My Time at Gala.
On the 26th of October , I had the pleasure of being among my fellow NAMI members celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the local support group that was to become NAMI Pennsylvania Southeast. Families' United for Mental Health was the name of this founding group of family members, and it began in 1978.
The Gala was held at Presidential Caters located near Norristown. The big event included music performed by a Big Band. The event lasted until late into the night, and participates feasted on a full course diner, I thought The chocolate pudding was extraordinary.
The following founding members spoke a few words: Roselyn Wealth, and Ed Leblanc about the beginning days of a fledging group of residents looking for some mutual support among others just like them.
I have been a member of NAMI PA since 1995. It was that year that I became aware of the organization while reporting for a Mental Health Newsletter I published/wrote, called The Inner Voice.
The Inner Voice was a 7 to 8 page newsletter that I published on news and happenings in mental health. It was a project I believed in, but it meant I had to come out as someone diagnosed with a mental illness. There were days when I had that belief, The idea I could still aspire to be better, tested. It was on one of those days that I received a letter of support and a small check to fund the publication for another issue.
To find out that there were people out there who counted on reading what I published was an awesome positive feeling.
It became an integral part of my recovery plan and so at the night of the Gala, I celebrated being among those who were the instrumental in the beginning days of that recovery plan.
My newsletter project eventually led to other opportunities and eventual employment and this night I took some time to thank those who believed in me, had faith in me, and supported me when I needed it.
Special Thanks to Mr and Mrs LeBlanc for their letter of encouragement, and support on that day. I also send an overall Thank You to NAMI for making me feel welcome, in a world that at times seemed very un-welcoming.