In my early years I performed well at high school and Adelaide University. I went to a yoga ashram and explored my spirituality. This coincided with my initial breakdown. I got really high and lost contact with the foundation in my life. Mental illness turned my life upside-down – things I depended on before I couldn’t depend on anymore. This was the beginning of a long path in the way of my mental illness.
The first few years of my illness I suffered depression, which seemed to lift for a while thanks to listening to a tune on the radio. Then my illness evolved into a ‘storm’. Actions and thoughts were disordered and disturbed. I felt like I was in a war zone – being attacked left, right and centre by major delusions and hallucinations.
These days I have disturbing feelings to do with thought. But I have better coping strategies now. For example, I have Clubhouse; I have GROW; I have my work and I have my family. They all contribute to my well-being. The good things I have gained from my illness are better friendships than I had before as well as stronger family bonds.
Diamond Clubhouse offers me the chance to participate in a Work Ordered Day, good sharing with Clubhouse members who are my friends and good food. I am sleeping better; I have more weekly routine; my appetite has returned; and I have more interest in my life.
Before Clubhouse I was lost and confused. I had been in hospital many, many times. I spent the early to mid-90’s growing up in a psychiatric hospital. However something was missing. I knew I needed more.
I visited my psychiatrist with my mother one special day in 1996. He told me there was a new place called ‘Diamond Clubhouse’ which was showing promise. Mum and I were excited. We dropped into the Clubhouse on our way back home. This place had promise – I knew it would ‘work’.
All these years later I still attend Diamond House Clubhouse. I learn something new here every day and get stronger and stronger as the years go by.
Diamond Clubhouse has made me into a better person: a person who is mature with his feelings, self confident and who has found some inner peace. I see my friends at Clubhouse as an extended family. Life would not be the same without the Diamond Clubhouse.