However not everything that I learned was what you might expect. Here are just a few of the unexpected things that I learnt during my stay:
1. The friendships I made were unlike any other - I don't think I could ever recreate them even if I tried. I could tell them anything and I wouldn't get judged, because they understood what I was going through. I could laugh with those people, a proper laugh which gave me a small glimmer of hope. Shoutout to Meg - I'll never forget our friendship. 2. Without having my mobile phone or any form of social media, I discovered the many joys of letter writing, and phone calls. You wouldn't believe the excitement of receiving a letter in the post, or being told a friend is on the other end of the ward phone for you. Hour long phone calls with friends from home definitely kept me going when times were tough. 3. When you go on a home leave for a few days and come back with a new outfit, a new hair colour, or a new pair of socks, get ready for more compliments than you've ever received in your whole life. Everyone notices the little changes. 4. Get ready for marathon movie sessions of Harry Potter, high school musical, or friends. Edward scissor hands was a popular choice for my unit! 5. Hidden talents won't stay hidden for very long, trust me! Whether it's gymnastics in the soft room, singing along to the music channel at the top of your voice, or creating new dance moves in the lounge, they'll all come out at some point. 6. Who knew that a competitive game of badminton in the function would be the best way to get out all angry emotions of an evening? Not me! But it worked - I certainly got a lot of practice in during my stay in the hospital! 7. I've realised that I'm a hell of a lot stronger than I originally gave myself credit for - I was taken away from my family and put in a place where I knew no one and had no personal items or anything to give me comfort. And I still got through it?! That's pretty amazing and I've realised that I'm a lot stronger than I once thought. 8. When I came out of the hospital, I wasn't fully recovered - but I was so much closer to recovery than the day I went in. With this post I want to give a shoutout to all my priory friends and some of the crazy stuff we did in our spare time - which was in fact the whole time... from making a fort out of sofas to sticking sanitary towels on the cameras, and switching off all the water facilities in the unit because we thought it would be funny - I'll never forget some of those hilarious times!