Two paths, one destination – navigating recovery together

When you walk through the doors at Marrin Weejali, you may be at life’s lowest point, but here, you’ll find safety, friendship and an immediate sense of belonging. This is a place where stories of healing and hope find a voice. You don’t have to travel this path alone. There is power in navigating recovery together.

Recovery is inherently a personal journey, but the support of loved ones can be invaluable, especially a partner. We’d like you to meet Trent and Amy, who have been navigating their individual paths to transformation over the past fifteen months. With gratitude, we’ve walked alongside them as they rebuild their lives. Here is their inspiring story so far.

You have to want to change

Trent and Amy had both attempted to break free from drugs and alcohol before, with offers of help from well-intentioned people and professionals. However, the reality is that lasting change requires a genuine inner desire and commitment. For Trent and Amy, the turning point came when they entered Marrin Weejali, and all the necessary elements aligned.

We became a part of Trent’s journey when he was court-ordered to seek help. Initially, Amy wasn’t interested. As Trent engaged with his counsellor at Marrin, he understood that recovery wasn’t a one-time effort but would require daily dedication for the rest of his life. Slowly, he started to change. And almost six months ago, Amy noticed.

“She started to want it. She started to come along. She was very shy, and I said they needed to get her someone she could relate to, and they gave her the perfect counsellor,” says Trent.

Amy felt at ease with her counsellor right away, just like Trent did. Marrin was a safe place where nobody judged them. This was the moment Amy joined Trent on the road to recovery, but they both had their own paths to follow, even though they were walking them together.

“His recovery is his. Mine is mine, and we don’t interfere,” explains Amy, “but we do support each other. We go for walks every day with our dogs so we can get to talk about these sorts of things.”

Unlearning a lifetime, rebuilding with strength

Both Amy and Trent faced childhood trauma, which contributed to their struggles with alcohol and drug dependence. Amy was the youngest in her family and suffered significant loss and feelings of abandonment, and Trent was exposed to distressing experiences from a very young age.

“I’ve had to change basically everything. Everything I learned from two years old was wrong. All my friendships, my relationships, everything was drug-based or criminal-based,” says Trent.

By actively participating in meetings and appointments at Marrin, Amy and Trent are embracing a new approach. They are acquiring the necessary tools to transform their lives, both individually and as a couple, beginning with shifting their focus to gratitude and positivity. Trent documents his thoughts daily on his phone, while Amy is part of a Sober Sisters Whatsapp chat where they collectively share 10 things they’re grateful for each morning. Her first thoughts for the day are always on Trent and their fur babies.

Setting boundaries and making compromises were key steps in the process, but the most crucial tool they have been empowered with is constructive communication. Through talking openly and honestly, they are able to understand, connect and support one another and continue building trust while navigating the challenges that naturally arise in life.

“We’re still learning about how to have a relationship in a good, meaningful way. It might sound a bit corny, but it has been like falling in love all over again,” says Amy.

It’s a daily process

Amy finds tremendous inspiration in Trent’s mantra: “I wouldn’t trade my worst day in recovery for my best day in addiction.” For both, it captures the profound truth that while recovery has its challenges, they’re nothing compared to the immense struggles of addiction. And it keeps them on the right path.

“We wouldn’t be here today without Marrin. Our relationship and even just being here. I go to my counselling and appointments every day and the things I’m learning, they really should be teaching and implementing these things in school. It would set kids up with healthy lives and a healthy way of living from the start,” says Trent.

We all face challenges that cannot be avoided, but what we can control is our response to them. Through consistent meetings and effort, Trent and Amy have cultivated healthy support and communication within their relationship, enabling them to better manage obstacles as they occur. While they still hold their own opinions, they now have the tools to navigate disappointment and disagreements without reverting to old habits. Additionally, they have learned the importance of setting boundaries and removing triggers.

A bright future ahead

Before these positive changes, Trent had never picked up a book. Now, he finds comfort in reading regularly. Amy has found fulfilling friendships for the first time. Together, they enjoy a healthy social life and have reconnected with family members, including children and grandchildren, sharing in activities like babysitting and attending kids’ sports events.

Inspired by the sincere, understanding and compassionate support they’ve received here at Marrin Weejali, Trent and Amy are eager to share their experiences and give back where possible. Trent is currently pursuing his studies, while Amy volunteers her time in service to AA and within the community.

For two people who crossed paths during challenging times and initially formed a relationship amidst struggles with drugs, alcohol and chaos, Trent and Amy have undergone an inspirational transformation physically, mentally and spiritually.

Amy says, “I hated myself before, but I can honestly say I like myself, and I love myself now. The help, the support for confidence, the love, the community spirit that you get from Marrin Weejali – It’s heaven on earth.”

You can take the first step towards healing and reconciliation, too

“When I’m facing challenges, I’ve talked to my counsellor, I’ve talked to Tony, I’ve talked to Melinda,” says Trent, “They’ve taught me there’s a better way. And everything I need to support my recovery is all here in one place.”

Do you need support to overcome addiction? At Marrin Weejali, we develop and run programs and services to reduce the physical and emotional distress of alcohol and other drugs.

See our Aboriginal drug and alcohol misuse programs and social and emotional support programs.

You are welcome at Marrin Weejali.

Contact us for a confidential discussion.