TIME TO REPLENISH MY SPIRIT by Dede Ranahan

First, huge thank-you's to Mary Barksdale, Ronni Blumenthal, Kendra Burgos, GG Burns, May Enos, Deborah Fabos, Heidi Frank, Mike Gaeta, Val Greenoak, Janet Hays, Gloria Hill, Sherry Hunter, Linda Olivia, Teresa Pasquini, Karen Riches, Joann Strunk, Lynne Warberg, and Craig Willers.

Thank you for sharing your stories on my blog in 2016. I know some of you will have on-going stories here. I appreciate your voices and your trust. Your/Our stories have power.

And special thanks to my daughters. Kerry Joiner - for your technical support. Without you I would never have gotten this blog up and running. Marisa Farnsworth - for your beautiful photos that I use for Happy Pics. And Megan Mace, my long distance daughter who seems to read everything I post. The three of you mean the world to me.

As we approach Christmas and Hanukkah, I hope and pray that all my readers and writers and family will have calm, peaceful holidays. We can be cautiously optimistic with the historic passage of The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act that was signed yesterday. At the same time, we must remain vigilant that it doesn't get decimated with poor implementation and the potential, looming repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Our journey has always been perilous and parts of it remain so going forward.

I'm taking a short holiday break from my routine postings here. Your stories both inspire me and weigh heavily. I need to attend to replenishing my spirit. I'll resume posting in January. Meanwhile, being the techie I'm not, I'll be researching ways to make this blog better and connected to more social media. At 72, this is a learning curve I hadn't anticipated, but I can't stop now. I believe getting our stories out there to the uninformed, inexperienced public is paramount in sustaining and expanding understanding and support for serious mental illness.

I'll be checking my email inbox for more of your stories to publish in the new year. Meanwhile,
just so you know, you are my heroes. I send you love.

 My kitty, The Jazz, in a contemplative pose.

My kitty, The Jazz, in a contemplative pose.