I've been incredibly quiet for several months now, for a number of reasons. As you'd expect, a lot has happened in the last 6 months. From getting engaged to having a breakdown just before Christmas, I've found myself spending a lot of time simply processing everything that's been happening.

September was one of the happiest months I've had in several years. My partner and I got engaged, I started college with a renewed sense of enthusiasm...and then my brain decided to step in.

As a lot of you already know, I was the victim of a sexual assault in December 2015. Looking back, I never really dealt with it. Sure, I went through the motions, and then went through the motions again when the effects of the trauma started to become apparent in November 2016, but I never truly dealt with it. And when you don't deal with things, they keep coming back.

Towards the end of last year, things reached a breaking point. I wasn't sleeping, I was stuck in a binge-starve cycle, and I was hiding in bed most of the time. Unsurprisingly, this led to a rather severe breakdown, and 2 years on from the assault, I hit rock bottom. At this point, doctors and specialists began fleetingly mentioning PTSD. I'd suspected it for roughly a year beforehand, but now people were nodding and agreeing.

I've been incredibly lucky that my partner has stood by me throughout everything, from listening when I've been ranting and swearing about the state of the NHS and the lack of support for people suffering from trauma to accompanying me on several hospital trips.

And one unexpected factor from all of this is finally getting an explanation as to why I went through a bout of collapses at the start of 2017! I've officially been given a diagnosis of Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder. In layman's terms, I occasionally get so worked up that my brain decides to take a break and shuts off. Of course, my body relies on my brain to function, so when my brain decides to take a breather, I end up in a bit of a crumpled heap on the floor, generally waking up to a first responder lying next to me and talking to me. So, that's fun!

Anyway, please don't take this as a sign that I'm returning to my regular writing habits because I'm not. Instead, I'm giving my brain what it's been trying to tell me it needs, and I'm taking a break. I've deferred from college, so from now until September I'm dedicating myself to learning how my PTSD affects me, and how I can keep it in check, as well as feeding my soul by spending time with the people who throughout everything have managed to make me smile when I've been at my worst.

And so I keep living.