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.