Triple Care Farm saved Belinda's life. If it wasn't for the Farm she wouldn't be here today.
I grew up with a wonderful and supportive family. They were caring and loving and my parents tried their best to help us in every way they could.
When I was 14, I was sexually assaulted by an older guy and later, when I was about sixteen, I started getting flash backs to that trauma.
I started drinking and smoking dope. Then I started to get really moody and depressed. The drinking and the drugs got heavier, especially the prescription drugs.
I never injected, but alcohol, pot and then meth became my way of numbing my thoughts and feelings.
I couldn’t see a future for myself. I couldn’t imagine myself getting married, or having children. I couldn’t even imagine myself holding down a job. It was all so dark.
When you are in the dark you can’t see any light. I just didn’t want to be here.
I tried to kill myself.
Mum and Dad called the police and the ambulance and I was taken to a mental health ward. I was supposed to stay there for three months, but I left after one and a half months and went into a rehab. Then back to the mental health ward for another one and half months. It seemed like I was stuck in a cycle and I couldn’t get myself out.
When I was in hospital someone told me about this place called Triple Care Farm. I was lucky enough to get a spot there.
The Farm changed my life. It saved my life. The program allowed me to try a range of new activities, even ones that I didn’t think I would enjoy. I not only learnt skills but I learnt a lot about myself. Triple Care Farm gave me space to think and a place to start again, away from everything else in my life. The staff were really supportive of me through my whole time there – they were more like family than staff and helped me every step of the way.
While I had detoxed at hospital before going to Triple Care Farm, I still found it really difficult in my first week at the Farm as I got used to my new surroundings and being away from drugs if I wanted them. I struggled adapting to other people, I found it really difficult to mix with the other students, but as I continued on my own journey everything became easier.
I remember not being able to sleep. I felt terrible and I will never forget that feeling. I was anxious and paranoid. But I wasn’t alone. There was always someone to help me when I needed it, even if it was to sit with me when I was scared and couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t the only one to struggle, the other students all had their own challenges too but none of us were alone.
After I was at the Farm for one month my parents came to visit me. Seeing how surprised they were at my progress made me feel proud of myself and hopeful for what more I could achieve.
With the support of the staff I gained more confidence. I even learnt to drive a big tractor and got my forklift licence and my RSA. This gave me a real sense of accomplishment and helped me start to visualise a future. I never expected to get this far, and to come out of a rehab with qualifications was a real plus. The world seemed a lot brighter.
Not long after leaving Triple Care Farm I got a job, which I am still at today nearly 3 years later.
My life just keeps getting better. I have met a man who cares about me and we are getting married soon with a baby boy on the way.
My Dad sometime sits in his chair just looking at me and says “I don’t want to bring up the past, but it’s amazing how far you have come, I can’t believe that you are getting married to a wonderful man and going to be a mother.”
It sounds dramatic, but I truly believe that if I had not gone to Triple Care Farm I would now be dead.
I am so thankful to everyone who has supported Triple Care Farm and people like me. Without the support I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so excited about my future, the future I didn’t think I would ever have.
*Name changed and stock photos used to protect identity