A Reintroduction

Hello, hi, how are you? – A Reintroduction to Becca Thomas

You may have noticed, if you have been following me for a while, that my blog has had a bit of a makeover – about time, right? So, I felt it was probably the perfect time to reintroduce myself to you, whether you have followed me for a while, or you are a newbie to this community.

My name is Rebecca Thomas, but most of you will know me as Becca – Hello, hi, how are you?

When I first started my ‘blogging’ journey, it was in my bedroom nearly 10 years ago at my Mum and Dad’s house and I posted about lifestyle, books, games and so much more – basically, whatever interested me at the time. I was still in school; I was in the safe haven that was my family home. Growing up, I was so lucky – surrounded by a supportive family unit. My mum was always around for my brother and I, so there was always someone there if we had a problem or needed some advice. Sure, we struggled to make ends meet sometimes and we wouldn’t have as much ‘stuff’ as other people – but the ‘stuff’ didn’t matter. We had each other and that is all I could have hoped for throughout my childhood and teen years. I will be forever grateful for those who raised me and helped build the foundations of the person I am today.

As I creeped into adulthood, I continued my blogging journey, but of course with adulthood, comes new responsibilities and jobs; so, I didn’t dedicate as much time to it as I would have liked. But then came an unexpected journey that would completely turn my life upside down, sideways and back again. It would force me to revaluate how I saw the world.

I married an incredible man named Daniel Thomas. Dan, for those of you who didn’t know, suffered from a rare form of cancer. He wanted to show the world that life was good, despite its flaws, by encouraging everyone to live the best life they possibly could. Dan documented his journey right up until he passed away on 28th September 2018 – which I cannot believe is almost 3 years ago now.

I don’t want to risk ‘condensing’ what Dan was into a matter of paragraphs – that would be impossible. His larger-than-life personality and thirst for more time opened my eyes to how life should be lived and I will continue to carry this with me for the rest of my time on this earth. Before I met him, I’d accepted the fact that I would be in a 9-5 job, maybe go on a few adventures here and there and just conform to what society expected of me. But he taught me that life is far more than that. Which brings me to where I am at now.

For a while, I felt under pressure to live that best life and never look at the negatives – I think some may call this ‘toxic positivity.’ ‘Toxic positivity’ has been a reason that I saw a decline in my mental health in the two years after Dan passed away. Initially, I felt it was a good thing, as I seized every opportunity and faced life with a smile – however, in my head were cruel flashbacks and signs of PTSD, depression and anxiety crawling back in. As life appeared lighter, my head got foggier and shadows from the past were eating away at me. I felt I had to impress everyone, as I had such big shoes to fill, I had to ‘prove’ my gratitude to Dan and have evidence for continuing to live for him. Nobody wanted to know me, but they wanted me to keep someone alive that they admired and all I wanted to do was give them that wish. Which, obviously, was impossible. I deleted the old ‘kissedbyafox’ and created the one you’re seeing now – this felt like a betrayal to my old self.

I’m not saying I wanted everything to be about ‘me, me, me,’ but I am saying I didn’t want people to expect me to keep someone alive, who I so desperately wanted to come back, but never would. It was, mentally, a horrific time as I felt like a ghost.

In the last few weeks, I have felt a ‘shift’ in my grief, as some of you may have noticed. For a while, I felt like I could only write about ‘grief’ and widowhood as a young person – I’m in my twenties, so it is expected that people have been curious about this. I felt I had to reveal my experiences to people, constantly reliving what had happened, without coming to terms with it myself. In fact, I wasn’t ready to do this, nor should I have been expected to.

I realised I’d come away from writing what I wanted to write about. I missed being that girl in her Mum and Dad’s house all those years ago writing about things that she was truly passionate about. So, unintentionally, I was falling back into the pattern Dan told me to avoid; pleasing everyone but myself. He wanted me to write about the things I loved, to go on adventures and continue to show the world how glorious life could be, while also being authentic and real.

My life since Dan has been a rollercoaster of chaotic emotions: anger, jealousy, annoyance, betrayal, happiness, joy… It has been a time where I have, once again, tried to please everyone – which is impossible. Since this ‘shift,’ I have finally felt able to say that people’s opinions of me are their own and I have no right to know them. I have learnt that ‘toxic’ friends and family should be kept at arms-length, while also becoming aware that I may be toxic for some.

I will continue to write about my mental health journey, now and always, along with grief advice and tips. I will always write about Dan – he is the reason that this ‘blogging’ journey has continued and almost reached its 10th birthday. From my ‘beccabenerding’ days, to now – he is the reason that I will never give up on my blog entirely.

I am not here to bring anyone back from the dead, as much as I wish I could. I would, however, love to share with you what I have learnt on my grieving journey and help people as much as possible. I want to break the taboos around talking about death and dying and allow people to have a safe space to ask questions they usually might not be able to ask.

That being said, hello, hi, how are you? I am Becca, and I love to read and write and get into long conversations about everything and nothing. I’ve been through a lot in my short time on this earth, and I hope to experience a ‘chuffing’ lot more of it. I am ready to live my best life, while also allowing my heart and head to heal, and I hope you’ll come on this long and confusing journey with me – let’s tackle it together.

