I met Sam through my blog, where she claims she stalked my YouTube videos and blog for a while (why thank you!), and like most friendships I have, it just blossomed from there really. Our friendship grew and grew. However, with Sam, something was different and I knew that I'd found a friend that was true. And it's rare I get moments like that. The two days I spent with her in London were truly spectacular and they are memories I will treasure for the rest of my life.
To which I then decided to show her the famous arcade located just next to the London Eye, where we found this hilarious photobooth and resulted in the following pictures!
After this and some arcade gaming (at about 12 midnight), we finally decided to head back to our hotel, where mixed berry tea and chocolate with girly chats was high on the agenda!
The next day we woke up bright and early and headed back to my house to dump our bags (and meet my parents!) and have some breakfast before heading out to Oxford Street. Bearing in mind it was payday for both of us, it was an opportunity for us to indulge in some self-care and treat ourselves for once! And boy did we shop! It was nice to have a change to do something rare and buy ourselves things because we felt like we deserved them, or that we just liked them, rather than umming and aaahing over whether we're good enough to deserve a particular item. We even bought two MAC lipsticks each as well as lots of nice clothes and goodies, and I treated Sam to a tube map poster so she could never forget the time she spent in London. I also took Sam to Hamleys, a five storey toy shop located on Regents Street, which Sam fell in love with and we ended up getting keyrings made with our picture inside them! Such a cute idea and a lovely way to remember the two days we spent together!
After being completely worn out from shopping, we went back to my house and got ready to go out to dinner at a local pub near my house. Despite my anxiety being racing (so many teachers from my old school happened to be there which was slightly terrifying), we had a lovely meal and went home to relax and catch an early night before Sams train in the morning.
With both of us having suffered from eating disorders, depression and anxiety, so many things about the trip, some would say, could have gone horribly wrong. But for us it wasn't like that. We are both extremely recovery focused and are there to support each other throughout the ups and downs and trials and tribulations that come alongside these awful mental illnesses. And I think that the trip certainly proved that.What I love about Sam is her honesty. Usually she thinks along the same lines as me with most things (which we found out!) which was great but she's also so real and true to herself. She doesn't pretend to be something she's not and she is certainly not defined by her experiences. She is Sam, a woman who has become nothing but stronger and more courageous through these experiences and will find the light in the darkness. We faced some great obstacles together regarding anxiety and eating over those past two days but you know what, we did it, we got past it, and saw past it all and saw two friends having a great time in London. And that's what recovery is all about. Sam refers to me as an inspiration but I truly think it should be the other way around, she's a beautiful girl with a kind heart who is honest, real and true. And our little life chats and heart-to-hearts really helped me to appreciate things and see things differently and she has no idea how much that means. I'm so proud of her! I was so sad to watch her get on the train but know that this isn't the end and I will certainly be paying a visit to see her soon!
My mental health problems have caused me so much grief and hassle in my life, and they still do, but one thing they have given me is amazing friendships. And weirdly, I'd like to thank my insanity for that. It's given me great people like Sam to brighten up the day with - I had an amazing time and the trip taught me loads of great things. Thank you Sam!