Written by Charlene Hartung


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21 Dec, 2022

I really don’t know about you but 2022 was a tough year for me. 

In 2020 and 2021 we had other challenges but nothing was as rough as 2022, that being my personal opinion. Having said that, 2022 also had some wonderful moments that really brought me to my knees in a positive way. 

I was sick often this year. I usually become sick in September every year, which means that I have to take a break and just gather myself. It’s my body’s way of letting me know ‘you have overextended yourself Charlie’.  But this year I was sick so often. Not feeling and with no energy for anything. I struggled with my mental health which led me to seeing a psychologist to guide me through my struggles and how I was feeling. It was hard at times to express my feelings which made it even more confusing. I couldn’t tell what was wrong in words but the low low feelings were there. My anxiety tripled and it was all consuming and crippling at times. 

I found myself crying because I couldn’t get my crap together. I hated feeling helpless, and hopeless for no reason.
I felt angry a lot. Call it pent up anger at things that happened years ago or anger at things that happened a few minutes ago. 

I stopped exercising – something that was a constant in my life for the past 5 years. 

I felt thicker when I looked at myself in the mirror, however at the same time, I was equally comfortable and happy in my skin.  

In June this year we officially launched All Things Charlie and registered a Trust, The Blush Foundation, under which amongst other things The Sanitary Towel Project is run. Planning these events was just amazing. So many people and companies supported us. The hand outs of the sanitary towels at schools and hostels really did so much for my soul and it was wonderful to see the help we were extending to these young girls. 

I made new friends and what blessings they have been to my life. 

Although I still don’t have things figured out completely, I have however learnt to be in the moment more. 

To enjoy quiet time more.

To not overextend myself. 

It’s okay to say no thank you, or no i cannot do that right now. My plate is full. If you are anything like me I pile on things all the time. 

To express my discomfort and unhappiness with a situation. 

Recently I started walking a few times a week again and it has definitely contributed to better sleep and just my mood in general. Just didn’t have the mental capacity some days to get up. That in itself brought so many guilty feelings. I had worked so hard to get the body that I have now and now I’m choosing bad habits again. It’s a constant struggle every day to keep thinking positive thoughts, to not focus on the negative and to see the silver lining. My dr prescribed antidepressants, and we’ve had to change the dosage 3 times now. I do believe we are at the right dose now as I’ve been feeling good for a while now. 

As the year comes to an end, I remain eternally grateful for the blessings in my life. My husband, my children. My family. My friends. My health. The things money cannot buy. 

And I remain cognisant that I am favored. 

My message to you is to be present. Take in every emotion, every opportunity, every mind blowing event and choose you. You matter, your dreams matter. 

Nothing is impossible. 

Seek help if you don’t know what is going on with you, if you feel uneasy, uncomfortable and cannot explain things. 

May 2023 bring you the love and happiness your heart desires. 

God Bless, Charlie 


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