Some people see their recovery in steps/distinct phases.
A friend contributed this idea of how he has seen his recovery:
Step 1: I used to have ups and downs with no control over my moods. I had no idea these ups and downs were part of a recognisable disorder or illness.
Step 2: I recognised that my ups and downs were a diagnosis (manic depression) but did not know I could do anything to control my mood swings.
Step 3: I gained an awareness that I could influence my moods.
Step 4: I took responsibility for managing my moods.
Step 5: I am becoming more empowered.