Holding on to Hope

Dave's story of Holding on to Hope through depression and long term pain

April 30, 2019 Lifeline
Holding on to Hope
Dave's story of Holding on to Hope through depression and long term pain
Show Notes Transcript

Anyone who’s lived with constant severe pain, knows how bleak life can look as a result. Jaw surgery and a back injury left Dave Peters in agony while a series of psychological traumas sent him spiraling into depression. 

However, Dave found meaning in life after using his experiences to help others who were also struggling through depression. And he found connection through hugs, horror movies and a very sociable dog!

Warning message:

This podcast series, will share personal moments of connection and deeply felt experiences. If anything you hear has a triggering effect, please reach out to someone who can help keep you safe. Or remember you can find lifeline at any time. On 13 11 14,

Dave:

I was feeling that loss of purpose and loss of anything in my life and I felt like I'd previously had this wonderful hobby and fulfilling relationship and career that was going somewhere to all of a sudden I couldn't work anymore and everything else was already gone.

Beverley:

Welcome to Holding on to Hope. This is a podcast presented by lifeline Australia in this series, you'll hear true stories told by people who've been impacted by suicide and survived dark moments. By sharing their stories, they hope to help others on difficult journeys to also reach out and find hope. Today you'll hear from Dave Peters, who discovered that the best antidepressants came in the form of his best mate, Dish Johnson, a puppy and a realization that sharing his lived experience is the best way of helping not only himself but others like him. Dave's story does have a happy and hopeful ending, but if anything you hear has a triggering effect, please reach out to someone who can help keep you safe. Or remember, you can find lifeline at any time. 13 11, 14.

Dylan:

Happy Birthday song.

Dave:

Christmas and birthday in January can be a difficult time for me. Um, I find seeing everywhere you look, whether it's billboards, whether it's Carol's and candlelight, whether it's TV, all the messages seem to be all about togetherness and happiness and family and love. And when you're feeling a bit alone and isolated or not connected to any one that can make you feel horrible. Throughout my period at school, I got bullied quite a bit, singled out and um, sort of beaten up a few times and teased a great deal, lots of name calling, lots of groups of boys, throwing things at me. And um, yeah, same school wasn't a wonderful time socially. When I was eight I think or just afterwards, it was an eight or nine, I think it was when I was eight. My parents told me that when I was born, I was born at 28 weeks, so very, very, very premature. And, um, that I'd had an identical twin who didn't survive the birth. And to be honest, at the time, I don't know, like it was a shock, but it wasn't a shock somehow. I felt like it explained so much of what I'd been feeling around not belonging and not feeling like something was missing in my life. We moved house, I changed primary school, starting at this big new, big school mum and Dad taught at. And um, I remember like I made a really great your friend from the first day we started, we had like a trial introduction day of school. But beyond that close friend, I didn't really have any other friends that I, I felt really, really close to. And you know, in years of psychotherapy I've talked about, you know, trying to put friends in the place of my twin. Um, the friend that I mentioned when we first met in the first day of school, we stayed really close, all the way through high school. And afterwards. And, he died in a car accident at a month after my, uh, my 20th birthday. That was such a devastating shock. Uh, nothing, nothing in my world could have prepared me for that.

Dish:

Dave and I, we struck up a friendship at university. We were both doing performing arts at Monash and he didn't, he was a bit of a loner from what I could see. And I had an overall urge to want to want to be his friend. I just felt, yeah, pulled towards him,

Dave:

You know, starting a new course. I was a bit older than most of the students. I'd, um, I'd gone off and done something prior to that. So it was a change of degree for me. Um, you know, feeling a little bit, again, not, not like I fit in because I was a bit older and a few of the students knew each other from previous situations. And one of the, the, my fellow students, um, had a whole sort of clique of a group of three or four friends that she'd gone to high school with. I wanted to meet these people cause they looked really fun, but I was a bit intimidated. And I remember walking across the quad one day and I think I saw them in the distance sitting up on the hill smoking, looking cool and uh, and the, the main girl Dish sort of pointed at me and motioned for me to come over. And I did that sort of whole double take of what, who me, uh, looked behind me, making sure it wasn't someone behind me that she was motioning to. Um, because that would be the worst feeling, you know? Uh, um, and yeah, she should just sort of included me when previously I'd felt , not really connected to anyone.

Dish:

So Dave quickly became part of the family. I have five older brothers and we're very close and our family, we have dinner every night around the table and it would go for a couple of hours.

