1 October, 2019

At 21 years old, the cycle of alcohol abuse, drug use, and declining mental health seemed inescapable for Tyson.

A couple of years ago Tyson was living a normal life. He had a full time job, a loving family, and a healthy relationship with his girlfriend. But gradually, his life began to unravel.

“I started to lose myself in the money, the alcohol, the drinking,” Tyson says.

“I would go out on the weekends, get drunk, and I would cause problems that weren’t there with my girlfriend,” he says. “We were always arguing, and things didn’t go so well.”

Looking back, Tyson can now see that his lack of self-worth and relationship with alcohol were to blame for the downturn in his life. But the tipping point was when his relationship with his girlfriend fell apart.

“The break up really got to me,” says Tyson.

Tyson turned to alcohol to numb the pain. But rather than helping, alcohol only made Tyson’s situation worse. He lost his job and lost himself in drugs.

“When I lost my job due to all of the reckless behaviour I got worse – doing drugs, smoking weed, taking pills – I lost full connection with myself.”

At this point Tyson was desperate for help, but he felt completely alone. His girlfriend was gone, he had no work, and even his family was withdrawing from him.

“They just didn’t really understand the things I was going through due to already suffering mental illness such as depression. And when I started smoking weed, it was like I was a different person to them – I wasn’t part of the family anymore,” Tyson says. “It really hit me hard. I didn’t know if I could turn to them for any help anymore.”

Feeling completely miserable and with nowhere to turn, Tyson’s last resort was Centrelink. And, through the work for the dole program, he was introduced to ADRA. At first, he was afraid. The idea of working a full day without relying on substances was terrifying.

“When Centrelink referred me to work for the dole with ADRA I was really scared,” Tyson says. “I didn’t think I had it in me to be able get it done, get there every day and be able to work a full day without the substances I’m used to taking.”

But, much to his relief, working for ADRA was exactly the change he needed in his life.

“Working for ADRA has definitely impacted my mental health for the better,” Tyson says. “Before, I was sitting at home, smoking my life away. And I felt absolutely miserable. But when I started working for ADRA, I was so much more motivated. I was happier, and coming here and socialising and exercising, my energy boosted so high. I feel like I’m a new person.”

A smiling young man with beanie carrying a box

Tyson helping out at the ADRA Centre

For the first time in a long time, Tyson has a future worth looking forward to again.

“I’m looking forward to the future with a car, a job, a licence and a family. I want to feel like I’m living a normal life again.”

While working for ADRA has helped Tyson personally, he knows the services he helps to provide go a long way to helping others who are struggling, too. And he wants to spread the word so that those who need assistance can get help.

“It’s really warming to the heart to see so many people willing to help, and so many people getting the help that need it. I don’t want to see anyone out there thinking there’s no help, because there’s help for everyone.”

In Australia, the lucky country, people are falling through the cracks and suffering unnecessary hardships. Your gift today ensures that there’s help for everyone! Give to the ADRA Appeal today and help Australians overcome hardship.