Dependence is a bit of a dirty word for me. I have always fought with every inch of me against any tendency to become the slightest bit attached to a professional. I have kept my heart cold. I have kept my emotions out of it.

I saw a counsellor once. I was supposed to see her for a year but the organisation extended it to eighteen months. After eighteen months I still wasn’t well, but there were no more funds so we had to say good bye. She was upset. I wasn’t. She hugged me tight and told me to email her any time. I knew I wouldn’t.

I saw a social worker for what – six years? SIX YEARS. And I watched her walk away from my door for the last time without a flicker of emotion.

It’s only now that I see that a certain level of dependence is necessary. Because what these professionals are asking you to do is to trust them, to listen to their messages about you above what your own mind and your past experience tells you. You have to take a leap and for a while you don’t have any footing in yourself, because you are trying to replace your old familiar belief system with what they are teaching you. And how do you do that without depending on them, at least for a while?

I feel so vulnerable. For the first time in my life I find myself dependent on professionals, on my CPN, H, my psychologist. I can just about cope with the fear that they will get sick/pregnant/die but I am routinely seized by terror that they are going to give up on me, decide they can’t cope with me, or that support will be arbitrarily withdrawn. Or that perhaps support will be withdrawn precisely because I’m becoming dependent, because dependence is a dirty word in services too. These fears make me feel particularly batshit, make me want to behave in all sorts of irrational ways.