Secondly, my best friend has wrote a blog post of what went on at the event e.g. the running order of things, so I won't be discussing that part in this post. You can read her post here. And go see her vlog too!
I had speeches from my Mum, my date for the evening: Danny Bowman, Time To Change staff: Angela Slater and Chief Executive of the NTW NHS (our local mental health Trust, one of the largest in the UK) : John Lawlor. I couldn't look at them while they spoke because I knew I'd cry if I did but later, I thought how I'd always imagined what these people said about me would be the sort of thing people would say at my funeral. Because, no matter how bad a person is, they're only ever talked about in a positive light. And I guess that this shows two things; the first being that I believed I would die, and I believed that I was such a bad person that my death would be the only opportunity for people to say anything positive and even then, it is under duress.
Throughout the night I was asked countless times how it felt having this party, and was told numerous that I must be 'so proud.' It was a strange feeling, I expected the words to lose their meaning after being said so many times, but it was as though each time it was said, it pushed me a step further into the dream I believed myself to be in. It felt so surreal that at one point, I found myself in the toilets actually pinching myself to test whether it was reality. In the hotel room afterwards, I just remember feeling so content. With life. With my life.
The moment Danny and I first saw one another
Being given an award
Seeing all of these special people in my life actually meeting one another and chatting
And finally, having a slow dance and sing with Lauren and Sophie at the end of the night.
(Video created by Lauren Dewar)