A brief exchange on micro.blog made me more closely examine why I started writing about mental health here.
After admitting (to myself more than anything) that I had problems I needed an avenue to explore and deal with them. All the professional advice is that it's best to talk but that's still not something I'm necessarily comfortable doing in person.
I was referred to a counselling service by my doctor - which performed an assessment and wanted to begin a course of cognitive behavioural therapy - but, as I've mentioned before, it was only phone based and a bit inflexible. It was also virtually impossible to find somewhere quiet and private at work where I could do it.
My initial post was as much a statement to myself that "you must face this, you must take it seriously" as anything. Not just writing about it but actually dealing with it.
What started as a fun project became deeply introspective and, perhaps, lead me down paths I didn't want, or wasn't ready, to walk.
It changed me, maybe even broke me.
I focused too heavily on some bad times and negative emotions; digging up things from the past, that I perhaps and not really considered before, sparked a chain of events that would continue to this day. You might argue that if I hadn't done it I would be a lot better but I feel this was something that was going to come out one way or another - the project just happened to be the catalyst.
It was something that needed to happen, it just took me almost four years to accept it and decide to act.
While my approach now differs to the project, there is one philosophy that connects them: with the #write365 project I wanted to write in public to better hold myself accountable. Now, by discussing my issues on the blog it feels a bit more real, that I am taking it more seriously, that by writing in public I can hold myself to account.