I have ended up in some not ideal situations when I was younger. Having a choice and choosing the one that took me further away from safety was a regular thing for me, further away from genuine people who cared for my well-being, with alcohol in the mix it didn’t seem to bother me until it was after the event. Remorse, guilt, anger, embarrassment not remembering the night or days before with small pieces of my memory unable to retrieve. I know them now, as blackouts. One time I woke up after making some decisions through the night to keep the party going. I’m not sure if I woke up or just regained my consciousness, trying to piece all the jigsaw together in my brain only remembering little bits of the night thinking I wasn’t that bad. Walking back to where I started the night, finding my backpack chucked outside the front door, I grabbed my bag and left. I was in a strange town not knowing where I was, but I was 5hrs drive from where I needed to be in 2 days for work as a chef. I had no money because I had blown everything on the night before, no phone and no food, I walked to find a highway. Having hitched lots of times before I set upon my way to get home. My body was full of anger and hatred how dare they kick me out. I did not remember what I had done, little pieces of embarrassment filled my thoughts. My goal was to get home without help. I had walked for a couple of hours till I had found the right way to go, there were lots of small towns between where I was and were, I needed to be. I got picked up by a nice lady who could only take me just out of town which was fine it was normally easier to get a lift it was 2pm I had walked for an hour on the highway. Which I do not recommend anyone do this day and age. I got picked up from a guy who drove me to the next town, I waited at the petrol station asking for lifts, I received another lift which took me another half an hour closer to my destination, before I had to get out as they were going another direction. It was getting dark it was a little cold and I was started to sober up. I was tired but I kept walking, with the few cars going past at high speeds I knew I wasn’t going to get picked up till day light I was 70km from the next town. I kept walking but I must have fallen asleep. I was lying in a bush on the side of the road, I got up and tried to find a more comfortable bed for the night. I put on my spare shirt out of my backpack and lent up against a fence. I think I slept for a couple of hours, the early morning chills got me up and walking again. As I was walking, I was looking at all the stars and exploring the night sky, I could see the sun coming over the horizon. I received a lift in the early hours of the morning from a farmer who took me to the next town. I was 2 hrs drive away from where I needed to be. I walked through this small town in a bit of a zombie like state and took a drink out of a garden hose to quench my thirst. I walked to the end of town to a service station and started asking for lifts, I probably didn’t look the best and no one wanted to give me a ride so thought I would show everyone a big fuck you and get myself home, I stopped putting my thumb out and focused on being angry at everyone including myself. It was getting late and the sky was full of clouds. It started raining soft at first then patches of heavy. I started laughing at first but then the novelty was wearing off. I was drinking out of the puddles on the highway I don’t think I will forget the taste of that water. I started to get lonely thinking maybe I should have knocked on the door and apologised. Thinking about the way I acted and what I could remember, It stopped raining and a quiet patch of the night came through there were no vehicles no wind and I could not see the stars. I looked up and in the distance I could see lights as my eyes focused it was lights to a town, I thought it was one town before my own which I knew I could catch the train home like I had done many times before. I started to jog I was excited thinking my journey was near the end, I jogged and jogged then walked a bit. After doing this for a few hours I realised that the town was further away than I thought. My feet were blistered I was wet and tired, I walked the whole night as the sun came up the town lights disappeared, what a letdown I walked till the early hours of the morning till I seen the 80km sign, I knew I was close so I picked up my pace. I got to the 60km sign and I was in town looking around to find something that was familiar I sat down on a chair in front of a bakery, thinking of ways I could ask for food I read the sign that was painted on the glass. I was not in the town I was thinking of, there is no train here it’s in the next town, I had hit a wall I did not want to go any further I walked into a service station and asked if I could use there phone as I have no money, I called the only number that I knew, it was my dad’s. I was happy he answered his home phone. I told him we’re I was which was 1hr and 30 mins away and I needed a lift. I hung up the phone and thanked the man in the station for letting me use his phone and sat on the bench outside. I was tired and hungry and feeling lost. I drifted in and out of sleep for a few hours until I seen my dad’s work Ute pull up, I jumped in and not many words were said for the start of the trip. He told me the people I was with had called, they were worried, and were looking for me. He took me to where I lived and dropped me off, I had a shower, a feed and a small sleep and got ready for work. People use drugs and alcohol for many reasons- to relax, have fun, socialise, cope with problems, escape from life or dull emotional pain. Using substances to cope doesn’t make problems go away and can make them worse or add new problems to the mix. Becoming dependent in order to cope, rather than getting help or finding positive solutions, can create longer term problems. Get help if you are experiencing any of these effects, physical health, Mental health, Personal relationships, work or financial, social impacts. It is difficult to accept you have a problem and ask for help. Be honest with yourself and others and get the help and support you need, don’t allow drinking to ruin your night. If you feel that any substance controls your actions in a negative way and gives you regrets, be honest with yourself, seek out help, hang out with people that bring the best out of you and want the best for you. This is the first step towards moving forward. You are in control of where you end up, take ownership of your situation. Keep smiling and be happy.
I had been living in a small mining town for a couple of years. To get my start underground I started playing football, although I had not played AFL before I could play rugby so that helped a bit just not with the rules which I got picked up on through the first few years of my career haha. One of my first games, the atmosphere around the club was infectious, the crowd got right behind the team. After the game all the players, supporters and family’s Were having drinks at the club house, it was a good family environment. I started talking to a couple of lads that had been in town for a long time. I told them about the house I had bought and the repairs on the fence I was going to do the next day. They mentioned that they would be there to help in the morning. Me not thinking to much about it went home early to rest for the next day, that night and didn’t think I would receive any help. The very next morning in the early hours I had a knock at my door and these guys all dressed in work gear ready to work with me and give me a hand without a second thought. This act of kindness really showed me that there are some good people in this world, there word is there bond and actions speak louder than words. I will never forget all the help I have had through the years and have always tried to return a hand if anyone has asked. The smallest kind gesture can go along way.(that’s me at front giving my son a high five my number was 44 too)
Doing good holds the power to transform us on the inside, and then ripple out in ever-expanding circles that positively impact the world at large.