After completing my HSC/Year 12, I went straight into the workplace. The financial realities of life were real. I did not have the opportunity to put myself through a full-time university degree, as I needed to learn what it was to live out of home and support myself in the big scary world.  

After 3 years of full timework, I decided that I wanted to do a business course, so I enrolled myself into a part-time online advanced diploma. I was juggling the commitments of full-time work, part-time study whilst also trying to have fun and manage a social life. It was not easy. 

My mental health was affected. That was undeniable. Living with a mixture of financial, professional and personal responsibilities. My choices were also driven by an unhelpful underlying belief, that I needed to be something and do something remarkable in my career to be deemed as being successful. I did finish that degree and landed an event management role, which I was dedicated to for 5 years.  

Since then, my career path has not been linear. As I have evolved, so have my choices and journey. When my mental health was at its worst, my sense of self was defined by how much money I had in the bank, the clothes I wore, the car I drove, the people I hung around and the job I had.  

As I have worked on myself, I found that happiness comes from inside and nothing external can bring a true sense of self love. My life is now defined by the values that I hold and the thing that truly brings me joy – human connection. 


This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.


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