Dave:

The first time I came to Dish's, house, uh, late at night after uni one day, her parents and everyone else in bed, sneaking in trying not to make any noise, I said I've got to show you this movie. And it was Halloween. And I'd never seen any of the Halloween films. Dish you go to see him look at the background, look there it is, there it is. You're just like, yeah, you're just so excited, showing me all the incidents of Michael Myers in the background, like, oh, terrified.

Dish:

I was the film critique. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and we watched that on repeat every day

Dave:

For a couple of months.

Dish:

Yeah, and Dave slept on our couch

Dave:

For a couple months. Um, uh, it, uh, I think it became a bit of a, a point of resentment from your dad. It's like

Dish:

Oh, yeah. There's, this man on the couch every night. Every day he'd come down and there was a man on the couch. Um, but back then they didn't know I was gay. So you're probably thinking,

Dave:

yeah, never occurred to me.

Dish:

What are we doing at night watching Halloween? I don't think in my 40 years in life, and this is, this is not an exaggeration that I've actually ever met a more kind, caring, soft, gentle, and I think, just a vulnerable person. And I don't mean vulnerable in a negative sense. I think that there's a power in his vulnerability. And I think that, I love that. I love to see a man that can cry and that can ask for help. Um, and I think that that's what I love about Dave. I love that he's raw and pure really in a way. And, and I'm really drawn to that. I have a lot of men in my life and they're beautiful too, but Dave just doesn't care about the macho bravado and I just, and that really, I really admire him for that.

Dave:

So by this stage, I think I was 20 years old and, uh, you know, I'd, I'd started what I thought was a whole new chapter in my life, we were talking, thinking about live stages. The course I'd been doing previously didn't really feel like university properly somehow. So starting a new course and doing what I'd always dreamed of, which was performing in musicals, meeting someone amazing, who became even more amazing and sort of adopted me into her family when I'd had such a devastating loss. And, um, and then finding out that, um, that Dish had this, this diagnosis of cancer,

Lifeline:

No one should ever have to face their darkest moments alone. Lifeline is here to help. Please call 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au

Dave:

I remember the first time I went in to see her at the Children's (hospital) and you know, it was okay. She still had her hair, and it was a private room at that stage. I think it was her first round of chemo. So everything was looking pretty good, you know, if this is what, what cancer treatment was like, that was okay. Um, but within a couple of days she started to get really sick within about a week, I think her hair started to fall out in big clumps. Within, I think about a month she started really losing weight and getting quite pale and very bald. I think I'd started losing my hair by that point as well. So I think, you know, I sort of understood the baldness, at least in spirit. The hardest part I think for me was dealing with the possibility of losing another friend who I absolutely adored and I guess what that represented for me in terms of coping with surviving. It was very, very confronting going in and seeing this, this hale and hearty vital person that Dish was so, so full of life, which is what drew me to her I think in the first place, get so horribly, horribly sick and suffer from horrible side effects of chemotherapy,

Beverley:

Dish had to have her leg amputated. Then six months later she was told the cancer had spread to her lungs. Further treatment was unlikely to help and she was told to prepare her goodbyes. Dave admits he didn't know how to cope.

Dave:

I'd been to my local GP or the practice that I've been to as a child and I think in typical withdrawn sort of fashion, trying to say look I was having these horrible feelings and didn't know how to cope with what was happening in my life and the doctor sort of doesn't even make I contact with me once during that appointment, sort of grunted and wrote out a script of, I dont even know what it was, and said, take one, once a day and you should start feeling better. So it wasn't a very positive experience of seeking help. I think at various times throughout my teens, I'd had times where I thought that I couldn't bare living with the feelings I was having and the horrible depression. Feeling like I wanted to die just to get away from the feelings. So trying to, I guess work up the strength to go to a doctor and seek what I thought of as, you know, the place where you go for help and not really get that help was quite discouraging. That's probably an understatement really. It was, it was awful. It was crap. And you know, she tried a couple of different alternative therapies like the Ian Gawler juice diet and you know, reading other accounts of people who had survived the same cancer. And I can't remember exactly how she found out about the treatment, but there was a doctor in Perth that had been operating for decades, had been the chief oncologist in Perth, and it was just a bit of a, a non mainstream treatment, you know, it wasn't chemotherapy and it wasn't radiation, so it was non not really recognized by the status quo. And just went way over to Perth for six weeks and came back in remission. Um, it was like a miracle. It really was. It, I'm not a religious person, but I've got to say that was like a miracle. It was going, I guess from all hope is lost to getting ready to say goodbye to your what? You, you what? Um, yeah, it's roller coaster of emotions, just, just a highs and lows and lows and lows and this massive high, again,

Dish:

Throughout the years, um, I've been able to learn and read his signals very well. Because we're best friends, but we're almost beyond that, because they're really, we don't have many secrets with each other. Um, and when Dave tends to withdraw a little bit, um, it's usually always for a reason.

