Down and out in the frigid Tasmanian winter last year, Jacqui Lambie turned on the TV to be greeted by a broadcast of question time in the Federal Parliament.
It was the last thing she wanted to see.
"There's nothing worse than when you're sitting in the middle of winter ... and you're feeling depressed, and you're watching question time, and you actually realise just how low the standard actually is that's going on up here in Parliament House," she said, speaking to mefrom Canberra.
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"[You should] be very careful about how you treat your other parliamentarians.
"If you're smart, you shouldn't be yelling at them, you should be able to find a way to outsmart them."
Jacqui Lambie was in exile following her downfall at the hands of section 44 of the Australian Constitution, which prohibits anyone with dual citizenship from sitting in the Federal Parliament.
About 18 months after she resigned from the Senate, she won back her seat at the 2019 federal election, obtaining the balance of power, and with it, enormous influence.
Her time in the wilderness saw Senator Lambie struggle with feelings of hopelessness, particularly during the winter of last year.
"There was no work on offer, there was no nothing," Senator Lambie said. "I knew that I wouldn't be able to pay my house payments from about August, because I was about eight or nine months up."
"To make myself get out of bed every morning [was hard] - I haven't struggled like that since I was on a military pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs."
But Senator Lambie and her dad eventually turned their attention to the business of getting her back into the Senate.
Now that she's returned, she wants to shake things up in the capital, introducing a new sense of decorum to the halls of power.
That's coming from one who describes her former self as a "wrecking ball".
Senator Lambie said she'd changed as a person and a politician since she first stepped foot in the Senate in 2014, as a protege of billionaire businessman Clive Palmer.
She didn't last long in the Palmer United Party and has been as independent as they come since she struck out on her own.
"I think in that last 12-18 months I was in Parliament, people were starting to come up [to me] and say, 'You're actually starting to turn things around'," Senator Lambie said.
"They could see that I was a lot more settled, they were becoming a lot more comfortable with me."
The senator said she was a more effective politician now, as a result of being out of politics for a period.
"It's just made me probably a little bit more appreciative, but also gave me time to reflect, to see where I had gone wrong," she said.
Senator Lambie's father, Tom, whose Scottish heritage meant his daughter was a dual national during her first term in the Parliament, said he was "so bloody proud" of "the way she's gone about things" since her initial exit from Canberra.
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"She's gone back in there, putting one foot in front of the other," he said.
"She's way more mature as a politician [now] because she's been there before and she knows the place now."
Mr Lambie said it was "absolutely heartbreaking" for him when his daughter lost her seat "because I felt like it was my fault".
"But I said to her, 'You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and don't go backwards'," he said.
Since returning to federal politics, Senator Lambie has asserted herself as one of Canberra's key players, taking full advantage of the balance of power she holds.
She's brokered a deal with the Morrison government to have Tasmania's $157 million public housing debt wiped and has this week been on a media blitz, listing the conditions for her support for the Coalition's proposed welfare reforms.
And she's flagged the state's struggling health system as another area she'd like to address.
The senator also said issues around mental health and the unemployment rate in Tasmania were disturbing, perhaps signalling other deals she may try to sew up.
My son is an example of what happens when you have access to the support & rehab services you need. 500K Aussies don't have access to those services. My son has moved on from the past, he can thank his 18 mths @teenchallenge in Toowoomba & the people of QLD for that.#auspol— Jacqui Lambie (@JacquiLambie) September 10, 2019
One of her conditions for supporting a proposal to drug-test welfare recipients is that the government increase the number of drug rehabilitation services.
"What annoys me more than anything up here [in Canberra] is that these people [MPs] have ... never had to live on Vegemite toast for a week," she said.
"These people are telling those people out there who are living on or below the poverty line how they should live their lives."
Unlike many of her colleagues, Senator Lambie never went to university, a fact she said used to "frighten the hell out of me".
"But I'm a lot more comfortable in my skin now," she said.
A Tasmanian Liberal senator once told me that Senator Lambie was the most frequent user of the Parliamentary Library.
When I put that to her, she laughs.
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"I still am, mate," Senator Lambie said. "I don't have a heap of backbenchers doing all my study for me."
"I'm a big believer in 'knowledge is power'."
This time around, it was the knowledge Senator Lambie gained upon reflection that she said was making her a better political operator.
"[Previously] I didn't work as effectively with the premier [Will Hodgman] as I could have done," she said.
"So I wanted to make sure that was one of the first things I did [after getting re-elected], to say, 'Well, I've got this balance [of power] now - let's help each other so we can help ... Tasmania'.
Senator Lambie said Mr Hodgman had been "very open" with her since she prevailed at the federal poll.
"I understand that there's certain things he has difficulty in asking for because he's got to go through a chain of command - I do not," she said.
"So the way around that is for them to be feeding back into me when they know that they're not going to be able to get [what they want].
"Get me to go and get it."
The winter of Senator Lambie's discontent has passed.
And the temperature's about to get a lot hotter on Capital Hill.