“I’m starting to do other things and getting out of the house more, going to the movies and doing different things like that. I used to get depression a lot, I got put in hospital a couple of times from depression.
“I ended up in hospital for a couple of weeks and they rang up Neami. Adam came out and had a good talk to me. When I left hospital, he started to come over to my cousin’s place, and had a good talk to my cousin and his wife and said ‘look the bloke needs help we’ve all got to pitch in here and help him’, and they all did you know and helped get me back on the right track.
“In the four years since I’ve met Adam and the rest of the Neami crew they have taught me to open up. You can’t be a recluse and hide under a shell and drink and take drugs. They’ve taught me to come out from underneath that shell and start reaching out and I think it’s worked out really well for me.
“It means a lot to me that I can do that now. I can reach out to a lot of different people now where before I wouldn’t do it I just didn’t reach out to anyone because of what I’d been through.
“Now, we’ll sit down and have a good chat about how we’ve been getting along. We talk about our health, talk about what we’ve been doing. We talk about everything…it’s good.
“I get myself to the doctors now but [Adam] always asks if I am keeping up my doctor’s appointments. I make sure that I take my medication and get my blood tests every fortnight and the doctor’s pretty happy with me. Adam just makes sure that I’m keeping it up when he comes to see me.
“I get to muck around in my shed now, and I’ve started collecting tools and got myself a pushbike. I picked it up off the scrap heap, fixed it up and I’m riding that around.
“They helped me to get this place here, which I really appreciate, and I look after it really well. I sort of surprised myself. They come around and they can’t believe how well I look after this place and how well I look after myself. Now that my heads a lot clearer, I find I can do more of a day. Instead of having to work out what to do and what is going to happen to me, now I don’t have to worry about that.
“I’m starting to get back to my family, and the family is starting to come and visit me now. They’re starting to realize that it’s different. My son comes over and brings my granddaughter. They have seen the difference so now they’re bringing the kids over to see me, and I’ve got things to look forward to.”
Darryle is a consumer at Wadamba Wilam in Victoria