The backdrop in numbers

Thirteen A grades

One BSc (Hons) first class

Nine months of work before leaving my first career

Two children

Two episodes of postpartum psychosis

Ten sessions of ECT

I’ve lost count of episodes of anxiety and depression

225mg Venlafaxine, 5mg Aripiprazole

39 years on the planet

Half a life-changing pizza…

About that pizza

An inauspicious Thursday evening

There was something about that pizza right from the start.  It surprised me with its beauty, all hand-stretched bubbles and micro-mushrooms.  No tomato – just the fragrance of truffle oil and a scattering of rocket.

As we talked over that half a pizza, I told you about my fears for the future and my deep loneliness.  My feeling of my career having been stolen from me by mental illness.  My plans to volunteer with a mental health trust, my worries of never finding that thing, that elusive vocation which would satisfy me and make me feel whole again.

My beautiful friend, you turned it on its head.  Wonderful and unfamiliar like my tomato-less pizza.  You wondered if I could spend a year on enjoyment, on pleasure, on finding out about me again.  Beauty rather than darkness.  Could I take a gap year from obligation to any previous map of what my life should look like if I hadn’t been ill?

Somehow that half a pizza persuaded me that I really, really wanted to try.