My journey in Australia began back in 1983 – the year I migrated from Ireland. Along with my family and possessions, I brought along my problems with alcohol as well.
It was very difficult to settle in a new country, and I began to depend even more on alcohol to help me cope. Things came to a head when my wife had a miscarriage. I felt like a broken man and decided to seek help at Holyoake which was recommended by a good friend.
Hesitant about seeking counselling at first, I felt very welcome at Holyoake. I began with individual counselling and then joined a group. It was a supportive environment, and I had the pleasure of meeting John Keating, the founder. After completing the program, I felt more informed about alcohol and my circumstances, and I resolved to give up drinking.
My self-esteem improved substantially, and I decided to go back to school. At the age of 28, I completed Year 12, followed by a 4 year degree in Health Science at Curtin University, and then started a career in construction management.
I am so grateful that Holyoake has played such a positive role in my life.