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  • Peer workers live

    This is a space visited by peer workers who have a lived experience of addiction and recovery and is an opportunity to relate to and draw hope from those who have been through similar things as you.
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 290
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Peer workers live

    Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:39 pm

    Hey everybody, I just wanted to take this as an opportunity to reach out and let you all know some new times that there will be peer workers live on the forum.

    Every Monday and Thursday @PnorkelPW is here from 8pm - 10pm AEST

    And every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday @ScorpionPW is here from 8:30pm-9:30pm AEST

    Look forward to touching base more often and seeing how everybody is going :)
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 280
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Peer workers live

    Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:54 pm

    Awesome @ScorpionPW ............it'll be great bouncing some stuff around
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    CRAZYGRANNY
    Junior Member
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:46 pm

    Re: Peer workers live

    Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:48 am

    Image Hi I’m here to introduce myself this is all new and wasn’t aware of this help and support available which I found out today. I’m a huge advocator for lived experience and believe it’s one of the most effective communication and support available when someone can identify your struggles and journey. Unfortunately, I myself haven’t been so fortunate in receiving this help but I’m aware it’s becoming a lot better, still needs work but a vast improvement from the past and stigma associated with drug addiction and mental health. My journey began 2007 within the public hospital settings and public mental health system. Over a decade of multiple admissions and diagnosis came with it great stigma from professionals working within these systems and every admission was seen as my diagnosis and behaviours they believed associated with this. I was treated terribly over and over and never looked deeper behind these so called behaviours. There was so much more going on behind my need to use drugs and medicate myself continually to the point where it then lead to many near fatal overdoses. I was in a marriage the whole time and being emotionally and physically abused and manipulated to believe it was myself that was crazy. It was a world of unexplained pain, trauma that I couldn’t identify myself was seeking help desperately but no one saw past my diagnosis and behaviours. It wasn’t til I attempted suicide as my only way out and when, amazingly survived left my marriage, became homeless, bankrupt, jobless and very broken from a broken system that failed me over and over. It was only through my own fight back and advocating to the right services did things improve and I made change happen. Finally through this process the system has new notes and history and awareness of the trauma hidden behind each cry for help. My passion is to be a lived experience worker myself so these changes can happen and no one should go through what I experienced. Also advocating for others is also a passion because it’s often difficult to identify your problems and then know how to go about reaching the right people that can help and make changes to these problems that believe me still exist as a recent personal experience once more but now I know how to address it. I started studying this year with a scholarship to be that lived experience worker within mental health and drugs and alcohol but I became quickly aware that I myself needed a lot more work on myself to be truly beneficial to others.
    So currently I’m in the process and I still struggle with past lifetime trauma that lead me down destructive paths and working hard to see patterns but through the counseling process dealing with the trauma beginning from childhood which is a common thread it’s becoming even more challenging to move through over 50 years but I know there is healing that comes from this. I just hope by sharing some of my story, people can relate and get the right help with the right people especially when you share lived experience, my journey could have been so different and less painful but I believe I’m still here to help others now how to go about advocating for themselves and reaching out for the right organisations available.
    Thanks for listening
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 280
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Peer workers live

    Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:12 pm

    @CRAZYGRANNY thank you so much for your share. I apologise for not seeing it earlier but there are so many threads on the forums that we try to stay on top of and sometimes if we're not tagged in a post we miss it.

    Your story is one one of courage and survival............but one of achievement on a number of levels. I think it's amazing that you were able to use your experience to make significant shifts in the way others will be treated moving forwards............you're already making an impact by using your lived experience. It's not an easy task to change the system and you've managed to do something that many before you have been unable to do.

    Peer Workers and Lived Experience Workers come in many different forms and I believe the only thing that qualifies you is your particular lived experience. People instantly assume that those within the AOD sector are abstinent but that's not the case. There are roles available for people who are still using and they work in the harm minimisation field. Abstinence certainly forms the majority of roles but the term "recovery" means many different things to many different people and I think that rings even more true within the Mental Health sector. One person's idea of what recovery looks like for them is different to another's.

    You've already achieved some momentous changes in the system and you have an extraordinary amount to offer in the future. I guess what I'm saying is that I hope you can work through what you need to so you can continue to make change in the future. I'm also encouraging you and others not to get stuck in the idea that you have to be completely "fixed" before you're ready to work.............but you do need to feel that you're ready.

    The biggest asset we have is our lived experience and it's the struggles that help make us relatable. It's important that we're able to demonstrate that things get tough at times and show that we can get through it. That's what helps others believe they can too. I hope you don't feel like I'm trying to rush you because that's not my intention at all. You feeling comfortable enough within yourself to proceed with your chosen path is paramount. I just hope that you can get to a point where you feel you can continue with Lived Experience work and don't wait for the prefect time to do it.

    Good luck in your recovery and working through your studies. The fact that you have recognised you need the break before continuing with your studies amazing. It's a difficult balance to maintain and I know I found it tough to find my way.

    Keep us updated in your progress and tag us in the post so we know when you're replying.
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