Meet Greg

We hate it when society says “just” to our guests!

  • “Just get a job”

  • “Just get a house”

  • “Just get clean”

When society says “just” to our guests it reveals that society doesn’t really understand the complexity of what most vulnerable people are going through.

So with his permission we wanted to share one of Greg’s (abridged) Facebook posts with you.

Greg is one of our Soul volunteers. He is an amazing bloke and a powerful contributor to Soul Hub’s administration. He looks after our WH&S and practically organized & ran Friday Chill for us this year.

(This is a longer post that usual but please read it all. You will be encouraged)


Last week, I reached a significant milestone in my recovery. Over the course of seven days, I found myself facing a situation that I hadn’t encountered since I stopped using, and it’s fair to say that it was a pretty life-changing week for me.

Let me explain.

I live with my parents. I moved back home in September 2022, about three months before I started my recovery. I was 44 years old, and my life was a complete mess. In the years before that, I’d lost my job, I’d lost my house, and I’d spent every dollar I had feeding my insatiable addiction to drugs. I had nothing left and nowhere else to go.

With incredible courage and love, my parents took me into their home, knowing that I was a drug user caught in the darkest depths of addiction. I’m so very blessed to have parents who cared for me so much that they were willing to stand by me even though it must have been obvious to them that, at that point, I had zero interest in changing my lifestyle or getting better.

But three months later, that changed in a most dramatic way. I found God. And so my recovery began.

Living with my parents while I’ve recovered has given me stability and a sense of accountability that I wouldn’t have had if I’d still been living alone. Waking up every day in the safety of their home and care has given me a sense of security, and their unwavering love and support for my recovery has given me strength.

And then, last week, they went away on a well-deserved holiday, leaving me by myself for the first time since my recovery began almost 15 months ago.

I wouldn’t say that I was worried about being left to my own devices; in my heart, I knew I’d be okay. But I’d be lying if I said that the thought of being alone for a week didn’t ignite old memories of how I used to behave when I lived by myself. And, as I came home to an empty house last Friday night, I couldn’t help but feel a little on edge. I was nervous about how my sober mind would react to time by myself. I struggled to remember the last time I was alone for any length of time without using. Would I know what to do with my thoughts? Would my mind betray me? Would I be tempted? I wasn’t having thoughts about using, but I was having thoughts about having thoughts about using, and that was pretty confronting.

Then, there was the practical side of things. I’m blessed to have parents who have taken care of me in all sorts of ways during my recovery so that I could just focus on rebuilding my life. My Mum is one of those classic mums who cooks for us each night, takes care of the washing and cleaning, and keeps the house tidy. But when I was an active user and living by myself, I didn’t bother with things like cooking, nor did I clean my house unless I was forced to, and when I did, I was always high as a kite. So it’s fair to say that it’s literally been years since I lived a “normal” adult life that included everyday activities like cooking, washing and cleaning. Naturally, I found myself wondering, “Do I remember how to take care of myself?” That might sound ridiculous for a man of my age, and I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Welcome to the real world”, but that’s just the point! For years, I lived in a world that wasn’t real. A world in which I ignored my basic needs in favour of fulfilling the needs of my addiction. It was all I knew for a very long time.

So, as silly as it might sound, having the chance to take care of myself for a week without any supervision, for the first time since I stopped using, was a HUGE thing for me.

And it was so good.

I cooked, I cleaned, I did the washing. I took care of the dog. I kept a daily routine. Such simple things for most people, but unfamiliar and so a little more complicated for me. But I did it. Sober! Even better, my mind stayed loyal; I wasn’t tempted to use and I didn’t experience any urges. In fact, I relished the opportunity to spend time by myself reading, studying and playing the piano, and I really enjoyed discovering that I could just sit in moments of quietness and find myself at peace with my own sober company.

What I discovered last week is that I do remember how to live a self-sufficient, “normal” life without using drugs. And while that might sound like a strange thing for a man to realise in his mid-forties, it was a beautiful, encouraging and strengthening revelation for me.

My parents are home now, and it’s good to have them back. But it’s even better to know for sure that, while their constant presence and love and care have been instrumental in my recovery, I’m perfectly capable of living a sober adult life all by myself.

And for that, my friends, I thank God.