Dave:

You know, I dropped out of university, I was getting heavily involved in local amateur theater company. I had met a girl through the company and we started a relationship. And that was sort of my life for the next six years, you know, this, this sort of progression of moving from one job to the next. Not really feeling like I was satisfied with the work, but it was a paycheck. And that was what you did in life? You know, at times my friendship with Dish wasn't as close when she was away and my partner was very insecure and jealous, I needed to get my wisdom teeth out because they were growing into the bone. So I had to have surgery and that was okay. But in seeing the, the surgeon a month afterwards, he said, oh, when are you going to get your jaw fixed? And I said, what do you mean? And he said oh your bottom jaw is sticking out by like two centimeters from your front jaw. Your top jaw. Um, and I wasn't really aware of that. It was just my normal, Yeah, the surgery itself was really scary, but I got through it, uh, waking up after the surgery, I was just in agony and it seemed like the pain relief didn't, didn't help at all. Um, at one point they were telling me I had to stop screaming, um, and that they couldn't give me any more morphine because it would stop my heart. So the postsurgical pain did go down and I ended up with a, uh, a sharp, sort of achy feeling in the bone that has stayed there ever since. So that was 2003, and that was something that I just had to learn to try and function with. You know, I was on pretty strong painkillers and continuing on with my lifestyle as I had been in a relationship. And I probably didn't discuss the emotional impact of constant pain until after my relationship with broken down. Yeah, I'd never had counseling. I never had, never did anything after Patrick died or when Dish was sick. I drank really heavily, but that wasn't coping. Um, I think that was the opposite of coping. So it took until after the, after the relationship had broken down, I was really throwing myself into work and was sort of working my way up, not so much the corporate ladder, but working in an industry where being a sales rep was one of the, the pinnacles of that career path. And it wasn't until probably a year and a half of being at this one particular workplace, quite a small business. Um, I had been asked, it was like a Christmas period. I'd been asked to make a delivery of some, some of the stock that was, quite heavy. I think it was 10 boxes at 30 kilos each or something. Uh, typically it wouldn't have been my job, but it saved them $5. So, you know, could I do it please? And I, uh, I injured my back lifting these huge boxes out of the boot of my car. All of that would have been fine if I had been able to go and get treatment and it had just been acknowledged. But, uh, what was probably, you know, a fairly normal back injury, low back injury, turned it into this whole sort of life changing events where the company that said Nup. Your, your injury doesn't exist. Your just trying to con us. Um, or if your injury does exist, then you didn't do it at work. So either way we are not responsible. So yeah, that was, that was a pretty horrible progression, I guess from relationship to break up, to stopping doing what I would have loved, to focusing on work, to suddenly hurting myself at work. By the time I'd stopped work, you know, the painkillers were getting a higher dose because I had new injury and, um, I was feeling that loss of purpose and loss of anything in my life. You know, I felt like I had previously had this wonderful hobby and fulfilling relationship and career that was going somewhere, to all of a sudden I couldn't work anymore and everything else was already gone. And my mental health was, was deteriorating quite a bit. I mean, I'd already been on antidepressants for a couple of years by that point. Um, but I was getting these horrible lows that I didn't know how to cope with. Um, I'd sort of repressed all the former episodes and sort of got through them one by one, but this one was somehow different. I didn't, I couldn't bear the way it felt. Just feeling so horrible. All these horrible feelings and thoughts going through my head out of the blue, I sort of talked to Dish, she invited me up to a family property for the long weekend. I caught the train up because at this point I, I couldn't drive. I was really, I think I hadn't driven for over a year. It was really, um, not just because of the panic attacks but also the medication, it just wasn't really safe to be on the road. And so I caught the train up and they picked me up at the station and it was, um, it was going to be great seeing my friends for the first time in ages and just spending time with people that had taken me into their family, into their hearts. Um, but for some reason on the night before we left, I felt this horrible, worse than usual lowness of low's where this crushing feeling of like something was stepping on me from above telling, trying to squish me out of the world. It was like a weight that I just couldn't bear. I don't know how to exactly describe it other than that, it was an overwhelming feeling of nothingness and aloneness. Even though I just spent the weekend with my friends and they were still right there in the same house with me, I just felt this nothingness and hopelessness that got me to the point where I thought that I, I had to die. And so I sort of worked it out and wrote out a whole big lot of messages on my phone and, and went to sleep thinking that that was going to be it.

