The following is a featured entry in our Share Your Story contest, which celebrates our 10-year anniversary with stories from past attendees.
It is with gratitude that I write to you, the organizers of the 2014 Massachusetts Conference for Women. A friend recommended I attend your 2013 Conference. She knew my last five years had been spent as a caretaker and I was feeling isolated. I wanted to give back to the community and I wanted to write. But I felt unworthy.
At last year’s Conference, Linda Cliatt-Wayman spoke about her own fear. She reached into ten thousand hearts with the words: “God spoke to me … and he said, ‘Linda, you must go there. There is someone in the audience.’” Her words left me determined to change.
On December 7, 2014, I submitted my first online post. Since then, I have written 90 posts about fear, the stigma of mental illness, and caretaker supports. I also give back to my community. I volunteer at a homeless shelter, support a small non-profit, and am on the Board of Trustees for the NH Writers’ Project. The 2013 conference was the impetus to change, opening the doors to writing and volunteerism.
Although my works are small, I am like many other women, all trying to make the world just a little bit nicer.