Jeremiah* was unemployed for eight years after struggling with substance addiction. Once he was clean, Oak Tree supported him into employment and he has now secured a full time role with a large company. This is his story.
In 2007 and 2008 I did a carpentry course for a year, but I’d had my first daughter by then so I didn’t do my apprenticeship. Then I spiralled out of control a bit and got into the synthetics. I’d had to call my marriage quits; I’d found out through two people I didn’t even know that she had cheated. I’d had a second daughter with her, so had two kids at that stage.
I took on odd jobs like gardening and things, then met my next girlfriend after that. After three weeks we found out she was pregnant as well. Sadly I got stuck into the synthetics and things, made some mistakes, but I turned up, got my daughter, got clean. Then I ended up with my sister and got liver failure on her couch where I was sleeping. My brother said I’m leaving, come with me or you won’t see me again. Around that time I got clean and found a new girlfriend that I’ve had a son to.
My sister and two of her mates she met through Oak Tree were working for you guys. I tried a couple of times to get an interview but let synthetics take over and made some mistakes. It took a bit but I finally grew up, even though I’m still a manchild. My partner was on my back about money, WINZ got on my arse about doing something with my life.
I rang Oak Tree half an hour before my interview and explained my history. Sandra told me to come in for an interview anyway and it’s fitted in like a puzzle! I was expecting it would be like every single job where I’ve told them I’ve previously dealt with a substance abuse issue and it’s gone downhill from there. When Sandra hired me, it was so amazing to feel that. It was such a shock to have someone willing to have faith in me and the changes I've made and take me on. Sandra believing in me was the best.
At the moment, I’m taking it day by day, enjoying the work and getting home at the end of the day to here my son say “dadda”. It’s my first child that I’ve had for over two years; for my others I had left my wife when they were coming up to one and one was taken by CYPHS [Child, Youth and Family] before she was two. I will admit, I did struggle with my son. It wasn’t long after my daughter was taken that he came along, so it’s been a rough ride.
Sandra believing in me was the best. When she said she’d get the paperwork, I felt cheered up. No offence to anyone, but I fully expected to get kicked out coz I’m still working hard trying not to relapse. I talk to my partner etc, my family are not involved, they chose synthetics and crack over everything else, that’s how my sister lost her five kids as well.
My social anxiety goes through the roof every day I turn up. I fight with that a lot, but despite that I’ve got two good guys working side by side, so it’s easier. I have got a number for Geoff, so if I feel like going to relapse I can call him. Sandra has been very, very supportive, so it’s all good.
*Name has been changed