by Peter Waite
Last week HealingWell.com hit a major milestone, surpassing 100,000 registered community members. Growth the last few years has been exponential. We don't do any advertising. Most people learn about this site via word of mouth, just friends telling friends. I've thought about how to best celebrate this milestone and what it means. I decided it might be more appropriate to share what HealingWell means through the eyes of its members.
I received the following emails over the last year and I think they best capture what HealingWell is all about. I can honestly say they are the reason I do what I do.
Email from HealingWell member:
I feel kind of weird about this but I just wanted to write and thank you for your HealingWell.com site. In fact, thank you so much! Your website has been such an oasis for me. It was one of the first websites I found when I was looking for help with my own panic disorder. Since then it has kind of been a mission for me to help others because the suffering is so needless with this disorder.
I was so drawn into your site because I have struggled with depression and low self esteem all my life. I also know in my heart of hearts medication was NOT the answer. I had a feeling it even made things worse. I would come back to your site over and over to use the directory for panic attack resources which is just fantastic.
I was bed bound for a while there! One day it clicked that I was having panic attacks because I was AFRAID of having panic attacks! I would never have been able to realize that if I hadn't really put my foot down and decided to do whatever it takes to get better and found useful websites like yours to learn everything I possibly can.
I recently stumbled across your site again and remembered how much it meant to my life then and the new lease I have on life now! Thank you so much!
Email from HealingWell member:
I have been a member of your web support group for a couple of years on the Crohn's disease board. I can honestly tell you that your site has been a beacon of strength for me and countless others. If you only knew how much it has helped me by finding others across the globe that share the same common bond of this disease. It is so hard to explain my situation to other people at times and to have others that understand but your website has given me this.
I found it one night when I was in the deepest darkest place of my disease praying for answers. I felt lost and was searching for someone that knew how I felt and came upon your site through Google. For a couple of years now I have posted on a number of threads and made some incredible friendships. There have been happy times, bad times, mad times, and educating times but HealingWell.com is still the best source of knowledge and strength that I have found outside of my faith, family and doctors.
I just wanted to tell you thank you for thinking outside of the box and doing something that put others first. You have brought comfort to thousands. Thanks again and know that you have touched the life of at least one person.
Thank you to everyone who has made HealingWell.com the supportive and healing community site it has become. I especially owe a big shout out to the hundreds of moderators over the years who have volunteered countless hours of their own time to give back and help others. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Together, both members and moderators alike, we can continue to make a difference and help others start "healing well."
What has HealingWell.com community meant to you?
Peter Waite, M.S., M.A. is founder and CEO of HealingWell.com, and holds graduate degrees from Utah State University and Brandeis University. Founded in 1997, HealingWell.com is the foremost support community on diseases, conditions, and chronic illness. HealingWell.com has been featured by BBC Online, USA Today, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Industry Standard, Reader's Digest, PBS.org, Forbes.com, and USA Weekend Magazine. HealingWell.com has also been the recipient of numerous health industry awards. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and four children.