Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Starting over at 51

Jafar the Barmecide
Community Member

Ok, this is take 2 of my first post, I was wisely advised to edit it as I probably gave too much detail and risked doxxing myself and went into triggering territory so here is the revised post-

Sometime ago (redacted to summarise) I had legal issues, and as a result I lost my job, my car, my license, the respect of my family, friends and colleagues, my dignity, my house and eventually, my freedom. I was in a dark place, that is allI can probably say

The journey from there to where I am now is why I am here. I have been through a hell of a lot more than 2500 characters can describe and there is still a long way to go. I am now homeless and unemployed with a conviction that is proving to be a barrier to progress. I have to start over, I have to find a reason to live, some spark that gets me up in the morning. If I can get myself through this, I will be well placed to help others who find themselves starting over, whether they have just been released from prison or newly sober and commited to remaining that way or need help navigating the courts and justice department, I now have experience to share in all these areas and if that can make a difference in even one person's life, then I have found my spark, my reason to live.

My goal is to get to a place where I am comfortable enough to turn around and reach out to people on the same path, learning how to use the systems and services put in place to help people in the most effective way possible by using those services. Beyond Blue is one of those services. I'm here to learn and share and try to stay focussed in the face of the daunting task of starting over at 51.

42 Replies 42

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Jafar, I thought I had replied to you and if not I apologise.

You know there are many good people who have, unfortunately, been caught in something on the spur of the moment and didn't really have time to think of the consequences and truly want to redeem their bad luck.

It's the same with an alcoholic who has stopped, but been through what no one else has done, because a book can't necessarily tell you what actually happens, but an alcoholic can, so being in a group or an organisation that can explain all of this is wonderful.

Your knowledge and experience will do wonders for the site.

Good luck.


Hi Jafar

You are strong.... I started on the forums back in 2016 (when I was a nervous wreck) and I didnt have the courage to post my own thread for weeks. You are always welcome

Thankyou for being a part of the forum family Jafar

my kind thoughts


Yes Jafar, I've completed the course last year and I ready recommend it.

You'll find that a lot of your classmates have experienced or are experiencing a hard life, they want to heal themselves and support the others, during the journey you will get great inspiration not only by your teacher but also by them. And you will be the one who contribute a lot, which will make you feel so fulfilled. Hope you enjoy your journey.


G’day Petal22, I had a look at those videos that you suggested, the Kirby bloke who started Arcofyre had a very similar background to me, I had a look at the organisation and was disappointed to see that the two bikie fellas he started Arcofyre with left over disagreements, by the looks of the stories only within months of that video being made. There doesn’t look to be any branch in my state, but I did send him an email telling him my story and goals because we got a lot in common, I’m hoping it will get off the ground.

I must get a “Working with Children” card to start this course, I am nervous about it even though there is nothing to do with children in my criminal history. I have been told not to worry; they are only looking for people who needed to go into protective custody, so I am sure there won’t be any problems, but it never feels good having someone look at your record. I better get used to it though, I gotta be upfront with every potential employer about my past however uncomfortable it is or however anxious I get.

Most of the time they have made up their mind about me before I get a chance to speak. If I wear a suit, I look like I stole it or I’m going to court as the defendant. I have spent more money removing tattoos than I did getting them, and it’s only made a dent. My face is clean now but there’s still a bit of work to do on my hands and fingers, the rest I can cover with clothing.

Alright kids are home gotta go

Hello Jafar, I'm not going to blame you for having them, that's your choice, as I'm not against tattoos so much, it's just I don't have any, and some small ones are attractive on a female, but there are on an occasion this is decided for different reasons, but it doesn't mean you don't have the experience to help others, as it's just cosmetic.

A while ago the Champions had to get WWC and the only trouble was filling out the form and signing it within the small sized box allocated, that took me a couple or tries, but I have my WWC.

You will be OK and your valued experience will definitely come in handy for many people.

Good luck.


Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

Thanks for watching the video’s and looking up Arcofyre……. I hope you hear back from them 😊 please let me know how it goes…. If you want to….

Please don’t allow fear to ever stop you from doing anything you really want to do……….. just dive in…… you really are doing great things and because your intention is to help others things will fall into place for you.

remember your past was a “ lesson “ not a life sentence.

