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“What do you want out of life?” Lesley’s sister asked her one day when Lesley was at the lowest point of her life.
Lesley answered, “A relationship with my daughters and grandchildren.”
This gave Lesley the motivation she needed to begin to climb out of the black hole of substance abuse, self-harm, homelessness and self-loathing that she had found herself in. How did she do this? Just like plants can’t survive without sun and water, Lesley too needed sun and water in her life. These took the form of family support, community programs such as Free To Be Me, Aftercare – Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs), Aftercare – Partners in Recovery, Drug Arm, exercising, Tai Chi, journaling, mindfulness colouring books, gardening and other community support programs.
From these resources, Lesley received just the right amount of sun and water to grow into the wonderful woman who I spoke to at the time of this interview. Does this mean that she never has anymore darks? Of course not, however when she does, she can draw from the things she has learnt.
Now Lesley’s sense of worth has increased.
Now she no longer self-harms.
Now she has a home that she is proud of.
Now she is sober.
Now she is ready to give back to the community.
From Disney’s Mulan there is a quote by the Emperor in the movie. He says, “The flower that blooms in adversity… is the most rare and beautiful of them all.”
The same can be said of Lesley.
Written by Duane William Katene
For other Gold Coast events and activities visit the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s website: HealthyGC.com.au