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Karon Anderson is an avid reader who loves to teach others. As an English as Second Language (ESL) tutor at Los Angeles City College, Karon taught English while learning Spanish from her students. “It paid off in two ways for me,” she joked. Karon is also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a disease causing mood swings that range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania.

The highs caused her to boss around her coworkers and spend too much money. She recalls that when feeling depressed, “[she] wouldn’t get dressed and stayed in bed all day watching soaps [operas] on TV.”

When Karon suffered a stroke, she lost the ability to read books.

Karon is now a Michigan resident, a CNS consumer, an active member of CNS’ Visions Clubhouse. After moving to Michigan and joining CNS, Karon’s case manager introduced her to Visions Clubhouse, as part of her treatment. Karon says she will be, “forever grateful” to him for doing so.  “[CNS’] Visions [Clubhouse] gives me a reason to get up in the morning.”

“Visions is helping me understand reading again…The things I used to do well I am learning how to continue doing well,” Karon happily observed.

“I am [also] proud of myself because I was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and due to [CNS’] Visions and all their positive sayings and learning the computer, I decided to stop smoking. Right now I am 8 months clean off smoking.”

Quitting was possible because of the, “positive feedback I [got] from all the counselors and different organizations that come through and teach you things.”

Reflecting on her own journey to recovery at CNS, she encourages other consumers to join the clubhouse by giving tours and assisting with new member orientation.

“There is nothing like [CNS’] Visions Clubhouse. Every day, I get up and I come here because I enjoy it… Every day I leave with something positive that happened.”

 

Consent was given by consumers and patients to share their stories and in some instances, names have been changed to protect their privacy.