Sometimes I feel like I can only breathe when I shut and lock the bathroom door. I’m safe here. I’m alone. That’s often when I know I’m really struggling; when tears loosen and my body relaxes in relief, all because I’ve closed a door to the outside world. Depression and anxiety have reared their ugly heads and I buckle under the weight of their accusations:

“You don’t have any real friends.”
“Your husband would be so much happier without you.”
“You’re terrible at your job.”­
“You’re worthless and unloved.”

These all-consuming thoughts feel so true; they are true … aren’t they? All reason has been drowned out by their deafening roars. Awake or asleep, my mind takes me to dark places and I’m desperately searching for the light switch.

It was easy to welcome the lockdown restrictions and shut myself away so as not to be a burden to anyone. But as comforting as that may sound if you also have these dark thoughts, I promise it’s not going to help in the long run. At the heart of everything, we all need friendship, companionship, support, love and a chance to give something of ourselves. We’re built for relationships, and shutting everyone out only adds to the spiral of despair and darkness.

My faith in God is a key part of my life, and it’s wonderful to remember that I am created in his image. As Father, Son and Holy Spirit (3 persons, 1 God) he has relationship and love within himself – he is love. That longing for relationship and love that we all feel is because his fingerprint is on us; we reflect his goodness and light, but the dark powers of this world often snuff it out.

“We’re built for relationships, and shutting everyone out only adds to the spiral of despair and darkness.”

I have been fortunate enough to have a strong support system ­– my husband, family, and friends at church – who all took the time to show me what was actually true. They pointed me to Jesus and reminded me of his goodness; they brought some of that light that I couldn’t find by myself, and helped me navigate those dark paths. Sadly, I know that not everyone has the same support available to them, either because there’s no-one nearby who can help or because friends and family don’t understand.

That’s why it’s been so wonderful to work with Torch. As a graphic designer at Tiger Finch Creatives, I saw Torch’s vision from the very beginning to bring light into the darkness of people’s lives; to walk with people who are struggling in various ways and to help them navigate their own paths. I know, first-hand, how important it is to have people like this in your life.

I know that Torch isn’t a replacement for medical, psychiatric, or any other type of professional care, but it is made up of loving and compassionate people from a range of different churches who are offering to help where they can. They can assist with practical jobs and errands, they can point you in the direction of professional support if needed, and they can listen, talk and pray. I would encourage you to open the door a little and let the light into your life. 

Sarah works with Tiger Finch Creatives as a graphic designer, and lives in Calcot with her husband, Jan.