From an early age Max* was exposed to drug use in the family home. Despite this, he thinks he had a “pretty normal” upbringing. Max finished school and completed his HSC. He then enrolled into a diploma course to follow his dream of music.
During his later teen years, Max’s parents separated and then divorced, which was very unsettling for Max.
Over the next few years, as his family unit broke down, Max had to deal with a lot of issues. He had been assaulted, sexually abused and been a witness to a home invasion. Max started to use drugs as a way of coping. During this time he was also diagnosed with bipolar, depression and anxiety.
Max continued to get by the only way he knew how, to ‘self-medicate’ with drugs and alcohol.
Over a period of eight years Max had tried to commit suicide 5 times. He moved out to live with his girlfriend but that relationship broke down and she took out an AVO on him. His first love – playing and studying music was also in danger of being derailed as he was about to be kicked out of his course. This was his - and also his family’s breaking point. They said they didn’t want him back but helped him find Triple Care Farm.
At the farm, Max learnt how to manage his drug and alcohol cravings and, in the counselling sessions, he faced up to the trauma that he had endured and worked through ways to reconcile it and move on. He involved himself in the Creative and Vocational Education (CAVE) program which allowed him to express himself with music and art, when words seemed impossible. Visits to the onsite GP ensured Max’s medication was monitored and changes were made to help maintain his mental health issues.
When Max graduated from the 12 week program, he had been accepted into a supported housing service close to his friends, who had now become his biggest support network, and was also able to start back at his music course.
Subsequently, Max, now 23, has moved into independent accommodation. He completed his diploma, has commenced further music studies and has found himself a job that he loves. His relationship with his family is something they are working on together. Max is enjoying life once again thanks to your help.
*Name changed to protect identity.