I used to work in a cleaning factory for thirteen years as a truck driver. I enjoyed riding high in the seat above the other traffic. However, circumstances changed and things started to go wrong. I became unable to cope up with the challenges that I faced in my day to day life. I became sick and had to give up my job. Eventually I ended up in the Auckland DHB mental health service.
I spent a year in the residential respite care and later shifted to Point Erin Lodge. Then I was transferred to Pathways mobile team where I was assigned to a passionate and a caring gentleman named Seyed. Seyed helped me in many ways, firstly to increase my fitness and help me to feel more ‘well’ and later in supporting me to connect with people.
Seyed drove me to Mission Bay beach every week for a fitness walk and then I would have my lunch at a park enjoying the sun and the cool breeze. Lifestyle changes helped me feel better in myself. I started to look forward to my outings and found that they helped me with meeting and getting to know people too.
I have learned how to set simple and realistic goals and work step by step to achieve them. My first goal was to get my driving licence back and I’m proud that I have managed to get it renewed. The second goal was to find a part time job. My dream came true when I found a part time job doing assembly work.
Getting a job and going to work has had a really positive impact in my life. I feel happier, more confident and just feel better about myself. I have managed to establish a new routine and I feel so much more in control of my life than before.
The thing I really love is that I have started connecting with my extended family members again. When I get holidays, I go out of Auckland and spend time with my family. I feel connected when the kids call me ‘Uncle Mack’ and that makes me feel like I’m not alone.
My journey does not stop here. I know I can achieve so much more, especially knowing that Seyed will continue to support and inspire me to grow and plan for the future. I’ve already started planning for my Christmas. I have opened a savings account to prepare for Christmas. With my saving, I am dreaming of having a very colourful Christmas with my family.
My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has helped me in my journey.
*Peter’s name has been changed to protect his privacy. Everything else about his story is real.