• Anita Dennison

Looking back but thinking ahead

Usually I would post a blog post every Christmas reflecting on my year and how I developed my anti-bullying campaign within the last 12 months, but this year is slightly different.

Earlier this year I decided to take a massive step back from my anti-bullying work. This choice brought an abundance of emotions; guilt, regret, and anger. From 2012, I did my upmost to help others through my campaign, support families through a mental illness and bullying issues and I am proud that I have been given that opportunity through my platform. I felt guilty, angry and regretful that it may look as though I am turning my back on those that need support throughout the year. This campaign only had me, myself and I advising and supporting throughout the day whilst juggling a university degree. I have loved every second of getting to support individuals and helping them to become more confident in themselves. That being said, it has taken its toll on me and my own confidence and self esteem. From starting out on such a high and people recognising me from newspaper and radio interviews and coming to me for help as a result made me feel useful and needed on a platform I strived to make inclusive and welcoming to everyone no matter where they were in the world. I know my campaign and I have moved forward from those positive times and I felt as though I have needed to get back to the drawing board and create new platforms to support and advise those who need it most.

This year, I started my placement for my social work degree. 4 months of working as a social worker helping a variety of people overcome challenges has brought back that much needed spark that was lost for such a long time. This placement allowed for me to feel a sense of usefulness once more as though after 5 years at university I am where I am meant to be. Back in March of this year, I started to write an eBook of my own bullying experience with advice and life tips for teenagers to help them out of this "who am I supposed to be?" "where am I supposed to be?" stage of their lives. We have all been there and it is extremely difficult, so I hope that in 2020 I will continue to write this eBook and publish it on my website as a sort of sat-nav for youngsters who may feel stuck in the same lane of life's roundabout and are afraid to accelerate and move forward to what's coming next.

I will be back with regular tweets, advice and blogs within 2020, so please do not feel you have seen the last of me yet, as my career and I are just getting started.

Wish you all a very peaceful Christmas and a prosperous new year. I hope you have someone to spend the festivities with as nobody should be alone this time of year. Enjoy those you have the pleasure of spending this festive period with, for nobody knows what the new year will bring. Don't take anything or anyone for granted.

Love, Anita x

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