So the year is almost over, and what a year it has been.
If you had asked me this time last year, where do you see yourself at the end of 2010, I would have said in Cork. I would have said surrounded by my friends and having a good time, maybe working but probably not, probably just busking and smoking a lot of drugs.
But look at me, look at what I've achieved. To be honest its only just sinking in, even after all these months. I never in a million years thought I would do what I did, the thought had barely even crossed my mind.
The years been so hard, so full of changes. I look at myself now, and I look at pictures of myself from around new years last year, and I don't recognise myself. I can't see how I was once that person, and how I was happy in it. It was horrible, to be perfectly honest, what I was. I was a mess and a state and I didn't even see it.
There were so many challenges along the way, even before I left Ireland, and I'm surprised that I survived it if I'm really honest. So many little things could have destroyed me, let alone the stupid drug addiction I found myself with, and yet I survived. I pulled through.
I ran away. If I'm totally honest then that's the thing about leaving Ireland that pops up. There were so many factors involved in it, some stupid, some huge. It was the fights in that house, the feeling that people were turning even my very best of friends against me. It was the presures of life, of debt I knew I could never repay, and all the depression connected to most of my past. But in the end, it was the drugs that really drove me away. I got scared, and I ran. I'm not proud of the fact, but it was the best thing I could have ever done.
I still look back and think how the hell have I done so much in a year. I can't get my head around that it has only been that long, that even in the past nearly 9 months since I left my home behind I have changed so much, grown so much within myself. Its a bit disturbing, but also strangely amazing, though I don't get how I've survived even all the moves.
Three house moves in Cork, two over here. Five moves in a year is kind of a lot. And considering emmirgration also came into it, that just makes it even more insane. But you know what, I have no regrets.
I still miss home every day, I still think of all those people who I left behind and I still cry often for the life I do not have any more. But I know I made the right choice, and I know that I'm in a better place for me now. I have good friends around me, and a chance to do well.
In the past year, I have gone from a drug addict practically homeless with a life expectancy barely stretching to July, to a student with a good home and many good friends around me. Its overpowering to realise what I've achieved, and yet, its incredible at the same time.
I leave you tonight with a set of pictures, of what can happen to one girl in the space of a year. They are all in order, and I think it shows drastic change.
I also leave you with this message, in the hope that they will not be forgotten, but stay with us in our hearts forever. In Loving Memory And Respect Of The Three Amazing People We Lost This Year, Who Still Watch Over Us Every Day Sleep Well With The Angels Sweethearts
Dermot DeSylva, Died Aged 17, R.I.P
Bridget Jones, Died in Her Sleep, R.I.P.
Noreen Burke, Died Of Cancer, R.I.P. We Love You All Forever And Always