My mum and dad had done everything. So had Sally. So had Paul. The only person not trying was me. The reason I wasn’t trying was 10 years earlier a consultant psychiatrist had said – ‘you’ll never, ever work again’. That’s how powerful his words had been.
Eventually, I did get released and my divorce came through, and I felt like a lot of pressure had been taken off me. I then kind of fell into a relationship with someone a lot younger than me. At the time, people said to me, you know, you shouldn’t go out with her, she’s got a history of violence. Well I had been on my own for a long time, so I thought, in for a penny in for a pound, I’ll see how this works out. At first everything was ok, and then one Friday night, she got really drunk and she smashed a bar in my face and put 14 stiches in my face. I went to crown court and Sally came with me, and she said ‘how are you?’ and I said ‘I’m glad its over Sal’ and she said ‘that’s not what I asked you, I said, how are you?’ I said ‘I’m ok’. She said ‘How are your voices?’ and I said ‘Well they are there but I’m coping’. She said, ‘you’ve just reached a major turning point in your life. Any other time, this amount of pressure would put you back in hospital, you’ve got to build on this’. So I said ‘Well I don’t know what to do’. She said ‘well look there’s a pub around the corner, if we have to sit in there and get pissed, you’re not leaving until you decide what you are going to do’. So you can imagine I dragged that conversation out!