I had drinks with one of my oldest friends tonight. She has a way of helping me without saying much. It’s the facial expressions that do it. You know how, if you’re talking to someone, they nod along or smile encouragingly. Judith doesn’t do that – or at least she doesn’t do it when my distorted thinking kicks in. Instead, she gets this quizzical look on her face, or she says ‘but that makes no sense.’
It’s such a help, because the distorted thinking is what hurts me so much. And because I know she loves and accepts me – without a shadow of a doubt – and because I know that she loves and accepts the real me, the one she’s known since we were 13, I never take offence.
But even writing that sentence is a huge step for me. Because until recently, I didn’t believe that my friends really loved me, or really wanted to be with me. I genuinely felt unloveable and therefore, I assumed that if someone asked to spend time with me, they were being kind. They weren’t being with me because it was fun. They were being with me because they felt bad for me.
So me knowing that Judith loves me – really loves me, warts and all, is a huge step forward.
I did this drawing on the train on the way to meet her. I drew it from imagination and – even though it’s not a great likeness – there’s something about it that I really like.