Mark knows first-hand what it’s like to reach rock bottom and begin the enormous task of rebuilding your life – one step at a time. His mental health journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster, as he experienced the false highs and earth-shattering lows of psychosis.
“I was going through psychosis and my life had basically fallen apart. My marriage ended and I wasn’t able to contact my daughter, who was my whole world. I was dealing with repercussions of what had happened when I was acutely unwell. Overall, it was an awful time.”
At his wit’s end, Mark was on his way back to hospital when his case manager connected him with the Transitional Recovery Support (TRS) house for a second time. In a time of great darkness, Mark describes the support he received in the house as ‘truly life-changing’.
“Once I got into the TRS house, everything changed – the psychiatrists changed my meds and I got involved in different groups and therapy. The support workers were always there to talk to and I met some great people living in the house, one of whom I’ve become great mates with. The whole experience changed my life; really, it saved my life.”
Mark has since moved out of the house, but still enjoys activities three times a week with the TRS Capstone program for former and current house residents.
“There’s a great sense of community among the group. Being connected with TRS has helped me a lot socially and given me a purpose. The team are helping me with my goals and are always checking how I’m going. My goals mainly centre on socialising, as I lost a lot of confidence through my psychosis.”
Mark says the experience of going through severe mental illness can shake a person to their core. Finding like-minded people has made all the difference in the world.
“It can be an extremely isolating experience and it’s hard to imagine that other people are going through similar challenges to you. Meeting people who can relate to you means a lot, and we help each other through the bad times while embracing the good times together.”
He says with the right people in your corner, anything is possible.
“My mental health was so bad in the house, it was hard to imagine I would be in this position so soon. I didn’t think I’d come through it as well as I did. That is all because of the support I received. I’m happy to share my story if it shows others there is hope and you can get through it.”
With his feet planted firmly on the ground and his eyes steadfast on the horizon, Mark is looking forward to cultivating a brighter future for himself and his daughter.
“I’ve finally realised where I want to be and what I want to achieve. I’m keen to set up a new life in the Tweed area – somewhere I can have my daughter during holidays, where we can walk to the surf and enjoy quality time in the outdoors together. I’m feeling positive about continuing to focus on myself, to get myself into a position of wellbeing so I can achieve that.”
Mark appreciates the TRS team for steering him in the right direction when he needed it most.
“It’s only just now that I’m finding myself again. For so much of my life, I’ve lived other people’s lives. Now I’m finding my purpose and figuring out what I want out of life. TRS helped build me back up and supported me to find my confidence and sense of self. I’ll be forever grateful.”