My grandparents were good to me. Pop and I watched and got involved with many sports, he introduced me to athletics, and I loved that. I did well in primary school, but I got into the wrong crowd in high school, and I started drinking. High school is tricky for everyone, and it certainly was for me. The stress on my Nan and Pop was too much for them, and Pop had a heart attack. I figured school wasn't for me, so I left in Year 11 and moved out with friends. I started taking drugs, taking a bit of everything (MDMA, ecstasy, amphetamines, marijuana and alcohol) and doing petty crime. Eventually, the police caught me, and I was charged and looking at prison time. I was 20 when I arrived at Teen Challenge, and I struggled. The program is very disciplined, and honestly, I say hats off to the guys 'that do the program'. I found it confronting, and I was initially argumentative, but I completed the 12 months program and then continued as an intern.
Craig (Case Worker) advised me to make a fresh start so that I could start my life afresh. I knew he was right, and even though this meant leaving people I was close with and all that I knew, I moved to Tasmania. It was here that I met my wife, Ashley, in church. Ashley's family have embraced me, I got invited in, and I never left. I completed a mature age apprenticeship, and like a lot of young blokes, I worked hard. Ashley and I got married in 2015, and we have a two-year-old boy, George. Ashley and I have worked hard, and it’s paying off, my wife and I are getting our lives well established.
Staying off drugs and alcohol in our Aussie culture is challenging, especially if you are a tradie like myself. Having a drink is just what you do when you knock off work. But drinking tempts me to take drugs, and so now I choose not to drink at all. I feel like God helped me to heal as much as I would allow Him to: in stages. My work allows me lots of quiet time, and in that stillness, I have time for prayer and thought. My default is to go go go, but I have found a calm, and I am grateful for that.