I took my soul out; shook it a little

to get the wrinkles out.  Held it up to the sun.

Frayed around the edges.  Slightly grimy.

Needs a wash, I thought, turning it in the light;

chuck it in the machine with a cup of detergent –

perhaps some NapiSan for the ground-in dirt.

Still turning it, I looked beneath the stains.

Patterns emerged in the warp and weft:

tightly woven knots of experience;

the denim of hard times; embroideries of joy.

It’s not dirt, I thought; what do you call it?

Patina.  Patina, that’s it.  And put it back.

For Linda, with thanks

Briefly: I wrote this as a way of thanking my clinical psychologist, Linda, after two gruelling years of the most intense and challenging therapy. Without Linda’s therapy there is no doubt in my mind that I would have died years ago. None.

After working with Linda I had 7 years of stability – not one drink, not one hospitalisation. Life was VERY good. I still had my ups and downs (that’s inevitable when you have Bi-Polar Disorder, Type 2) but I could cope with them and manage them.

It’s only in the last couple of years that things have slipped again. Basically, I got over-confident, I stopped doing the things that helped me maintain my stability and as a result the last 2 years have been pretty hellish. Many drinking binges, many hospitalisations in psychiatric clinics, my working career thrown into chaos, my life totally unmanageable.

I have returned to therapy with Linda and again, it’s going to be very long and hard; but I am confident that I will get my stability back once more. And life will once again be VERY good.