To be truly free you need to free your self from the false thoughts inside your mind… only then you will be truly free….

Your tattoos aren’t the person you are they are just in the outside of you….. the true “ you “ is on the “inside”…, allow this to shine through you…

Believe in you and great things will begin to happen.

Jafar - I had to laugh at “If I wear a suit, I look like I stole it or I’m going to court as the defendant”! Hahaha! It sounds like you will get a lot of cred/ respect from those you wish to help once you get into the role you’re heading towards ie others who are walking a challenging path.

I wouldn’t worry about the working w children check. Your name will be just another “meaningless” name in a massive pile of names the checker has to get through as quickly as possible (I’ve heard this is often a backlogged task as there are so many people getting the check so the checker is v busy).

Keep on trucking, A

Jafar the Barmecide
Community Member

G’day you’se mob,

Reading through this forum makes me realise just how much I gotta learn before I attempt to peer anybody, let alone answer a post. I really want to rescue everybody, you know? -from bullies, from their toxic partners and relatives, even from their existential dread. The couple of times I have posted in someone else’s thread I’m anxious as hell trying not to overstep the mark, and I want to make sure I only address those things I have direct experience of.

I had a catch up with what I call my bogan mates, these blokes I’ve had to keep at arm’s length since I got out. They are all drinkers, but they are more than just old drinking buddies, a few of them I have known since school, a couple were in my battalion, and one was a cell mate. These are also mates who stuck by me and encouraged me to get my s*** together, they are my brothers.

They are all ‘going straight’ like myself but I was the one who had to give the grog away as an everyday thing. I fell off the wagon first time since April, but I don’t see it as a lapse or relapse, it was more of a planned once a year kind of thing. I made sure I only had a limited supply and made sure I was full of food and made sure I was first to say ‘See ya later’. I haven’t re-ignited a dependency, in fact the next day reminded me painfully why I don’t want to do this every day.

While it was great to catch up with buddies it did remind me how behind I’ve fallen in the ‘Game of Life’. I remember my 40th birthday and thinking on that day that I’d ‘made it’, I had my house with a pool, 2 motorbikes- my Harley Softail Fatboy Lo & the Triumph Bonny Bopper and, 2 cars- the SS work ute & my treasured 1972 HQ Kingswood. I was looking at buying a boat, I was working in security, managing a team. Not only that, but I also had a beautiful young wife, soon to be the mother of my youngest son. A year and a half later, she was gone. 5 years after that, everything else was gone too.

I find it hard. It’s one thing to know that something is true intellectually and another to apply it into your life. I know that money and toys don’t make a man, but that’s exactly how I judged myself and every other man. My shame and embarrassment at catching public transport, standing in line for my dose at the chemist, going to Centrelink really destroyed my sense of dignity and pride. It’s hard to break these ideas and use other ways to measure your own worth.

Anyway, gave me something to think about.
See you’se later

Hi Jafar the Barmecide,

I understand how you use to judge your self worth.

But I can see that you have awakened to the fact that your worth really isn’t measured by that all.

I believe our self worth is measured by how we treat others and how we treat ourselves……

Everything you are doing now In this moment to better yourself you should be proud about because all of those things will mount up to alot and it’s creating the new improved version of you……

Thank you also for your contribution.

I think it’s great that you have mates that encourage you in life to do great things.

Im glad to hear you kept your alcohol in check.

Im sorry that you had so much and then you lost it including your wife….. did you ever get to meet your son?

I understand it’s so hard to feel like everything is gone that we value in our lives……. But you really can get all of that back…. It will just take time and hard work but it’s possible.

I understand that standing in line at the chemist to get your dose, getting Centrelink and catching public transport could feel embarrassing to you and bring down your sense of pride if you look at that way.

The thing is we can alter our perceptions at any given time we can look at things in all types of ways…..

One way to look at standing in line at the chemist to get your dose is………. I’m being proactive by getting a dose.

Catching public transport….. you are doing this to get from A to B on your own and not having reliance on anyone else…….. you may just meet someone on the transport who’s having a bad day and you could make it better for them by just being kind.

I understand you think of your life before everything was gone try to just let the past go and move forward into the future building a new version of yourself ….once you get to the top of that mountain the view will be amazing.