NEW Year’s Eve was a strange one for me. I’ve never been a fan of the enforced fun and anticlimactic build up but this end of year felt very different.

As the clock struck 12, it marked the very beginning of a totally unknown time ahead.

While our house in Bitterne Park was enveloped with fireworks and Greg was asleep, I rang the New Year in by lying in bed, messaging friends about how we could start this year off like we meant to go on.

I wanted to mark the day with doing something I am scared of and showing myself that I can tackle anything.

I had the idea to drive to Lepe beach and swim in the sea the next day.

Maybe they felt sorry for me but they agreed.

Last summer, I swam in the sea for the first time in my life.

I’m not a strong swimmer at all and am scared of all the things that could be swimming in the water alongside me.

My friend Chloe and I swum in the sea at Mudeford and despite being nervous, I loved it.

That was in the balmy conditions of mid August – very different from a choppy winter’s day.

In the morning, Greg listened with interest mixed with horror as I explained my idea.

It was already raining and the temperature was about five degrees.

He made me promise that if it was too cold or my asthma was a problem, I wouldn’t do it.

I agreed but secretly put my swimsuit on underneath my clothes knowing that I would definitely be going in.

All of our children were there; it is very important to me that Dali and Bay see me taking risks and overcoming fears.

They loved watching us walk out into the freezing water and cheered us on from the comfort of the shore in their rain suits and wellies.

The water was freezing, my toes were immediately numb, I think my lungs went into shock and possibly stopped working for a few seconds but it was one of the most exhilarating and life affirming activities I’ve ever done.

I realised that there is a lot to be afraid of in the world but sometimes if you turn towards what you are scared of, it won’t be as frightening as you think, especially if good friends surround you.