Most of the time, I’m a “looking forward” type of person. So it takes a bit of work for me to stop and look back. But every year we develop our annual report and that gives me a great reason to pause and remember.
We just released the 2018 Annual Report. Our theme is “Stigma-Free Zone” and we’ve included a couple of stories from our members who share how stigma has impacted them. We also tell about one of our volunteers, a retired police detective, who is helping our members rebuild the dignity that stigma has stolen.
As we pulled together the list of funders, volunteers, sponsors and hosts I was reminded, yet again, of the often-quoted truth that “no man is an island.” Though mental illnesses push people into isolation and loneliness that can make them feel like islands, because of the involvement and support of so many in the wider community, our members are reminded regularly that they are not alone.
Long-time member Linda told me recently about the day she sat down next to another member who seemed to be sad. She asked him if he was okay. Instead of directly answering her question, he responded, “You are the first person who has talked to me today.” That’s why we call The Well a community. Our members come alongside each other with a compassion and understanding that few others ever show them. As they look after each other, they help make each day not only manageable, but meaningful.
I hope you’ll read through the report and take a few minutes to think about ways your friendship with the community here at The Well has enriched your own life. Looking back, I certainly see how it has touched mine.