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MY STORY by James Nutt

“My life Pre September '03: "It was GOLDEN, it was GOLDEN!!!"

I feel like my life hasn’t been all that joyful, relevant or relaxing in any way since being assaulted at the Rugby League Grand Final after party in Aberdeen in 2003!!! The reasoning for this is both wide and very depressing!!

The incident left me with an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury). I was placed in hospital for rehabilitation, where, due to some complications and circumstances with my care, caused me to become paraplegic. These two things alone have a huge part of my depression after September 2003 but unfortunately there were further problems that caused me to have feeling of hopelessness and certain suicidal tendencies between 2005 and November 2011.

At the start of 2005 I was relocated to an aged care facility in a country town. I had lined up a few trials in group homes in Newcastle but none of these were a place for me to live as all of the other residents could not communicate with me. Although it seemed like it was a better choice than the group home, I trialed the Aged Care facility but it turned out to be not suitable for me. I did not feel supported and felt that not one staff member showed me any respect at all.

In 2009 I moved out to my hometown Merriwa, and here I lived at another aged care facility which again was not an ideal place for a 25 year old male to be living. There was approximately one death per week in the first 11 weeks I was there and any friendships I was trying to establish were hard.

Now having lived in these places for so many years it had a really bad mental and physical effect on me and knocked me around.

For me, living in aged care facilities was (and I believe still is) a sad reality for which young members of society with disability still have to endure. It is here where their lives become ‘melancholy,’ they have low self-esteem and you become despairingly miserable.

However I want to share with you how things have turned around! Though my depression has now, (well since November 2011) been: "GOING, GOING.....GONESKI!!!!"

I have now moved down to Newcastle where I can get into any of the shops I’ve wanted to visit for years. I do my own shopping, cooking, cleaning, pick out the clothes which I’d like to wear, and anything else that requires to be done, ON MY OWN!!! I do these things by myself, with just a little help when required, from the staff members of both ‘LIFESTYLE SOLUTIONS’ and another local support service!!!

I go for regular walks along the beach onto the break walls and have even recently been to the V8 Supercars in Sydney. Also my social life has really been maximized since being here in Newcastle, as my ‘TRUE FRIENDS’ all live down here and visit quite regularly.

At the moment in my house in Waratah, I have help to do my daily requirements by the two organisations. My support workers are great. These employees have taught me that my life has not been cut down at such a young age of just 19, but that yes I have a ‘DISABILITY’ but I can still live life to the fullest.

In this word DISABILITY now I see that it’s not the DISABILITY I need to think of but it’s the word ‘ABILITY’ inside that you have to think about.

Let me say EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE of Lifestyle Solutions is AWESOME!!! They have all been so nice, kind and treat me with respect. I consider every single one of them as a friend and hope that they consider me a friend as well. Everything that I have wanted to do and achieve they have all said that they are happy to support me to do as long as it is safe. I have so much to look forward to.

The end of 2011 has been the best time of my entire life and that is what it is my life. MY LIFE BEGINNING AGAIN!!!!

 

This story was written by James, a person we support in our Supported Accommodation Services.