"They say that connection is the opposite of addiction. But you don’t always know how to connect. I’d go to the AA stuff and I’d stay on the fringe; I couldn’t really open that channel, because I was so used to pretending that my life was together when it wasn’t; that is such hard work and so exhausting. You don’t want anyone to see a life you’re not proud of.
I think I'm very hard on myself; I felt like a failure for a long time. Even in addiction I was terribly hard on myself, which actually kept me in that loop. I felt like I wanted everything to be perfect…it was no one but myself putting that sort of pressure on me, but it made it really hard to get feedback or constructive criticism, which is really important in life. I found it really difficult, it felt so raw. I'm definitely getting better with that.
I’m not beating myself up as badly either…maybe that's because everyone here is so gentle and kind. When people are kind to you, maybe you think that you deserve to be kinder to yourself. They model that for you here…a lot of the women I work with haven’t always been kind to themselves, or for whatever reason haven’t valued themselves. But because the people here value you, it makes that a little easier.
It's a brave thing reaching out for help; it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. And I'll keep reaching out. It's built into us that we have to get through it ourselves, but you don't have to and it's not the best way forward."
“I don't need someone to hold my hand... but I do need people standing beside me”
I had a partner die last year and it's been…a lot. We split up; I got sober, and then he died of an overdose.
I came to Two Good feeling like I was just broken. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I've cried at work and I just didn't know if I’d ever steady up. Mastering that emotional regulation…I've come from trauma and some diverse stuff and you can be very alone in that. This place made me feel like…like you’re not alone. It made me feel more capable as a human being and so supported.
It’s been a workspace, but it's also been a place for me to chat to someone, or come in a bit broken or not be able to cope. It really helped me firm up. To come in, bleeding inside, and still being able to get through the day. Proving to myself that I can, and starting to build resilience through that. To fall down, but then get back up again.
A young girl at Jarrah House first told me about Two Good; she said her mum had been invited to do it, and I thought, I don’t know exactly what I’m doing – I’m not ready to go back to work, but I know I need to keep busy. I looked it up and I just cried; I didn't know such a place existed and it just sounded perfect.
When I started, it was sort of a shock to the system, being on time and all that - but now I know that I can be a good employee, I can be on time. I can get on with people at work, and manage my expectations, and feel like part of the team. I’m starting to feel really good about myself because of the work that I'm putting in. I know I’ll get a great reference…and I know it’s because I’ve earnt it.
Now I feel a lot more settled; I feel like it's all possible now.
TWO GOOD THROWS
"I’ve even done a couple of photo shoots lately! I've always hated being in front of the camera, I've just always been quite self-conscious; so uncomfortable in front of it, like I was gonna die. I generally feel like that, but these photographers just…I don't know, it just felt really happy and fantastic. I guess this is my safe space, too.
We just did one yesterday with the new alpaca blankets - they're really soft and bougee, so luxe! It’s very high end…it’s something that would be very special to be given.
I was in a refuge about 20 years ago. I was in pretty big danger, looking back now; I could have been killed. We had to flee and I remember sitting down at the table and thinking, I'm safe. To have been given something so luxurious, in that moment of my life…I would have really remembered it. Something that makes you feel special; like an individual, that makes you feel human and not just a problem. It’s an amazing thing."
"I come from a family of foodies. We always had fresh produce and good food around; we didn't have any processed things and we were always into the healthy, organic stuff. I love making my own stuff; I love the tactile-ness of it. Me and a half-priced chicken…don’t get me started. I remember having a bad day ages ago, just grabbing a whole lot of strawberries on special and just hulling the strawberries, feeling the juices run down my hand…I get a lot of joy out of that.
It was a huge moment to make a lunch for the shelter meals, and to share with the team; Bec’s Tex Mex Chicken! Mexican chicken, brown rice and quinoa salad, fresh coriander root, lime juice, cumin, charred corn, and served with a lime yoghurt. When I was packing it, I was like…this meal is going out to women's refuge. And yes, I did cry. It was just one of those full circle experiences that can be a really positive thing, moving forward. Having that relatability.
I’d really like to work in community services; that's going to be a little while away, until I’m separated enough from my own trauma…but I'm getting there."
“It was a huge moment to make a lunch for the shelter meals, and to share with the team”
"For me, 2022 looks like working actively stay sober. It means going to after care going swimming and being in the water. And I’ve started going to the gym, which is another part of my mental health plan; trying to be balanced, without trying to do it all.
I think the reason I didn't used to look after myself is because I didn’t think I was worth it. But such a real thing to me now; because I'm starting to value myself more, I’m worth looking after.
And l’ll also be looking for some work! I want to look for a workplace that has the sort of ethics that Two Good has; I want to be somewhere where I feel like I make a difference, making people smile, doing something I care about and that I feel I can add value to. I don't want to overcomplicate it more than that, really. But now I know I've got I've got what it takes to be a good employee…and I just never thought I did.
There’s a lot of options open to me now that I feel weren’t open to me before, whether it was self-belief, or skills sets…there's a lot of things that Two Good addresses. I'm looking forward to Friday sessions too, there's a focus on giving you a resume. Before, that was just terrifying to me!
It’s still a little bit scary...but all good things are."