It was only about two years ago that I was struggling with leaving my house let alone talking to people I did not know. I suffer from agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) and social phobia (fear of social situations).
I couldn't even walk into most stores because fear gripped me so bad. One day I got the courage to walk into the Rising Sun Clubhouse. I didn't know it then, but this was slowly going to change the way I lived. It took several months before I started going to the clubhouse on a regular basis. The first thing that made a difference was that there was structure in the activities. This didn't leave me on my own to try and meet people. The second thing that made a difference was the comradery amongst the members. I remember sitting in wellness group scared to speak or look anyone in the eyes. A problem I no longer suffer from today. When I go into an activity at the clubhouse I feel at ease and very safe. I still get some anxiety when we have suppers with the church or we go to places like Red Deer and Wetaskiwin. I still miss a fair number of those functions. That being said with the support of other members we have gone in groups to two sports events. Something I couldn't even dream of a few years ago.
Something else they have done is provided me with employment. With my fears and phobias it was impossible for me to get a job. I was able to work with people I had gotten to know over a year and a half. This allowed me an easy transition into the job. Since being able to work for the first time in years my self esteem has gone way up. I feel as though I am accomplishing something every week. It has given me some control over my life and the structure I need to leave my house regularly.
In short the clubhouse has made living day to day a little bit easier.