Melinda, Jessica, & Stephanie,


My life before SPIRIT was a dark, cold, and lonely place.  I was drifting aimlessly.  Lost, broken, and alone.  But most of all, my life was devoid of hope.


When I started SPIRIT, I was sick with nerves.  I think that lasted a few days, and then I started learning.  The resource information was only a small part of it – most of what I learned was what was inside me.


I never knew I had such tolerance, patience, empathy, humor, talent, and a nearly inexhaustible capacity for friendship.  One of the most painful, crippling, difficult parts of living with mental illness is the isolation and loneliness.  SPIRIT is a miracle elixir of hope and fellowship.  For the first time I can ever remember, I had found a place of support and loving acceptance.


Now our class is coming to an end, and I am nervous again.  But this time it's different.  It's an excited, optimistic feeling.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that, though class is ending, the community of support is not gone.


I know I will never again be hopeless.  I will never again be alone.  I will never again be afraid.  And I will never be the same.


Sincerely, and with all my heart, I thank you.


Class of Summer 2006