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Elizabeth is tenacious, insightful and resilient

Elizabeth is a long-time client of First Step. She is a remarkable woman that we had the privilege of interviewing so that we could share her story of resilience, determination and hope with our community. Here is an excerpt:

“I was a big avoider. I avoided conflict. I avoided everything. I would read a book and hide behind that. I smoked my cigarettes and hide away from the world.

I had started smoking when I was 16, mum introduced that to me. By 18, I turned to gambling. Every cent I had, I spent on gambling and cigarettes. And at 23, I started drinking.

After a month in the psych ward, the Psychiatrist recommended that I stay for a further 6 months because I couldn't be trusted to take my medication. But my dad said no and explained that I had been taking my buprenorphine for years without missing a day. The Tribunal said I deserved a chance, and they appointed a case manager and linked me to First Step.

I was discharged on Friday and at First Step by Monday.

12 months after I got out of hospital, I wanted to go away on my first holiday, so I started talking to the GP about my gambling. I wanted money to go on a holiday, so I liked this idea of saving money but realised I couldn't gamble AND save money.

So, I told myself I could gamble every 3 months, but I don't take that choice up. The choice is mine now. I own it.

The doctor also helped me with my drinking, and I did hypnotherapy with the First Step Psychotherapist to quit smoking. This is all saving me a lot of money!

Recently, my car broke down, and it was the first time I could afford to pay to have it fixed. I felt amazing!

I've now finished the peer course and have got a certificate!

The plan is to be a part time peer. I want to start off by volunteering because I want to get my foot in the door. But I eventually want to be paid, to be recognised for what I can bring to a peer role.”

You can read the rest of Elizabeth’s story here: Elizabeth

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