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Member Story By H. Rachelle Graham

 

The pain inside me used to eat me from the inside out, as if boiling water

Scorched my skin to third-degree burns. Breathing was difficult. Eating was

Impossible. Sleeping was something I could not do. I was out of my mind and

Couldn’t even recognize my own parents. I thought they were evil spirits

Chasing me.

My ups and downs resulted in me staying home all day watching

Marathons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson Creek and One Tree Hill. I

Got lost in a world where everything wasn’t hurting, I also lost track of time

And hated my life so badly I tried to kill myself again.

At the time, I wasn’t happy I survived  the doctor pumping my stomach and

Recharging my heart. I believed they had wasted their time.

Although, as I saw the pain and worry in my parents and sisters eyes a

Part of me knew they needed me in this world so I had to learn how to survive

In it.

I started Alliance House in 2011. I recognized the pain disappearing slowly

As I was put to work both in a transitional employment and at the clubhouse.

My transitional employment was with Camp Bow Wow, working with dogs. I

Liked it and enjoyed being able to bring my service dog to play with other

Small animals like her.

The biggest show came when something else started happening. I thought

I was sick. I went to my therapist to see what was wrong with me. When I

Described my symptoms of calmness, a bubbling inside and the need to sing,

Write and dance again, I thought I was going through another maniac state,

But my therapist asked me other questions.

My answers were I was sleeping again, dreaming again and the

Urge to eat again. Instead of staying in bed all day, I jumped out of bed to go

See my new friends at the clubhouse, go to work and finally got my life back.

She said I wasn’t experiencing mania, I was feeling happy, something that

Had become foreign to me over time since being diagnosed at the age of

Twenty. Hospital stays became non-existent and I haven’t tried to hurt my myself

Since 2011.

Since then, I had a successful job for two years as a peer specialist where

I could in turn help others deal with their mental illness, published two novels

Starting in 2012, graduated college with a bachelor’s degree and currently

working on a third novel with a writing coach and a New York City literary

agent. If I ever make real money, I would donate to the Alliance House

because they are one of the main reasons the days are lighter, that I am

writing again and that I not only love myself but have the ability to help and

love others.

By | March 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

ALLIANCE HOUSE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO ME (By Chuck Enriquez)

 

WHEN I ARRIVED AT ALLIANCE HOUSE, I ONLY HAD ONE THING IN MIND AND THAT WAS TO RE-ESTABLISH MYSELF IN THE WORKFORCE.  I WAS A RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE AND VALEDICTORIAN BUT HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON THE SUCCESS.  MY JOB RECORD WAS PRETTY MUCH DONE FOR AND MY GOAL WHEN ARRIVING WAS TO STABILIZE THAT.  PSYCHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES HAD HELD ME BACK AND I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO GET PAST THAT.

HOWEVER, I GOT WORD THAT ALLIANCE HOUSE HAD A TRANSITIONAL EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM AND FIGURED I WOULD GAMBLE WITH MY LUCK ON HOW THIS WOULD TURN OUT.  THE FIRST YEAR WAS SLOW SINCE I COULD NOT COME CONSISTENTLY, BUT AFTER WORKING OUT A FEW KINKS I STARTED TO ENGAGE IN THE WORK ORDERED DAY. THEN CAME THE FIRST MAJOR STONE IN THE POWERHOUSE, I GOT MY FIRST OPPORTUNITY AS A JANITOR AT VALLEY SERVICES (NEE ADVANTAGE SERVICES).  THE CONFIDENCE GREW DAY BY DAY AND I WAS FEELING CELEBRATED NOT ONLY AT WORK BUT AT THE CLUBHOUSE AS WELL. MY LIVING SITUATION ALSO IMPROVED AS WELL SHORTLY AFTER.  I MANAGED TO GET HOUSING THROUGH THE CLUBHOUSE AS I MOVED INTO THEIR HOUSING UNITS AT 1805 SOUTH MAIN STREET.  AFTER TIMES AT VALLEY SERVICES ENDED, MY NEXT TRANSITIONAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY WAS AT HORIZONTE INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING CENTER.  THE NEXT FEW STONES OF CONFIDENCE CONTINUED AS I LOVED WORKING AT THAT JOB. AFTER HORIZONTE ENDED, ANOTHER GAP OCCURRED AND THEN I ACCEPTED A NEW TRANSITIONAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY ON THE GROUP PLACEMENT JOB AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH.  I WENT THE DISTANCE AT THAT JOB AND WHAT FOLLOWED WAS THE ONE THING THAT WOULD ALL MAKE MY GOAL COMPLETE. I STARTED ANOTHER TRANSITIONAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AT SQUATTER’S PUB AND BEERS AND IN THE END, THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL WAS APPROACHING.  I GOT HIRED ON PERMANENTLY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH AND GOT STABLE HOUSING BY TRANSITIONING FROM 1805 TO VALLEY VILLA. THE POWERHOUSE WAS FULLY BUILT AND THE DREAM WAS DONE.

NOW IN THE PRESENT DAY, I STILL LIVE AT VALLEY VILLA AND STILL WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH.  I COME PRETTY REGULARLY HERE AT THE CLUBHOUSE.  WITHOUT A DOUBT I HAVE BONA FIDE THE BEST SUPPORT GROUP I HAVE EVER BEEN AROUND…EVER.  I LOVE BEING WHO I AM AND THAT PSYCHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD NEVER SLOW YOU DOWN, IT SHOULD BE THE DRIVE TO SUCCEED THAT SHOULD SPEED YOU UP.  ALL STAFF AND MEMBERS LOVE WHAT I HAVE BECOME AND I HOPE TO BE COMING AROUND HERE AT THE CLUBHOUSE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.

 

WRITTEN, PRODUCED, AND DIRECTED BY CHUCK ENRIQUEZ

 

‘SO HOLD BACK THE FIRE, BECAUSE THIS MUCH IS TRUE.

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THE ENDING WILL COME.

FROM OUT OF THE BLUE.’

 

  • FROM ‘OUT OF THE BLUE’ BY DAVID GILMOUR
By | March 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments