Thoughts about international Women’s day (March 8th) by Claudia LeBlanc.

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   One of the things I love most about coming to my weekly MDAO women's group are the women.

   Every week, we bravely share some of our innermost feelings that even some of our closest friends or family don't know.  It is a place to come to when you want your voice heard and some validation that your life matters.  We not only share our personal stories and struggles with mental illness, but we help one another in such a loving and supportive manner that it never comes across as condescending or malicious in any way.  We're all treated with respect, which allows for some pretty amazing exchanges when your heart is up and your guard is down.  

   I am honored to be around such women who, day in and day out, stare life in the face and courageously say, 'Yes, I still have hope'. It is this hope that keeps us coming back, week after week.  Even in our most darkest hours, a flicker of light shines through when you can come in, sit down, and bare your soul.  

   It's courageous and transformative and I am honored and thankful that these types of groups exist and that I can say to myself, 'You are not alone".    

by Claudia LeBlanc