Lo­cal sur­vivors share their Sto­ries of Hope

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS - Grant Stock­well

A PAIR of Sun­shine Coast lo­cals from po­lar op­po­site back­grounds, but bound by a sim­i­lar tale of sur­vival, will share their sto­ries of sur­viv­ing ad­dic­tion at the Sands Tav­ern later this month.

Fox, as he prefers to be called, was an Amer­i­can sniper who sur­vived stints on the front line of the Iraq and North Korean wars.

But he was wrecked by a sub­se­quent drug ad­dic­tion – and he in­tends to re­live his hor­ror story of de­pres­sion, PTSD and al­co­hol and pre­scrip­tion ad­dic­tion.

As will Tess, a lo­cal mother whose son had devel­oped a full-blown ice ad­dic­tion by the time his 16th birth­day rolled around.

The pair are guest speak­ers at Sto­ries of Hope’s next com­mu­nity event to be held at the Sands Tav­ern on Sep­tem­ber 26 at 7pm.

Sto­ries of Hope founder Ker­rie Ather­ton, her­self a re­cov­er­ing al­co­holic turned coun­sel­lor, said she started host­ing the monthly events to meet the de­mand of peo­ple bat­tling sub­stance abuse, espe­cially ice.

“Ice is a shock­ing drug that dev­as­tates fam­i­lies and ru­ins peo­ples lives so quickly,” she said.

“I know from the coun­selling work I do the dam­age it has on not only the user but also their fam­ily and friends.

“When they’re on it they cross ev­ery moral bound­ary they ever knew and the guilt they feel when they come down is so sad to see.

“It has them to­tally hooked in one or two times and from that day on their lives are torn apart – and the re­cov­ery from the with­drawals and side-ef­fects can take two or three years.”

Ms Ather­ton be­gan host­ing Sto­ries of Hope events in Jan­uary this year and she re­cently started host­ing sim­i­lar bi-monthly events at Nam­bour.

“We hold them for any­body who is need or is lonely or is go­ing through a hard time or bat­tling an ad­dic­tion,” she said.

“The two speak­ers at the next event are truly in­spi­ra­tional and their sto­ries will re­ally hit home for the peo­ple at­ten­dance.

“The com­mon theme is hope – where’s there is hope there is life.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

HELP OUT: Sto­ries of Hope host monthly meet­ings to share sto­ries to help oth­ers.

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