Path af­ter re­hab

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

the cou­ple moved to Perth last year, but af­ter only three weeks of work­ing for the fam­ily law firm, his brothers found him un­con­scious af­ter over­dos­ing on ben­zos and opi­ates. SHALOM HOUSE In­ca­pable of help­ing him­self, Mr Steen­hof sought help at Shalom House.

“I knew it was Aus­tralia’s strictest re­hab and I made the counter-in­tu­itive de­ci­sion to ap­ply pre­cisely for this rea­son,” he said.

He said Shalom took a no-non­sense, cold turkey ap­proach to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“If you’re ex­pect­ing to wan­der in and swan around smok­ing cig­a­rettes and get­ting trans­ferred from il­le­gal drugs to le­gal drugs like Xanax and Val­ium you can for­get about it,” he said.

“It’s a work­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion so you’re not go­ing to be sit­ting around navel-gaz­ing; you’re go­ing to be do­ing some good, hard, hon­est, pro­duc­tive work.”

In the ra­dio in­ter­view last week, Mr Steen­hof’s wife, who is a nurse, said she had cov­ered up her hus­band's prob­lems. WIFE'S WORDS “I was re­ally naive and pride­ful at the start where I didn’t want to ad­mit my mar­riage was not what it ap­peared to be and it was ac­tu­ally a big lie,” she said.

“I was brought up a Chris­tian. Sepa­ra­tion and di­vorce are just things you don’t talk about, so I hid a lot of what hap­pened from fam­ily and friends.

“My In­sta­gram looked beau­ti­ful with lovely pho­tos and I tried to sup­port Rich as best I could, but in hind­sight I think I en­abled a lot of his be­hav­iour.”

She said it was in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to have no con­tact with her hus­band for the first three months of his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“It was the hard­est thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. “I was left to pick up all the pieces that were bro­ken while he went off.

“I had my three girls and rent and school fees to pay. “I was very scared.” Even though the fu­ture re­mained un­cer­tain, Mrs Steen­hof said she had faith her hus­band would “lead” her fam­ily through what he has learnt at Shalom.

“At the start it was ob­vi­ously heart­break­ing for all of us, but in seven short months, just to see such an amaz­ing change in him through the peo­ple at Shalom, but ul­ti­mately God’s changed his life,” she said.

Shalom House did not re­spond to Com­mu­nity News’ re­quests for an in­ter­view with Mr Steen­hof. YANGEBUP’S Michelle Dolan is the 2019 Mrs Galaxy Aus­tralia.

The 28-year-old drag rac­ing en­thu­si­ast swapped the Perth Mo­tor­plex track for the cat­walk last month when she was one of 10 fi­nal­ists named in the Mrs Galaxy Aus­tralia com­pe­ti­tion.

The mother of three said she had been “ex­tremely ner­vous” be­fore the pageant but she was in “ut­ter shock” when her name was called out.

“I never let my­self think that I had it in the bag, I was just grate­ful for the ex­pe­ri­ence and to be there,” she said.

“The other girls in my sec­tion were all amaz­ing and I knew it was go­ing to be close.

“The look on my face in pho­tos will show how shocked I was when I was called the win­ner.

“I’m so grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity though; not only have I won the Mrs Galaxy Aus­tralia ti­tle, I gained friends for life and I’ll be for­ever grate­ful for that.”

Ms Dolan will now travel to Florida in Au­gust to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in the 2019 Galaxy In­ter­na­tional Pageant.

She said she hoped she could use her new ti­tle to make a dif­fer­ence.

“I love to do char­ity work and help out where I can, and hav­ing the ti­tle makes it more ac­ces­si­ble,” she said. “I hope I can in­spire other women to step out of their com­fort zones and try some­thing dif­fer­ent.”

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