Lifeline:

There is always hope. Lifeline is here to help reach out to us on 13 11 14 or via web chat each night at lifeline.org.au

Dish:

My reaction to Dave's attempt was, um, oh, I think I felt, number one, I felt really sad that I couldn't be there for him. Um, a part of me also felt, uh, uh, not to be selfish, but, uh, there was, a sense of, um, he was withholding that information from me. Like not a sense of betrayal, but I did feel like he, um, uh, I wish that, you know, he was able to, to come to me and then I started to question myself. Did I have walls up?

Dave:

It, um, you know, everyone had been already so wonderful to me. Um, I just felt like I was a big drain on everyone. I felt like, not a nuisance per se, but just a like a drain. I don't really know how else to say it. Um, you know, it's a, it's taken me years to sort of rethink and reexamine that point and see that, that wasn't what was going on at the time. But in my confused state with that feeling of emptiness and nothingness and aloneness, I think I was not able to see that there were avenues where I could go. All I could see was the things that I didn't have. All the things that I thought I didn't have. And all I can really say is that, that, that point, exact moment that that action made sense to me at that point in time. Now I'm immensely grateful that I woke up the next morning and just had sort of three or four days of sleeping constantly and not really being able to talk in anything but a slur. You know, I tried the whole sort of medical model of, of seeking help for mental illness, which was you go to a doctor, you go and get a reference to a psychiatrist and maybe even a psychologist for some therapy. And I guess while these things have, there place and they were certainly useful. I didn't feel like I was getting any better. Um, I was just surviving, just surviving day to day. It was in a, uh, one of the appointments with my psychiatrist and we were just talking about, you know, what else can I do? And he sort of a, he sort of thought for a second and he found something. He said, oh, there's this, drop-in center that's not far from, you know, it might be worth giving them a go. I called them up and, and went to sort of find out what it was all about. They initially, back then it was, they were running a drop-in center, which was, the company was called NEAMI national, and they were a Melbourne wide organization that helped people who were in distress or with mental illness. So you didn't need a diagnosis, you didn't need to come and talk about hospital or drugs or therapy. Uh, what they did do was talk about connectedness to other people and finding things that you want to do with your life. And even running a bit of psychoeducation or, um, group activities where they taught a little bit about mental illness and taught about early warning signs and talking about, you know, if you think you're, you're getting a relapse of like bad depression to the point where he could hurt yourself. What are some of the first signs that you might recognize? Thinking back to when you last went through that, you know, what, what are some of the first signs that you could tell people and you could then maybe think about what would you want? What would you want people around you to do if they saw you going through that again? And that was really useful, not just sort of, I'd never really thought about it in that way in terms of trying to think of, okay, what was I going through and what would the people around me who have seen me go through? You know, I knew what I was thinking or maybe have some memory of what I was thinking, but what did people see and what would I have wanted in an ideal world? So part of this whole meaningful life exploration was it sort of first started out by looking at what do you enjoy and what do you do for fun? And it had been so long for me and so long of living in this sort of uncertainty and pain that I didn't have an answer. I was actually speechless. I felt almost like it was highlighting how empty my life had become. And trying to, you know, sort of , they brought out all of these lists of fun things that people have identified and that, you know, just, uh, I thing to look at fun things to do in the community. It was probably about about 60 or 70 things on this list and I couldn't honestly say that I enjoyed any of those things. Bike riding, nope. Tennis, nup, bowling, nup, Golf, nup, board games, nup, computer games, nup, movies. Nah, I think I uh, I pretty well sat in silence for probably at least one full session. So a good hour and a half. I'm just not willing to comment on the fact that anything was fun or not. So even confronted with the list of things that I might enjoy now and might've enjoyed pre sickness. Um, at that point in time I didn't enjoy anything. Looking back at that Dave, I would find that there are things that I do connect with now, but there are also a lot of things that I don't recognize. Um, that sort of lifeless, hopeless look in the eyes. Um, yeah, it was a very difficult time. So then we got started talking about what did I used to do for fun? What did I, you know, the last time I did something fun, what wasn't, um, and it was bowling back many, many years before, um, or going to the movies. And as it happened they had a, uh, a movie group that was made up of other members from the drop in center, like a monthly thing. We'd go and see a movie and stay around and talk to each other about the movie for a couple of hours at the coffee shop next door. And it was a small local cinema, sort of discount cinema, had like 15 or 20 seats in the, in the cinema. So it was really small, quite intimate. Part of my thing I guess when I was very unwell was going out and being crowded by people. So this was really nice medium of being cozy and not so formal seeming. Or not so full of people seeming. And just going next door and no pressure to think of a topic because we're talking about the movie we've literally just sat through. So there was no sort of pressure on trying to think of what I'm going to say and what are people gonna think of me. It's literally just we've sat in silence or sat, you know, talking at the screen, um like, I do. To sitting next door in the coffee shop and talking about the movie. And even then we didn't have to do that part if we didn't want to. But um, I got into the idea that this is a cool thing that I could do.

