“I still like the feeling of being wanted, needed, and expected.”
Today, we’re proud to introduce you to Sue Stocker, a Breakthrough Clubhouse member who recently started a new position as Peer Support Specialist for the Freedom To Choose project. In addition to her work at Breakthrough over the years, Sue has served as a field case manager for COMCARE. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a Master’s in Social Work.
But things haven’t always been easy for Sue. Thirty-one years ago, she applied for a job at Breakthrough Clubhouse and was thrilled to be hired. However, six months later, she had to step away from the job. “It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do,” Sue says, “but the reality was that no matter how much I willed it not to be, mental illness was getting in the way of me doing my job. There was no alternative but to quit, and I was crushed.”
Sue tried to give up after that, but Breakthrough Clubhouse simply wouldn’t let her. “Nobody there counseled, ‘Oh, honey! Don’t give up!’ Nor did anyone send me to a basket weaving class for comfort,” Sue says. “But what they did provide was meaningful work for me to do.”
Breakthrough Clubhouse placed Sue in the Transitional Employment Program. That first day on the job, she was terrified of failure. However, by the end of her first shift, Sue tells us her confidence had been restored. “This was in large part due to my job coach,” Sue says. “She showed me how to do the job, then knew just when to back away and let me do the work myself. Her timing was perfect!” After that, Sue says, she was good to go.
Sue tells us that receiving her first paycheck was a thrill, but even more exciting was the feeling of being wanted, needed, and expected each and every day she spent doing that job. “I’ve been employed ever since that Transitional Employment job, and you know what? I still like the feeling of being wanted, needed, and expected.”
We’re so proud of Sue for all she’s accomplished and overcome! Thanks so much for sharing your Breakthrough Story!