Bruce's Story

My Journey Up till Now

By Bruce

I was an ordinary fellow: I had parents I got on well with, I had friends whom I saw a lot, I got on well with my brother and sister. My life was enjoyable.  I used to dig in my sandpit, nail together bits of wood at play center and kindergarten . I had swimming lessons. My life started off well. Teenage years loomed upon me. I was a good student I had a good attitude and level of achievement . I started swimming competitively and competed in various Auckland races. I was extremely fit and had a good body image. Then suddenly it happened. My world fell apart. Life was frightening. People were after me. People talked behind my back and swore at me. There was heaps of aggression. All I could do was go quit and hide away. My arms and legs would shake ,my mouth would twitch , I thought everyone hated me: I suffered.

My parents sensed something was wrong and took me to my GP. After lots of persistence they got me some psychiatric help. I was admitted to hospital. I was still extremely scared. I was given medication.

I got a job and worked for three years but I had no social life no friends not even a girlfriend. I left work and home and went to live in a boarding house. Then the car accident happened. My brain was injured-my bones were broken. A long painful journey back physically and mentally began. I passed through a number of services on this journey.

I was with Arahura  for 6 years. I  made gradual and constant progress there. My key-working sessions have provided me with consistency in gaining specific practical and social skills. Hope has gradually appeared back in my life. Weekly counselling sessions  helped rebuild my self esteem and gain a greater understanding about myself and to acknowledge the path I have trod to reach this point.

I  learned to enlarge the ‘good’ and  reduce the ‘poor’. I have gained more self-belief and confidence. I can now speak out at meetings where before I was afraid to even attend.

While with Arahura I  went with  staff to a challenging holiday in Taupo and went jet boat riding, fishing and up to  Ruapehu – these were major challenges and achievements for me

. I now receive positive feedback from people who have not seen me for a considerable time reinforcing my recovery progress

I left Arahura’s residential  a few years ago and now  live independently in my own flat and am enjoying life more and more. I find physical exercise and swimming important to maintain my current recovery .


Our Mission

Our aim is to improve the quality of life for people experiencing mental health challenges through community based support. The Trust is a vehicle to improve the quality of life of people.


Story Snippets

Firstly, I'm thrilled to be working the mental health field, but more specifically for  Arahura.  Mostly because I can use my life experience of living with a mental illness.  This means I am valued for my experience in the same way someone may be valued for their study in their field.


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