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There is a quote from American author, educator, keynote speaker and businessman, Stephen Covey that states, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” From spending time listening to John’s inspirational story, this quote sums up everything he has experienced to date.
John faces the daily challenges of having depression, bipolar disorder, ill health and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However these challenges have become easier to manage thanks to an incredible support network who came into his life just when he needed it. These include his Partners in Recovery Facilitator from Aftercare, medical and health professionals, Complete Men’s Getting Real Group and Men’s Wellbeing Common Ground Men’s group. After completing the Common Ground Men’s group nine week program, John and other participants formed their own group. Of these men who help him, John remarks that, “They never do it to get something back. They just do it.”
Through connecting, forming positive and meaningful relationships and a love of learning, John has found a deeper purpose in life. He has also gained more motivation and confidence, an improvement in interpersonal skills, a greater awareness of self and the ability to be mindful of his thoughts and behaviour. John now cares for his mother and is able to reach out and help others just like him in the wider community.
This story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some of John’s achievements to date. The first has been obtaining his driver’s license, which has given him the independence that he needs. The second has been remaining sober for four years. He attributes this to seeing the extreme negative impact of substance use disorder on his friends and not wanting to end up that way.
From talking to John, the term ‘The Aussie battler’ comes to mind as one who perseveres despite life’s challenges. This is John’s story.
Written by Duane William Katene
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