of health and relationships- as if they are the only two things that mattered. I think of 2012 in terms of heartbreak and medication, hospitals and awkward mornings after.
It is lucky that this year I decided to properly organise every photo I took into a relevant album with a title and a date- and without having done this, I think I would have forgotten a lot of what happened during the year.
Here is my year. Ups, downs, and everything in between.
Exam time, stress stress stress, blank periods in my mind. An empty Elms, too many Friday nights spent in union, too many Saturdays in Laverys. Cooking my first proper meal and being so proud of myself. Trying to remember to keep choosing health over thin. Becoming friends with Rachel, spending every weekend with Patsy, Emily & Anton. The trip to London, to his other life. Falling in love with Camden, and being in love with love. His Burberry coat, the drive to Essex, seeing Rebecca for the second time in a few months. The vodka, the mess of the night, the hospital and the ambulances. Crying. Coming home, happy to say goodbye to London until the next time.
A blur, save for these few photographs. That night in Limelight, the graffiti that reminded me that my failed suicide attempt was a failure to be happy with. The night spent in hospital, the nicest psychiatrist I've ever met, the never ending apparent strength of my liver to withstand all that I threw at it. Counting the tablets in my room, while a party I was holding continued in the next room. The worry in his voice, the lump in my throat in mine. Hallmates returning that night, no one seeing what had changed, what had happened. Telling my mum. The tears and the worry. Always, the tears and the worry.
Falling out of love. The sadness that came with the realisation that we weren't who we used to be, the spooning and the sadness and the vow to stay best friends. Not going to The Maccabees, there were to be no more Toothpaste Kisses.
Kathryn's birthday, the sabbatical elections. Meeting Adrianne- just another union political person then, but so much more now. The beginning of what would be my life within NUSUSI. Endless nights in Laverys. The Labour Tory pub crawl, becoming friends with Hannah and Rebecca. St Patrick's Day, watching the rugby and then eating chinese on the pavement; two bottles of wine and waking up on Tyler's sofa the next day confused and hungover as hell. SDLP nights out, Mondays spent in union. Too many morning walks home.
SDLP Youth Conference. Joe Hendron, John McCallister, speeches and remembering why we all do this in the first place. Nights in Stiff Kitten. Difficult therapy sessions. Ties cut with my best friend, heart being slowly chipped away at by my former boyfriend. A miserable month. Ambulance, a friend I never realised I had. The beginning of a never ending supply of valium. The smiles by day and lonely, lonely nights.
Naomh's post-grad party, my first paid photography job. Meeting Sarah, summer came early to Belfast. House parties, Sketchy. James leaving, more goodbyes- but of the 'see you later' kind, the good kind. Realising how wonderful people can be without them even realising it. Vivian visiting Sarah, deciding to live together and counting down the weeks. Exams finally finishing, stopped caring long ago. Meeting Simon, his 'cultural experience' and the bliss of nights out, rolling home the next afternoon, and doing it all over again. Marina & the Diamonds, sun, constant sun. Having the best fortnight with the most incredible person, and the bittersweet ending that inevitably had to follow.
New piercings, always Sketchying. Beer nights in 76 and the horrific hilarious hangovers that followed. Staying in bed all morning talking about poetry and quoting too much John Donne to one another. Saying goodbye to Simon & Paul and the others, the hope that it isn't forever. Cliona's 18th, NUSUSI Women's Conference, my election. Reunion dinner, saying goodbye and good riddance to Elms after my second move. So glad to be away from the poisonous place with so many bad memories. Moving home.
This post is already horrendously long, so I'll save the next six months for another day. It is odd looking back at a year you hated, seeing happy memories.