"I don’t know who ultimately receives this email, but I want you to know how the RC has changed my world. I was, from the outside perspective, the perfect mom, fitness buff, successful, over-achiever. Graduating Summa Cum Laude and never really knowing a B grade (except Chem, I really hate Chem). That all changed for me significantly in 2013 with a medical trauma that would forever change my brain and thinking. Yes, the anxiety was already present, yes, I was already dealing with genetic predispositions, but I was highly functioning. I just didn’t recognize it, and the secret of family suicides and hospitalizations was kept thoroughly and safely swept under the proverbial “rug”. I didn’t even know what was possibly looming in my brain. I was hit out of nowhere with a full-on nervous break-down. I’ve had several since (I am in the perpetual state of one as I write this since Xmas 2016). No one understood. My family abandoned the strong woman they knew to be Julie, the strongest of them all- so they would say. No one knew what to do with this version of me. I was the fiery, Latin that came in a small package. Now I was defeated in every way. Head down, frozen in shame and anxiety, I was in my chrysalis. As I look back, I was the perfect storm just waiting to happen, all I needed was a trigger. It’s been a very hard road full of pain and abandonment from those closest to me. It’s been a lonely road. Nothing is worse for anxiety and depression than seclusion and loneliness-it’s truly their playground where they can continue to wreak havoc in the prison of your own mind.
The RC is slowly bringing me out of this seclusion. Slowly helping me see the self-worth that so many in my own family have made me lose. Never have I felt so small, shameful and insignificant. I believe God gave me a purpose, and when and if I defeat this, the world will hear a voice that has been suppressed for nearly 8 years. I will speak up. I will help to stop to break the stigma. This can happen to anyone. I am living proof. Thank you RC for loving me when I am crying in a chair, shaking with symptoms, giving love when I don’t feel like I deserve it. Helping me to not feel shame-even though I really still struggle with this. Keeping me focused on recovery. My recovery will happen (I pray), and I will use it to change this world. I am little, but God blessed me with the ability to stand in front of others and roar. That girl has been twisting and turning in her cocoon for quite some time. I don’t know who she will be, but the RC is helping her along this very hard, misunderstood, degraded path. The love of staff and members has become the family I lost in my storm. It means survival for me. You are literally saving my life.
Ashley-you are so special and full of maternal love. You are my rock. You are my person. The RC has struck gold with you.
Bill-how amazing are you, listening to me and caring SO much. You are right where God designed you to be. I know I can be a pain in the butt, but there you are, ready to listen and help.
Amanda-oh, what a bright amazing light you are. Always ready to love and listen. You radiate healing and hope.
Mary-you make me smile. You give me strength. Your creativity and witty come-backs, I need them.
Ernest-that big, booming voice that couldn’t be more gentle and loving. Thank you for just being there for me.
David-your strength, what you’ve been through, I look up to you. You are a Rockstar.
Emily-Just met you, but love you so much. You will help so many on your journey. I see you changing this world. You are wise beyond your years. Prayers for this new challenge-God’s got you and your family, and so does the RC. ️
Maria-oh Maria, we are so much alike. Talking to you has brought me out of my deepest blues. You have a gift. You might not be working in the hospital, but you are healing others on a whole other level.
Johnny- one of the nicest, most loving humans I’ve met. You are a gem.
Clayton-always ready to listen, gentle soul, so kind and loving. Thank you for listening through the tears. You have the gift of empathy.
Mr. Michael McQueen-you see me crying and always stop. It means so much. You are truly a God-given gift to me on many days.
Remeka-I just love you. You are God’s gift to so many. You’ve loved on me and given me pep talks. You SEE me, and I appreciate that so much.
RC would be lost without you, and girl, you can cook!
Chris-only one of the nicest, kindest, most understanding humans I’ve ever met. The quiet leader behind it all that takes very little credit for all he does.
Marilyn-Reaching out, checking in, advice like the best of therapists, what can I say?
Jeannie-For the understanding, the hope that things will get better...you’ve helped me more than you will ever know.
Brian-you can bring it out of me. You have kindness and love, and you see my pain. Thank you for doing what you do and being you. A calming presence for me.
Pam-you don’t say much because you are always working hard, but you slide those sweet, motherly comments in and I hear you. You don’t have to say anything to see your goodness and love.
Jerry-One day art and I will be friends, it’s not for the lack of you trying. Determination to see my possibilities. I love you for it.
Teresa-For those kind comments you give me in passing. I don’t see you much, but when I do, you always say something good and meaningful. Thank you.
Cheryl-what a sweetheart you are. So gentle. I am thankful for you, your presence and your class. A fellow yogi whom I deeply respect.
To all the members and anyone I may have forgotten, you are the best humans I know. What we’ve been through changes us. We see the world through different glasses. Humbling, it takes the ego out of the equation. That makes us a different breed. I’m so thankful for my people.
RC. I love you. I would be lost without you and the family I am making there. When your biological family abandons you, it’s hard-really hard. I am rebuilding after being leveled. Thank you for being my support. I couldn’t ask for better influences in my life. God bless you all".