Tony - The man in the glass

For me, flourishing means no more regrets! I get to be myself, free from any anxiety about fitting in, and own every challenge I’ve come through.

I lived with regrets about past choices until Flourish Australia taught me to see my lived experience from a strengths based perspective. It shaped the self-assured person I see smiling back at me from the mirror today.

Growing up, I felt anxious about fitting in around people. I took up skateboarding to give me an edge and got into DJ-ing where I had the time of my life until pressure to perform and dabbling in drugs to boost my confidence brought everything unstuck. Stepping away from music was tough. It was only by becoming involved with Flourish Australia that I found real purpose and life has come together.

For years I hid myself away from people, working in a factory. A girlfriend gave me a poem called ‘The Man in the Glass’ about looking into your soul to ask yourself if the person in the mirror fits your vision for your life. I could barely look my reflection in the eye and that set me on a path to getting back among people. Stigma around mental health had caused me to avoid medication and admitting I had a problem but Flourish Australia don’t use labels, they look at who you are and what you want in life.

Breaking free of my dependence on drugs wasn’t easy but Flourish Australia showed me how to connect with the confidence I craved, inside of myself. I reconnected with others through a casual role at their Warm Line where I used my story to open a dialogue with callers about their own struggles. 

It’s rewarding not to hide behind a mask anymore. I coach my son’s soccer team now and talk to the kids about bullying and ways they can use strengths based self-talk to come out on top. I can see myself moving into a role around suicide support in hospitals and becoming a peer leader.

Being with someone in that moment when they most need support is what fulfils me now, so they can share what’s going on for them, instead of masking it by self medicating.

Become a peer worker

We value lived experience and believe peer support is a powerful part of the mental health recovery journey. Flourish Australia are proud to have built Australia’s largest peer workforce

For more information, contact us on 1300 779 270 or make an enquiry now.

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