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Ayshe has experienced more struggle and heartache in her 26 years than most will in a lifetime.
Ayshe’s childhood and teenage years were spent in Victoria where her family of origin were stuck in active addiction and her father was a heroin addict. This led to 15 years of addiction for Ayshe herself which was enabled by her family.
Ayshe tried to reach out for support and detoxed at home alone several times over a period of 18 months, but she described herself as “fried at that stage” and her friendship network continued to enable her to relapse.
Suicidal thoughts peaked at this time triggered by a termination of pregnancy, which Ayshe describes as a defining experience in the spectrum of addiction and mental health. Ayshe was then diagnosed with depression and commenced medication.
In 2010, Ayshe gave birth to her child. What should have been a joyful experience for Ayshe instead became one where she was at risk. She treated the relationship with her infant like a ‘job’, her relationship was quickly breaking down, she was experiencing domestic violence and finally had to enable a restraining order. Three years later, Ayshe relinquished the care of her child.
In 2014, Ayshe moved to Northern New South Wales where she entered Rehab Transformational Housing which wasn’t the right fit for her. Ayshe then worked with Fred’s Drop In Centre in Tweed Heads, who worked with Ayshe to build her confidence for a move to Queensland, which would become a life-changing move.
The turning point for Ayshe’s story (so far) was in 2015 when she commenced the Goldbridge program in Southport. Goldbridge Rehabilitation Services is a non-government, non-profit, residential therapeutic community organisation providing assistance services to those with drug use problems.
This has become the number one support for Ayshe. At Goldbridge, Ayshe is surrounded by people who believe in her when she had stopped believing in herself. It has enabled her to build coping strategies and identify supports which work for her, such as attending NA.
Now, Ayshe says “I recognise I have a life” and wishes to become a mentor for young people. Having her own lived experience with drug addiction and depression, Ayshe recognises what could make a difference to a young person at risk, such as simply ‘noticing’ absences from school and asking ‘why?’.
Through Goldbridge, Ayshe understands the importance of meeting people who know what it means to be in addiction, and the incredible value that peer support adds to her journey.
“I know what it feels like to be down and broken. And now I know what it feels like to be drug-free, fit and living.”
For other Gold Coast events and activities visit the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s website: HealthyGC.com.au