Several years ago, I felt pretty hopeless. The idea of having a job was scary, let alone pursuing a career in the the addiction sector, carrying out academic research at the university, and raising my first child. I feel I owe my way of thinking and life to the whānau at Moana House, some of which are now my colleagues. They challenged me when I needed it and fostered the strengths I didn't know I had. Of course, all of this was with love and a whānau-like environment.
My perspective on 'change/recovery' has changed over time. While I get that it has its selfish moments, one thing that will never escape me is the idea of tāututu or reciprocity—giving back is what drives me, but it also sustains me.
As I moved from being a resident to a staff member, the idea from here is to show others what is possible when you decide you’ve had enough of the old.
It's pretty simple for me: people in this field must have others believe they can do something other than the status quo. This is the space where hope for oneself can be nurtured.