My Story by Tracy Allen

  • All through my childhood, I struggled with dark and lonely days. My depression left me in a downward spiral, leaving me with nothing but fear. Everything I did, see, and hear constantly scared me. With my PTSD I was stuck in the middle of a nightmare

  • Locked up in my head, I was completely numb. Everything inside of me was dead with no feelings and no life, with no future, my home (shelter) was a dark echoing cave.

  • I would hibernate by closing my eyes and curling up in a ball – from crippling flashbacks; this was going on every frightening hour.

  • In my preteens I was introduced to drugs

  • Unfortunately I slipped even further and got more stuck in my mental illness.

  • Later on in the following months, I became caught up in theft and vandalism. I was feeling suicidal even started cutting. I trusted no one. Thinking everyone was out to hurt me.

  • I was living with Mother at the time but because of my poor choices I could no longer live with her.

  • I received emergency housing. Although I was grateful for a roof over my head I still struggled to pay bills and buy groceries. I didn’t have the skills to understand or keep a budget so I had to have my mother be my representative payee

  • Thankfully, soon after getting emergency house I was able to receive housing through HUD. I was able to move into the cozy apartment I have today.

  • One day in 2007 a nurse at Valley Behavioral Health suggested I check out a place called Alliance House

  • I went to orientation at Alliance House and that day I was able to open my eyes and ears a bit for the first time.

  • I finally found hope – the kind of hope I only heard some people say, but never really felt. I came by the next day still a bit in my shell and a nervous wreck, for I hadn’t experienced this aspect of mental health services before. Through working with members and staff even if for short periods of time, I started building confidence, self-esteem and friendships.

  • Approximately six months later, I started to become comfortable with people and learned how to trust. With the support of members and staff – I have learned many new tools like:

  • Sobriety and wellness

  • Social and behavioral skills with the support of my Clubhouse community.

  • I felt confident enough to try a transitional employment job in the community

  • I worked with staff to find ways to improve my reading comprehension despite my learning disability and

  • I have been given peer leadership and mentoring opportunities

  • And I even got a chance of a lifetime to attend a Clubhouse conference in Hawaii

  • Alliance House not only can provide actual keys for housing which is the reason why we are here today but for me it has provided the keys I needed for my future.


Rebuilding Confidence, Purpose and Community

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