Rosemary is author of six books on mental health and inspirational poetry. She is a motivational speaker and a volunteer peer advocate.
With most places closed during Covid, it's very difficult to stay busy. I am able to go to clubhouses- it was three times a week, and now it's four. Each clubhouse basically offers people to come twice a week. So, I've been going to one on Mondays and Thursdays which is great because they operate a kitchen and have plenty to do volunteer wise, like typing, answering phones, etc.
The other clubhouse, unfortunately you just sit and chat. No tasks to perform. So for me, that's boring and unfulfilling.
I like to be busy. I enjoy work. I enjoy tasks. My life is not about sitting and just chatting. I like to actually do something, so that's why I'm on hubpages.com writing now. Because there are only computers to work on. I surely would like to talk more, but for some reason it's difficult. Basically right now there are only 3 staff here and about 4 members. So it's very quiet!
I feel really left out sometimes. I was not allowed to come twice a week right away. And, I feel like some members are highly favored. Maybe it's a good thing if they are liked more. But letting some come 5 days a week, while everyone else only gets 2 days is not really fair. Plus my friend only gets to come one day, not two.
I really don't know who makes these decisions. Clubhouses, I've noticed, have always had clicks. Not all but some. This is why some people get treated better.
I think that the lower functioning members are treated better. I'm not sure why. A lot of my friends don't like clubhouses and prefer RLC's. Because they want to actually do more, and not just sit and talk. They want to work. Clubhouses will help you get a job or go to school, but it depends where you do and who you talk to.
I find each clubhouse treats me differently.
I've been a part of the zoom meetings with DBSA Depression Bipolar Support Alliance since they started last year. I'm proud to say I volunteer there for years now. I am currently the tech buddy for "Maintaining Stability" every Wednesday night from 7-9pm
It feels good to be a part of the meeting and to volunteer.
I also sometimes have other zoom meetings to attend from the RLC, Recovery Learning Community. I have one on Wed and Thursday.
I do like the check in meetings as well with the clubhouse at 1pm Mon-Fri.
Appointments and meetings!
On Tues at 3pm I have therapy over the phone. Then I visit a friend and I have Al anon at 7:30pm on Sun and Tues nights.
Saturday I go see my family. On Sunday I see another friend for lunch.
I looked into getting a part time job. I may be getting one, but I'm still looking. I also have hobbies like writing and painting and singing.
I like walking and playing sports or playing pool or bowling. I'm very happy that my niece lives at my Mom's now because we can go for walks when I visit, and have fun chatting and playing basketball or whatever. She is fun to talk to! She is very bright, and smart, and we actually have a lot in common.
So, besides all the things I mentioned earlier, I think that the only other thing I could do is work, (find a part time job), or volunteer more, or find more places to hang out.
I've never been good at just frequenting a coffee shop or restaurant and making friends with strangers. But it can be done. Some like bars too.
I have a friend who is very able to do this. He made a whole group of friends at Burger King and Dunkin Donuts!
Sometimes high functioning people at mental health places may be seen as a "threat" to other members I'm guessing, and maybe it's best for me to try to spend time at places that offer more? I'm referring to one clubhouse in particular.
But the other clubhouse, although I don't have as many close friends and haven't known the staff as long, it's way more busy and I've grown to really enjoy talking with the staff and members there.