This afternoon a dear friend came to visit. We haven’t seen each other for a year and it was good to catch-up. We ate chocolate biscuits, drank tea and chatted.

As I waved her goodbye, I pondered on the unexpected and pleasant feeling I had inside.

I felt loved.

She had listened to me without judging, trying to fix things or even offering to pray. She simply listened and loved me. As a result, I felt built-up and a tiny bit hopeful that there will be light at the end of this particular very dark tunnel I find myself in.

I have been blessed with some good friends.

First and foremost is Adi, my best friend and husband who supports me, prays with me, does funny things to make me laugh, takes me on late night walks when I’m too tense/angry/miserable/hopeless/hyperalert to find rest any other way, and loves me unconditionally.

There are a handful of other good friends too, people with whom I can be myself without fear of being judged.

Having a mental health condition is isolating and stops me doing ordinary things like going to church and socialising. It won’t always be like this (I hope) but for now, life feels limited because of the PTSD flashbacks, dissociation, and exhaustion that goes with those.

So when friends meet me in a ‘safe’ place for coffee/breakfast/dinner or visit me or text or email or ring, I am blessed. In that moment, hope and courage rise in me and I know there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel.

In that moment, I know I’m not alone and I feel loved.