Therapist is away at the moment, and I'm really missing her support, but before she left she kindly gave me some homework. So here it is. I've to think about the windows between episodes, how I recover, and take credit for what I did to get myself out of it.

This is a tricky one. I don't want to do it. I don't like taking credit for things I've done and am particularly bad with compliments (although I do think part of that is simply by virtue of being Irish and it's something we all do). Self praise is no praise!! However, I'm coming to realise that maybe, just maybe, that's not an entirely healthy attitude, so I'm going to think about this one, and I'm going to try and see what I actually did for myself that made things improve. I'm tempted to say I took drugs and I got better, but that would be to sell myself short and Therapist would probably kick my ass, so I'll look closer.

The biggest thing I did? This. This blog. I never in a million years thought I would get as much from it as I have done. The very act of writing has been so therapeutic, but then there have been all the spin off bonuses - I've 'met' some wonderful other people, people for whom I can give support, and in return support me. I've learned an awful lot. It's very hard to spend a lot of time on the interweb reading what other people have to say and not come across some really useful sites - organisations that I'd never heard of, blogs, support groups........ But before all that, blogging gave me a focus. When I came home from hospital, I was at a loss as to how to fill my days. I mostly sat and did nothing. I progressed to painting but quickly ran out of walls. So I started to write, and it gave me something to think about. Putting order on my thoughts made me feel better, so I was able to get dressed. Getting positive feedback? Huge!! And through talking to the whole world (ok, maybe the 10 or so people who check in here regularly) it became a whole lot easier to actually talk to people, in person. That made me feel strong enough to venture out of the house, and both myself and my dogs benefited from that one.

Yes, I also took medication. I'll reluctantly, grudgingly admit that maybe I needed that chemical lift. Will I always? I hope not, and that's a question for another day. I continued with counselling. I made it back to work. In short, I recovered.

So am I proud of myself? Well, actually, reading back over that, I am. The thing that helped the most is all my own. I didn't start it because someone told me to. I don't feel obliged to do it, I actively want to and look forward to writing. And it works. Thank you for helping me on this crazy journey!

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