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30 March 2018

I haven't written here for 6 long years. I have spent them trying to dig my way out of a gigantic hole I had dug for myself. I had covered myself with a barrier of hurt, bitterness, resentment, self- loathing, blame and disgust.

I was angry at the world, I was angry at me.

You know the feeling, you have been there. When your relationship ends that's where you go.

My relationship ended with everyone. I cut myself off. I used drugs and alcohol to mask the hurt. It didn't help. All it did was pour more shit on top of my hole to bury myself with.

The love from friends and family were rejected while I dug deeper and deeper.

Then slowly but surely I turned the other way and began to dig myself back out. A guy called Richard visited me and literally dragged me to a meeting of dads who told me their sorry stories. I realised nothing had changed, just the year. I couldn't believe it. After all the work, all the heartache of years gone by, nothing had changed.

I slowly clawed my way up and another guy called Jim visited me. He listened and consoled. He encouraged me to get involved again in the organisation I founded. Then another guy called David asked me to visit his group in Newcastle. It was there I found family again. I will be forever grateful to the guys there.

Recently I attended what was called a healing weekend down the south coast of NSW once again organised by the guy called David between a bunch of guys old and reasonably new to dids and the current management of the organisation.

It was enlightening, it was emotional, it was powerful, it was life-saving. A bunch of dads coming together for all the dads out there seeking a new way forward ensuring the life-saving work continues.

I will be forever grateful to the guys who involved me and gave me purpose again.

Life can change, it only takes a small kind step towards the light to see the goodness in people once again.

The other night I attended a dids meeting at our headquarters in Coffs Harbour, I had avoided the place for years, it was confrontational for me. During the course of the meeting I looked out amongst the trees and the creek surrounding the mud huts and I swear I could see the past, dads and their kids playing at our father's day events, the opening of the organisation there, Our life-savers who had passed, Mac, Jeff, Erich and others walking among the trees. Mac had just got off the phone after taking a suicide call and with tears was looking up through the trees having just saved a life.

I was grateful for being there, I was honoured to be there, to be a part of the sharing of these mens lives even if just for an hour or so.

I am going to make an announcement here shortly. A big one for me at least. But one thing I do promise you is that I will be more regular with my posts then I have been over the past years. I have dug my way out thanks to my fellow lifesavers.

Thanks Richard, David, Jim, Leon, Graham, John, Ray, Charly, Pete, Ross, Ty and the many, many, more who assisted in the digging. I couldn't have dug out without you.

Tony Miller OAM

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

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