Beverley:

Before long, Dave was organizing the movie group himself, sending out texts and emails and getting everyone together. Not long after he surprised himself again when asked if he'd like to take on another challenge,

Dave:

The drop-in center talked to me about some of the other branches of the, um, the organization. They've got drop-in centres around Melbourne and um, they were looking for people like me who are interested in doing more than just using the service. You know, the fact that you've used the service, you get to have a say in what the service should be like and that's how we think it should be. And that that was really satisfying. Yeah. This idea that sort of, I'd come from a place of being completely devalued, you know, lost job, lost work, lost previous life, felt pretty hopeless and worthless to being invited to have a say. You know, uh, it's led to going back to work for me, um, in a whole different field than what I left 12 years ago. I have really jumped on the bandwagon of, of this whole idea of wellness through occupation. Um, it's very much sort of an occupational therapy viewpoint, but, um, you know, going through years and years of medication and thinking that medication and talking therapy is the only pathway to getting better. Getting involved in NEAMI in the first place was, was sort of talking about this alternative nonclinical recovery model, which was very much just about helping you take a look at your life strategically looking at what is meaningful to you, what's important to you, and trying to make goals based around those things that you've identified and helping you achieve those goals. You know, it's very simplistic, but it was incredibly successful, you know, and I guess what became increasingly important to me was doing this work. I'm not singing and dancing, but uh, I am hopefully using, I guess my, my ability to talk to people in a way that can help communicate good things. There was some training offered by the local primary health network, called, assisted suicide intervention training. I didn't anticipate, I guess the impact that spending two days talking about suicide and suicidality would, would have on me. Having previously attempted to take my own life. It, um, came as a bit of a shock at the end of the first day. I, um, had disclosed the fact that I'd made an attempt on my life during that first day of training. And I remember coming home just exhausted. I was drained, sort of came home and flopped into bed and slept straight away. But woke up at around midnight and my mind was racing. I could not settle myself. I was just really not quite at the stage of pacing, but my mind was going a million miles an hour and nothing that I might normally do to feel better was helping, um, I couldn't even really get out of my mouth what was going on in my head. It was just sort of chaotic and distressing and I knew that I didn't want to hurt myself, but at the same time, I couldn't bear this feeling. And something that they had emphasized during the day as the people who were running this training were Lifeline, was that lifeline isn't just for at that last possible moment. It's also for when you're in distress, it's a crisis and lifeline, not just a lifeline. So you can, you know, if you're in need, by all means call, call better than not call. Um, so I did and it was wonderful. You know, I was in a really distressed bad way at that time and I think within about 25 minutes I felt great and got off the phone and I guess I'd probably stayed up reading for about an hour and went to sleep. You know, I, I had gone from being so distressed that I was feeling desperate. Like I just needed that, that feeling and thought to go away, to being pretty peaceful, relaxed, ready to have a read for a little bit before I felt sleepy and went to sleep. I thought that I just had to find a new dog. I think part of me wanted to have the company and companionship again, but part of me sort of chose to adopt a puppy and a puppy that would get into, you know, sort of become a bigger dog. Because that would force me to be a bit more active and forced me to get out of the house. Um, whereas previous I'd become, just in that sort of six months of not having a dog, become quite vitamin D deficient and my skin was getting a bit translucent, quite blue. So I'd gone from being quite pale and unhealthy looking to, you know, within a few months quite sun kissed and all of a sudden I've met all these lovely people at the park. You know, I've talked about all sorts of fascinating stuff. It's sort of having a dog as a real equalizer. So it doesn't matter where you're from, if you've got a dog, your someone who you can talk to. We've had a real heat wave in Melbourne in the last few weeks and I haven't been walking my dog at the usual time. And yesterday morning I got a text message from one of the people at the park saying, just checking, everything's okay. I haven't seen you in awhile. And I thought, wow, that's really lovely. How lovely is it that through my dog I've developed these new friendships that, you know, not people that I would hang out with individually, but just people that are friendly enough to check up on me. One of the things, one of the tasks or jobs that I've picked up over the last few years has been a, um, a bit of guest speaking at a couple of universities in Melbourne. I guess one of the main messages I try and give them is that distress and going through dark times is something that everyone goes through, whether they need formal professional help for that or they just need a friend to talk to. Everyone has some level where they are feeling dark and needing, needing help. And to go through that is completely natural and normal thing to go through. Nothing to be concerned about. But the thing to remember is that that with people around us and with friends or family or professional help, whoever it might be, that there is always someone there to help and that, you know, even if you don't feel better immediately, maybe the first few days it's just a matter of keeping going maybe the next few days it's just a matter of keeping going and having something to look forward to. Maybe the next few days after that it's having something to look forward to today, tomorrow, maybe next week. You know, the journey to recovery isn't something that will necessarily happen overnight. For some people it might. But for most people it probably won't happen overnight. But something that, um, was told to me when I first joined NEAMI and was very unwell, was that I complained about feeling hopeless and not knowing what the point of keeping going was because I had lost hope and they said, you don't need to carry your hope right now, we'll carry it for you. So you know, if you can't feel that right now, that's okay. We'll hold it safe for you until you're ready again. And that has really helped me. You know I try and tell the students. It's, it's, you know, you don't have need to have all the answers yourself. You're never going to have all the answers. That's okay. It's okay not to have the answers. As long as you're willing to listen and let someone be heard, and willing to sit with them through their distress, you're going to be helping. And if you're willing to sit them with them and keep them company until they're able to feel a bit better, you've done a wonderful thing. If you're friends with someone who is unwell and needing professional help, um, and you're not knowing how to be a friend because you're scared of making it worse or saying the wrong thing, just be there for them. You're not, you're not doing a bad thing by being there, by being there for them. You're doing a wonderful thing for them. It'll make all the difference in the world.

