Betty arrived at her first Journey to Freedom class with walls she didn't even know she had constructed. She didn't even know exactly what had prompted her to join the group; she just knew her life felt grey and heavy.
Early on, the facilitator asked the group, "Where do you find joy?" Betty had no answer. She couldn't think of a time when she had ever known joy. She admitted to experiencing times of depression and to feeling hopeless that life would ever be better. After nine weeks of meeting with her group, though, something changed.
"I am more open to people now and more open to being challenged in different situations," Betty says with a smile. At her facilitator's suggestion, she joined the next Journey to Freedom class the following fall. Again, they asked, "What brings you joy?" This time, Betty had a different answer: "My dogs, my children and grandchildren - lots of things bring me joy." Her facilitator was amazed at the change in her attitude in such a short time.
"I am stronger mentally and physically now," Betty says. "It is nice to have a plan to becoming healthier and more fit in my life; and someone to help me with that plan when I need it. The YMCA has given me that."