Oh, and remember: Smile, I dare you.

Becca x

15 Comments

  • Holly

    13/01/2021 at 2:24 pm

    This makes me so happy, Becca. What powerful realizations. The best you can do is be wholly, unapologetically, unabashedly you. You can inform about the past, but more importantly inspire for the future based on an authentic life. Dan was a life force, but so are you. Sending much love ❤️

    Reply
    • Becca Thomas

      14/01/2021 at 9:48 am

      Hi, Holly! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this – it means so much! I love: “The best you can do is be wholly, unapologetically, unabashedly you.” – might have to quote you in future posts! Love everything about this message. I cannot thank you enough for your support. xxx

      Reply
  • Jayde

    13/01/2021 at 4:39 pm

    I love this.
    I know it’s slightly different, but I felt the same after experience trauma after my dad suddenly passed away. I felt I had to be the strong one, who always talked about him and made everyone else feel better. It’s exhausting and made my mental health head in a dark and dangerous place that I’m only now (8 years on) straying to find my way out of.
    I think you’re amazing, and love that you have decided that you’re important too, not just because you were, are and always will be Dan’s wife…but because you’re Becca. And you’re important too xxx

    Reply
    • Becca Thomas

      14/01/2021 at 9:55 am

      Hi, Jayde! Thank you so much for this message – it means so much to me. I’m sorry to hear about your Dad (I know this doesn’t take the pain away.) However, I am so glad you reached out and commented – it is nice to know someone has gone through similar experiences. Thank you so much again, for your support and your kind words. xxx

      Reply
      • Liz Barrios-Brent

        16/01/2021 at 4:04 am

        Hi Becca, It’s good to hear your in the healing process. I’ve always thought you acted beyond your years and looked up to you as a courageous young woman. Dan would be so proud of you. 🙏🏼

        Reply
        • Becca Thomas

          19/01/2021 at 10:48 am

          Hi Liz! Thank you so much for this incredible comment. Honestly, without support like this I’m not sure where I would be right now, so it means the world to me. I hope you’re having a great start to the year! xxx

          Reply
  • Laura Odle-Parry

    14/01/2021 at 1:14 am

    Becca, you are a beautiful soul and I appreciate your transparency in all your struggles. Being an older Widow, along with my sister ( we were in our late 40’s) we had each other to lean on. I found true love late in life. My sister has chosen not to date and remarry. Everyone is different. We’re both happy. You absolutely are an amazing, beautiful, and smart woman. How I wish mental health issues were brought out in the open when I was a young woman. Keep being the remarkable girl you are! You make a difference in my life. And yes…I’m smiling. Today.
    Much love and happiness 💞

    Reply
    • Becca Thomas

      14/01/2021 at 10:00 am

      Hi Laura! I’m not sure being in your late 40s would class you as an ‘older’ widow! I think people perceive widows as old, frail women who walk around in black all the time scaring children – I hope you read the humour in that haha! I’m so glad you guys have each other to lean on. I love that you guys have both shown that not everyone labelled as a widow will react the same – some will find love and remarry, others wont and both are absolutely fine! I think what we all need to learn is that unless you are in that persons shoes, you will never know what you would do yourself. So, thank you so much for sharing this comment! Along with this, thank you so much for your support. I am so very glad I could make even the slightest of differences to you and I can’t wait to continue this journey. I’m so glad to see you’re smiling! xxxx

      Reply
  • Cherie

    14/01/2021 at 5:18 am

    I think about you often and I always wondered how things are going. I always loved listening to you telling stories and so regardless whether you were discussing Dan or your own life journey I think what you bring to the world is a positive thing. Looking forward to seeing more.

    Reply
    • Becca Thomas

      14/01/2021 at 10:01 am

      Hi Cherie, thank you so much for your kind comment and for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope to be bringing a lot more soon – so stay posted. I cannot thank you enough for your support. xxx

      Reply
      • Abby

        20/01/2021 at 4:56 pm

        Hi Becca,

        I almost never do this. By this, I mean drop public comments. But yours and Dan’s story touched me so much. I check on you now and then on IG to see how you are getting along. I’m glad that you’re fighting everyday and trying to deal with your grief healthily. I’m glad you’ve found this outlet to keep expressing yourself. I’m glad you’re on this rediscovery and healing journey. I’m just glad for you and I hope you keep finding strength to push forward daily. Keep smiling, I dare you!😉

        Reply
  • Anthea

    20/01/2021 at 2:52 am

    Hi Becca. Thanks for posting this. You are incredibly strong and inspiring. My mum passed away 8 years ago and reading posts like this make me feel better about my healing taking “a long time.”
    Sending you love and light x

    Reply
    • Becca Thomas

      20/01/2021 at 10:26 am

      Hi, Anthea! Thank you so much. I’m glad to hear this helped, even slightly. There is no proper timeline to grief, so don’t ever feel pressured. Lots of love to you too xxx

      Reply
  • Steven Price

    20/01/2021 at 11:08 am

    Hi Becca :
    What a surprise ! I used to follow you on youtube and when you just seemed to disappeared ; I figured whatever happened I’d probably never hear from you again . I am happy that you have grown so much since I last heard from you . I love to write & I hope that you will email me . All the best , Steven

    Reply

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