Monday to Friday, 9am - 3pm
Craig was just your average Aussie bloke, working as a motor mechanic to provide for his family. After experiencing relationship difficulties, he turned to amphetamines and developed a series of drug addictions.
Craig realised how much of a grip amphetamines had on him, when his eight year old son found him talking to a lamp post, mistakenly thinking he was talking to a friend. It was at this point that he chose not to continue with this lifestyle, for the sake of his children.
Craig voluntarily checked himself into rehabilitation, no longer wishing to be under the influence of amphetamines, marijuana, prescription medication, alcohol, and cigarettes.
After this, tragically, Craig attempted suicide, suffering serious head and facial injuries and losing the sight in one eye. “I went to the garage, took a 9mm pistol and shot myself in the head, woke up in hospital from an induced coma for a month wondering why I can’t see with my eight year old there saying, ‘Why Daddy? Why Daddy? Why Daddy?’” said Craig.
“From then on forward I am now against any substance that has that effect on people and their families” said Craig.
While Craig had made the difficult life-changing decisions, his journey since has not been a smooth one. Craig received initial post-hospital care, where a service checked in to make sure Craig had eaten, showered and was generally okay, sometimes taking Craig to a park for a coffee and a chat. But as Craig said, “they can only see so many people for so long”. So the care stopped, and Craig was left alone to re-establish a life for himself.
Craig slid backwards, turning to gambling which quickly saw him lose control of his finances. He was evicted, and lived on the street for the next three years, forced to eat out of rubbish bins and experience constant ridicule. Craig could not provide for his children, and had to endure their heart-breaking expressions at Christmas, when he could not give them anything.
Craig reached out to Partners in Recovery, which he describes as a ‘magnificent organisation’. “There should be more around. I can’t say how much it has enhanced my own life” said Craig.
When Craig had reached out to other organisations in the past, he said he felt like it wasn’t a personal experience and they were just doing their job.
“With PIR, they’re more intimate to be the word, where they actually care about your wellbeing, where you are in life, and where you want to get to. It’s an organisation that is just invaluable to those that are of an opinion that there isn’t any help out there. You’re not a number, you’re a person” said Craig.
PIR are supporting Craig as he works towards getting his life back on track. Most importantly, PIR is assisting him to receive life-changing eye reconstruction and cranial surgery. “I’m withdrawn because of my injuries and socially don’t fit in” said Craig.
While the surgery involves risks, it will also mean Craig will be able to work and contribute again. “It means I can get a job and start being part of normal society because I will be normal” said Craig.
Craig’s dreams for the future are humble and ones most of us take for granted. He would like a vehicle, a nice place to live, and more interaction with his kids. Most importantly, he dreams of not being ridiculed.
“Listening to organisations like PIR and listening to myself, I’m the only one who can do it. Nobody else can. So to those out there who need help – it is there. All you need is to reach out.
For other Gold Coast events and activities visit the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s website: HealthyGC.com.au