My name's Gene and I'm an addict.
I identify as a gay man. I guess you could say I'm quite a bubbly, outgoing um, person.
I um, had been in active addiction for, since I was 15. I guess, to escape? You know, I had a lot of pain and suffering um…growing up. Being um… gay, I guess I um…experienced a lot of, um…you know, bullying in school, suffered a lot um…with, you know, mental and physical abuse I guess and I became um…unhappy person. So when I walked through the doors of Higher Ground, I was, you know, a broken man.
My first day in treatment, I just cried the whole time.
About five weeks before coming into treatment, I received a medical diagnosis that really made me really rethink how I wanted to live. And it was kind of a wake up call, I guess for me to grow up and, and, and take some responsibility for my own things that I'd gone through.
At first I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people, but by the time I got here, I realised that this is actually a safe space and, Higher Ground really, supported a lot of diverse people from all walks of life, you know so I, I felt really supported and I, I guess I felt encouraged as well.
We have ‘MFG’ groups - the multifamily group - where all the residents will be put into different groups with family members to come to support, where impact letters will be read um, you know, and, and the family are encouraged to participate in the group, you know, and offer feedback. In many ways, that was the biggest work to receive here.
Family are encouraged to participate in the group, you know, and offer feedback. In many ways, that was the biggest work to receive here.
While I think there's definitely a life to be had without using substances, you'll be able to find new ways to connect, you know, you sort of form of families here. You don't really expect to do that but I've found a, a new family here.
I guess how my life looked in the past and how it is now and how much hope I have for the future now is what really keeps me going. You know, I have to pinch myself sometimes. You know, it's, it's a world away from how I was living before. Yeah.
Higher Ground really supported a lot of diverse people from all walks of life, so I felt really supported and I, I guess I felt encouraged as well.