“Before this course, drugs were at the top of my list and my #1 priority. I was dark, lost, hood bound and lazy. I felt like I was a nobody and I was angry at everyone. I was hopeless.”
I was raised by bullies all my school years, which only taught me violence and how to pick on people. I’ve learnt now that my anger and violence has stemmed from being bullied heaps as a kid. I was bullied because of my last name, which I now know and understand impacted me in so many ways. The bullying led to me using drugs from a young age. The drugs lead to depression and heaps of crime. This lifestyle then later led to many suicide attempts and self-harm because I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know where to start so I could heal and change my life.
Being on this programme has helped me heal in massive ways. I no longer have anxiety. I am achieving my goals. I have a willingness to find my potential and purpose in life. I am happy. I am striving every day to become someone. I love my kids and am involved in their lives every day. I am far more focused and energised. I now spend my time doing good things. I have motivation to get a job and work now so I can provide for my family.
“Surfing is my new drug and I love it. Even just sitting in the water, no sound, no one else. It is peaceful”
I also have a new addiction in my life, a good one – surfing. Surfing is my new drug and I love it. Even just sitting in the water, no sound, no one else. It is peaceful. Surfing has helped teach me patience, because you have to wait and pick the right wave. My life before was nonstop and go go go. Surfing has taught me to wait, watch and pick the right waves, instead of just any wave. And this has now taught me in life… to wait, watch and pick the right opportunities for myself.
The first time I went surfing, I stood up straight away. I thought to myself “I’ve already got this!” and it showed me how there is so much I can do that I didn’t know I could do. Some of my bros who had done this course before had told me standing up on the surfboard was going to be hard, so when I did it that first week, I felt something change in me. I saw I had a lot more inside of me than I realised.
This programme has also given me so much hope. All the encouragement and all the positive support from Live for More has been life-changing. At first, I was a bit sceptical and didn’t want to trust them. I was wondering what the catch was because it all seemed too good to be true. I was waiting for something negative to come… I thought “nothing this good can last this long.”
But here I am today and I am so grateful for all the effort that Live for More puts in, all the energy you guys bring. So this speech is just me giving back, showing that all the work yous do for us DOES work and it DOES pay off.
I also want to thank and shout out to all the other Tai Wātea graduates. If it wasn’t for them, Live for More wouldn’t know how to work so well with us boys. All the past graduates have helped shaped this programme into what it is today because they were willing to let Live for More into their lives and they took the opportunity to do the course.
“My kids are grateful for what you’ve done because now they have a healthy father in their lives. I am proud of myself and who I have become, and I now hold my held up high.”
Thank you so much as well to all the staff…. Sean, Jared, Dave, Aisha and Krista. My kids are grateful for what you’ve done because now they have a healthy father in their lives. I am proud of myself and who I have become, and I now hold my held up high.