I am eleven months into my journey of understanding my own mental health. I started therapy at the beginning of the year, joined Moodscope two months later and started medication six months in. I have said to friends many times that if someone had told me quite how tough it would be – understanding how harmful my thinking had become, coming to terms with the idea that I have something to get better from before even setting out on the road to a hopeful recovery – I don't know if I ever would have gone to that first counselling session. Despite many, many, moments of frustration I am just now starting to feel, nearly one year in, proud of what I have achieved so far and positive about where I might move to in the future.

I am the child of one of those relationships where everyone would have been better off if the parents had been brave enough to divorce. Now in my thirties and carting around the impact of growing up in a household where love was incredibly practical but never emotional, I have never had a relationship. My therapist and I are working hard on my non-existent self-esteem to get me to a point, we hope, where one day I believe that actually I do deserve to find love.

One of the things we have been stuck on since Day 1 (we are now on Day 302) is the notion of a blueprint. I have been given an emotional blueprint about romantic love and relationships from my family that doesn't function, for me at least. I asked desperately in my first session how could I ever find love with this damaged original blueprint underpinning everything I believe. "Simple", he replied. "Get a new blueprint".

Since then I have struggled to understand this concept – fine, you can get a new one but the original is always there. How is it possible to change the actual original blueprints of a house without tearing it down and starting again? I got to thinking today that yes... an original blueprint will look the same forever, short of starting from scratch – tough to do with life. But you're not the blueprint... you're the house. And you can change a lot of things about a house without that original blueprint being altered. You can paint the walls a different colour; hang new pictures; change the carpet; fit a new bathroom. Some people pop in a loft extension without needing planning permission, others knock down a wall (perhaps illegally!) without changing that original blueprint. The point is - that the house can end up looking very different to its' original plans, and it is that house that is the reality you create for yourself. Yes, the original blueprint remains – but it merely shows us a reflection of a past reality. It shows us where you started from. We only need to look at the house that you have built for yourself today to see how far you have come.

A Moodscope member.

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