A few very lovely things have been happing this year - it might sound strange, but I feel like I’ve only just started blogging again. I can’t put my finger on the feeling, but it feels like it similar to when I first started Made From Scratch almost 6 years ago. Fresh, completely unknown, new, scary and open to any opportunity in a way. After what happened last year, ​I never had any intention of stopping MFS. A few people asked if I would and I can see how easy it would have been to call it a day. But to be honest, it was the only thing that was ‘mine’ and something that I was able to completely manage during a time where my choice on how the life as I knew it was cruelly taken from me. I honestly have no idea where MFS will take me, no one ones what the future holds, but it’s actually really exciting to have that ‘fresh’ feeling again and just ‘see what happens’. There are a few stories I want to share with you that still to this day ground me more, makes MFS feel ‘new’ again and completely inspires me to keep going. Plus, I absolutely refuse to quit something that means so much to me, I’m not allowing him to take anything else from me.

One of the things that I never ever expected since sharing my story was the overwhelming response of support and how many beautiful and incredibly brave women reached out to share their stories with me. It was, and still is, something that always brings me to tears as I read through their emails knowing that I understand just how lonely, sad, scared and vulnerable they feel. But also just how incredibly unfair it is when the ones who are meant to love us hurt and betray us the most, knowing that someone else has had to endure heartache and pain like this it just horrible. But, I now know that I, and these wonderful women, will be ok - no one can give you the ‘date’ that it will be ok, but it will happen. Throughout every one of these generous emails and messages of support, there has been the exact same message from each of these brave women who shared their story. It’s simply to keep blogging. In their messages, they kindly say that my blog has kept them going through those horrific dark days when it’s sometimes just too hard to even catch a breath. They thank me for being so honest about something so horrible. They grieve with me about the loss of a loved one and life that they know and then generously mention that they have shared my story with a friend going through the same thing to show that you can create a fresh start. This simple comment to ‘keep blogging’ means so so much, and I think they share it to simply encourage me to not give up no matter how hard or overwhelming it gets. And to anyone who blogs/owns their own business, will know that the ‘urgh, I’m going to give up’ moments happen quite a lot. But I think simply persevering, plugging away and taking each day as it comes really is all we can do sometimes, and then one day its just clicks and you feels so good about not quitting.

I don’t even have the words to explain how much each and every one of these messages means to me. It’s honestly something I never ever dreamt would come from my story and it’s still something that just blows me away every single day. That me tapping away at my computer each day would be able to somehow help or comfort someone else - that sort of thing only happens in movies, or Oprah. I still believe and think that it’s only my Mum and Grandma who read’s MFS, so this generous kind and huge response from all of these women just blows me away and simply proves to me that we truly are so much stronger, braver and capable of getting through this than we think…

...One of the things that I mentioned in my Planted with Light podcast is how simply emailing or leaving a comment on someones work can introduce you to a new friend or opportunity. I still constantly email new people, it’s just such a nice way to reach out to the world a little more - and when you’re self employed, it really is important to swallow your fear of reaching out to someone new as it’s the only way you’ll be able to connect. The outcome of some of these emails/connections still boggle my mind, and a few incredibly lovely connections are already popping up for Paris and I just stare at my emails in utter shock at how kind people on the other side of the world can be.

The back story to this story is that a very kind reader from London left a comment on my Paris post to simply calm my nerves about getting lonely while eating alone while I’m there for three months. I of course replied to her comment, but then wanted to thank her again, so I sent her a quick email saying thank you for her support and that if I make it up to London while I’m in Paris it would be really lovely to meet over a coffee, or wine. What happened next left me completely speechless last night, I then showed my Mum and even she didn’t have the words to explain how kindness like this is able to reach around the whole world. Annmaree from Donuts & Detours shared and penned the kindest post about how a simple comment, message or email is able to have such an impact on someone else. It really is the lovely moments like this that helps you get through your own dark moments (notice this is now moments, and not days!), it’s hearing from brave, scared and hopeful women who have nothing left to loose but are willing to thrive from a terrible experience and keep going that makes all of this just seem that little bit more honest, real and easier to handle. And oddly makes MFS feel ‘new’ again. I never ever set out to inspire or comfort, it was/is just me sharing a painful part of my life, but knowing that it has helped these women even in the smallest of ways equally breaks and fills my heart. It’s terribly sad, but also comforting to know that you’re not alone. We sadly all go through terrible times in our lives, but I guess, it’s how you keep going through those moments that really show not only yourself, but those who care for you how strong you really are. To all of the truly beautiful, brave and inspiring women who have overcome terrible hardship and have risen up against all of the odds - Made From Scratch is for you, take each day as it comes and be incredibly proud of how far you have come. x