I first met Susan in a mental-health hospital in London. Susan was a lawyer, 30-something, tall, with dark hair and olive skin, attractive, witty, intelligent, and very depressed. This was her fourth time as an inpatient. She was diagnosed with chronic, treatment-resistant depression.
Susan was sitting in the patients’ lounge. She was playing with a jigsaw puzzle. I said “Hello” and asked her how she was getting on.
“Okay,” she said.
“It looks like you have nearly finished the puzzle,” I said.
“Yeah, but I probably won’t get to finish it,” replied Susan.
“Well, I suspect there may be a piece missing.”
I saw Susan again at the end of my visit. She was reading a magazine.
“Did you finish the puzzle?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she replied.
“What about the missing piece?” I asked.
“Everything was here,” she smiled.
“Yeah, I always think there must be a piece missing. It’s the story of my life,” she said. We both smiled because we both knew what she was really talking about.