Bobby - With Flourish Australia beside me I’ve overcome debilitating anxiey to walk free in my life

To recover, I needed to leave a toxic situation and be encouraged to believe in myself.

When I was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 2004, I tried without success to get on with living a regular life. My life was a shambles and I felt unable to go anywhere because I suffered panic attacks every time I set foot out of my home. 

The experience of a controlling, toxic relationship had overwhelmed me with self doubt and triggered psychotic episodes. Once I removed myself from the situation and accessed Flourish Australia’s services through the NDIS, I found the support and encouragement I needed to turn things around.  

I was connected with a Peer Worker who shared his own lived experience of mental health issues and supported me to adjust, heal and cope with life. Just having someone to walk beside me on my recovery journey helped me to overcome my fear of going out. We started Tai Chi on Fridays and I felt able to include going for coffee or lunch. Gradually, I built up the confidence to attend group outings and socialise with other participants and Support Workers from Flourish Australia.  

I have a sister who cared for me all my life until I received the NDIS and gained the support of Flourish Australia. Now she can just be my sister.  

My current Support Worker, Penny, brings me out of my shell with patience and understanding and encourages me to believe I can do anything. She taught me a helpful tip; ‘fake it til you make it’, for times when I struggle to believe in myself. Knowing that she and some of the other staff have their own lived experience of mental health challenges, shows me that I can recover. 

I really appreciate being free to do things at my own pace while enjoying each other’s company.  

I have done away with recreational drug use and everyone associated with that, because it wasn’t good for my mental health, and those people bring me down. Since then, every day gets brighter and brighter! 

Until recently, past trauma made it challenging for me to express myself but with the invaluable aid of the Flourish Australia team, I’ve made a start on writing my story. I’m taking my time because it requires being vulnerable and strong enough to deal with the reactions of others, to what I share.  

I’ve also started to become involved in physical exercise, after 12 years of inactivity and feeling devoid of passions and motivation. Joining classes at the local gym is my way of improving physical strength and mental capacity. 

Little by little I’m learning to love and care for myself again. Thanks to my support team I’m healing mentally and emotionally, and more possibilities are opening up to me now.  

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