Around four months ago Louis and I moved into a little flat together in one of my favourite parts of the city.

The way golden winter morning light lands on bookshelves and blue-tacked prints, the way we have this space that’s just ours, the way I don’t have to anxiously worry if someone else is in the kitchen or the bathroom or using the washing machine – everything about it feels like magic. Hot showers and hot cups of tea and candle light and having space that’s not just a bedroom in a student house, but somewhere that I love – I’m still unable to fully comprehend that these things are actually here to enjoy, that I survived enough to experience them.

Communal living at University and difficult circumstances with my family meant I’ve often felt dislodged, not at home anywhere over the last few years. It left me scrambling, unable to ever feel like I was fully recharging or able to stay afloat. Now, all of our books sit together and we can listen to whatever music we want whilst we cook dinner and it just feels like a dream. Friends come over and we fill the place with pink balloons and confetti and laugh and I find myself unable to quite believe that I’ve managed to get this far – sharing what feels like a perfect little flat with my favourite person, looking out over the city. That despite all of the trips to hospital and doctors appointments and days when I couldn’t leave the house or my room or my bed or stop crying or remember how to breathe – I am here and I am making progress and I’m not just surviving. And I feel so endlessly grateful for that.

I’ve included two pieces with this post – one written a couple of years ago, when even going to the kitchen to make pasta felt impossible and one from recently – sitting on the sofa on a Sunday not unlike today, finally feeling at home again.