Dylan:

Happy Birthday.

Group:

Hippip Horray, Hippip Horray

Dish:

We always do something for our birthdays and it was Dave's birthday last week and Dave hides out on his birthday's. He doesn't like them at all. So I let him have that day and we, I'll, you know, I won't do anything about it. And then I'll always just invite him over a couple of days later or the day after, and then I'll spring a cake or something on him. And Dylan, uh, is my daughter who's nearly six, and she loves uncle Dave. He is probably one of her most favorite people. And so she, yeah, she started singing happy birthday to him. Um, and the thing about Dylan is, um, she unlike me, is not really affectionate. She chooses the people that she chooses, you know, that she feels is privileged enough to have a cuddle.

Dave:

Privileged. Yes. Yes she's so funny when she drags me around in the backyard and forces me to play hide and seek or play Chasey or just go to the restaurant or push on the swing for several hours, or

Dish:

you're a good uncle. Uh,

Dave:

Nah, she's just got me wrapped around her little finger.

Dish:

True.

Beverley:

Thank you for listening to holding onto hope. Lifeline Australia is grateful to all our interviewees. Who share their stories in the hope of inspiring others. We also acknowledge all of you who provide support to people in crisis and those on their journey to recovery. If you found this podcast helpful or inspiring, please share it, rate it, write a review, or subscribe wherever you download your favorite podcasts. If this story has affected you and you require crisis support, please contact lifeline on 13 11 14 you can do this at anytime, or visit lifeline.org.au to access web chat every night from 7:00 PM to midnight. If it's inspired you to be a lifeline volunteer or to donate, please visit lifeline.org.au. With thanks to Wahoo! Creative for interviews, editing, and production, and the voice of lived experience, which is essential in the development of our work.