In October last year, I made a promise I'd quickly break. I told a reporter that if the Prime Minister didn't reveal what we agreed during the debate around medevac, I'd do it myself. It was out of absolute frustration.
But when the deadline passed, I was left with a choice. Do I come through on what I said, or do I back down?
Normally, if I give my word, I keep it. But it's more complicated when that means harming the people you're trying to protect.
Faced with a choice like that, do I do what's easiest for me and come out with what I've been itching to say for a really long time, or do I stay mum for longer?
The problem I'm facing is that the agreement I made gets torn up if I reveal it. Not out of spite, mind you. The reason it gets torn up is because it can't be delivered if it's out in the open. It literally can't be. To work, the people affected can't know.
What's at stake is massive. I know that what we've agreed will make a huge difference to the lives of those people in offshore detention. It'll make their lives better, and it will make our country better.
Keeping this secret is making me miserable, because it's not in my nature to have to try and hide things from the public. But I know that keeping this secret, as miserable as it's making me, is the right thing to do.
So that's the problem I'm in. I'm suffering to keep a secret that I don't want to hold on to forever. And I'm bearing that, because I want to help the people in offshore detention to get on with their lives. I want the country to be able to move past what's happened.
If I act to relieve the pressure I'm under, I'd make myself feel better, but it would come at a terrible cost.
In my weaker moments, it's a trade I'm prepared to make. In October last year, it was a trade I was prepared to make.
I'm incredibly frustrated that I've got to sit on this, and it wears on me. I've got to remind myself though that what I'm going through is nothing compared with what they're going through, and if they were in my shoes, they'd stay mum too.
It's not an irony lost on me that some of the people most insistent that I speak out about the deal are the people who care the most about the wellbeing of asylum seekers. They say because I'm quiet about the agreement, I don't care about people in offshore detention. I'm not offended by it. I see why they'd say it. But it's wrong.
I've asked people to trust me on this, and I know that's not always easy. Politicians aren't the most trusted species on the planet, and there's good reason for that.
But if you care about the welfare of asylum seekers, you do not want me to reveal the deal I made with the government. If you care about what's good for the country, you don't want me to reveal the deal.
You may want the government to be embarrassed, and I get why. You may want to know out of curiosity. I get that too. But - and you have to take my word for this - if you knew what was agreed, you'd hate me for torpedoing it.
And in my stronger moments, I know better than to do anything that would have those people lose their hope. When hope's all you've got, the vanity of a senator who wants to look good is pretty far from your mind.
Every day I'm forced to keep this secret, I'm struggling. I've lost fans and friends over this, some of which I'll never get back. But I got into this job to do good, not just look good. I'm breaking my promise, because it's the right thing to do.
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