Mosaic Clubhouse is a place that can be that 'somewhere'

From Matthew's Just Giving page, reproduced here with permission.

In short- I will be running the 2020 London Marathon for Mosaic Clubhouse!

That is the headline, but on its own it probably doesn't mean a whole lot. So let me help you, and tell you about what Mosaic Clubhouse is, how and why I am involved and moreover why something like Mosaic is needed (to put in mildly). 

Founded in 1994, Mosaic Clubhouse is a charity based in Brixton, on Effra Road, that is aimed at helping anyone over 16 suffering from mental health issues, whatever they may be, giving them a safe space to do what they can helping with the running of the clubhouse or just somewhere to simply 'be'. Now, no more paraphrasing from the excellently resourceful Mosaic website- if you want more detailed information like that, go for it. 

I first encountered Mosaic in the middle of 2017 if I remember correctly. At the time I was in the middle of a long depressive episode- a recurrent, de-habilitating condition I have had since I was 17 (now 25)- after being referred there by the NHS via the Living Well Hub. So, first going there at a point where I was clinically depressed and anxious, with various horrible symptoms I will not delve into, I can't say I was either optimistic or enthused about it. It looked like more 'passing off' within a huge organisation (the NHS), which to be honest wasn't occupying my mind against my illness. And even when it did occur to me I couldn't find it in me to be angry at the mental health system or the people in it. Maybe that says more about me; that the notion of being 'passed on', or more bluntly 'rejected' in some sense didn't bother or concern me. And well, that's because I think when your mental health suffers to the point where you lose most or all of your functionality, you are rejected. Or more accurately, rather you have rejected something. Each situation is different, but you, your body, your mind, has rejected or reacted to some kind danger or deficit and the state of your mental illness is the way you are being protected. And so, for some time, and in some way, you do need to be apart, or 'outside', in order to and as part of your recovery. There are books and people who put this a lot better but it brings me to this. It is natural and necessary to be outside or apart to recover, but you still have to literally be somewhere. 

I believe Mosaic Clubhouse is a place that can be that 'somewhere'- if that makes sense... And it does so almost impossibly better than even the idealised concept of such a place could. It offers you something regardless of your specific condition or where you might be in the recovery process. Rounding, finally, back to where I first encountered Mosaic, as I said, I was fundamentally unwell. I was so anxious that my first thing was just to be around people for any length of time was enough of a challenge. I coped. And I came back. And through the tiniest of steps, like talking to someone I didn't know, actually setting myself to things that need doing within the running of the clubhouse, attending meetings, I became more comfortable. From there, other things like having small duties and a little routine started to benefit me as well. 

They're very small things, very small. But from being completely levelled and zeroed by illness and having done nothing, to have been capable of nothing for a long time, they were monumental. Eventually I started to do and look for casual/part time work. Eventually through a Transitional Employment Placement through Mosaic, I've gone onto a contract role at Public Health England. 

I don't attend as often, owing to that I'm now working more, though I am still trying to be involved, and I still want to help and support Mosaic. Partially as a consequence of the illness/condition itself, but probably mostly just because I'm quite mild mannered, I don't think I've shown anything like the gratitude towards Mosaic that I should and that I do genuinely feel- partially I'm not sure how. Or I haven't been... The 2020 London Marathon is the opportunity for me, and actually anyone through Just Giving (that sounded eerily like middle of the road corporate marketing), to support Mosaic Clubhouse. Mental health is becoming more prominent and more of a focus in popular society which is a positive, but unless you experience it personally there will likely remain many 'unspokens'. The 'being caught in the in-between' (is that an Elliot Smith lyric?)it definitely sounds like one) is what I have talked about, and it is that which Mosaic provides a safe space for, without judgement or diagnoses, wherever you may be in your illness or recovery. It is not because supporting Mosaic would give you some kind of guard against mental illness (it obviously doesn't work like that) that you should support it. It is because you will be built by your relationship with people and individuals, and not by what you can take, but what you can give (dramatic)

The baseline target is £500 and I plan to run the distance in 3 hours. 

I hope to have given you something and I thank you for your donations. 

And personally, thank you Mosaic Clubhouse. 


 

"And through the tiniest of steps, like talking to someone I didn't know, actually setting myself to things that need doing within the running of the clubhouse, attending meetings, I became more comfortable."

Mosaic Clubhouse is a registered charity No: 1071705. Company No: 3403522

© Copyright 2020 Mosaic ClubhouseWeb Design By Toolkit Websites