Although I grew up in California, I first began to experience symptoms of mental illness when I was living in a monastery in Sri Lanka. I began to hear voices and ended up in a hospital there. I returned home, but continued to be symptomatic. I was hospitalized, which is where I first learned about Putnam Clubhouse.
I became a Clubhouse member. I work in the Hospitality unit, which is in charge of preparing meals, cleaning parts of the Clubhouse, and shopping for food and goods. I go on reach out trips to visit members who haven’t been regularly attending the Clubhouse. I’ve taken on leadership roles at the Clubhouse by running meetings and helping other members participate in the work ordered day. I’ve given many presentations in the wider community to tell other people about our program and the recovery model that we follow.
Because of the Clubhouse, my life has changed in many positive ways. If it weren’t for the Clubhouse, I don’t know what I’d be doing with my time. My Clubhouse has helped me lead a meaningful and productive life. I don’t struggle with anxiety and depression and I have gained more confidence. The Clubhouse has also been an outlet for practicing kindness and compassion with others. As far as my hopes and dreams go, I am certain I would like to return to monastic life. But in the meantime, I have my friends at the Clubhouse for support; and I am able to give back to others through my involvement at the Clubhouse.