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Letting Go to Move Forward

01 December 2023
6 edited for web
Harry*, a man in his sixties, has been incredibly affected by his past and experienced times of deep depression and feelings of suicide.

He had been living in a condemned house that was cold and leaking, with his beloved dog, Teddy. He judged himself for the way things turned out in his life and shut himself away from people. It felt too hard for Harry to build relationships with others and trust people due to his long history of family harm and trauma. 

Harry had been collecting all sorts of treasures for many years, and been hoarding stacks of papers, tools, clothing, sports gear, and household items. These things were meaningful to Harry, although they were beginning to deteriorate, especially with the leaks and with so much around.

Quote Harrys Story v2

Harry was getting some assistance to find another place to live but it was proving difficult as he really didn’t want to move. It would mean that he would need to go through his possessions and get rid of some to be able to move into the new place.

As the deadline for leaving approached, Harry’s depression and anxiety intensified. He couldn’t bear to let anything go, everything had its place and meaning to him.

It was during this challenging time that one of our dedicated social workers, Rick*, extended a compassionate hand to Harry.

From the very beginning, Rick recognised the depth of Harry’s experiences and the pressing need for someone to listen. Night after night, Rick sat with Harry, offering a safe space for him to share his life stories. Through these shared moments, trust began to blossom, and the path to healing became a reality.

With the support of a committed team, which included another agency’s support worker, Steve*, and a trusted friend, Miranda*, Harry embarked on the journey of decluttering his life. They worked alongside him, carefully sorting through his personal collections, identifying items of financial or emotional significance, and assisting with the disposal of the rest.

Rick found a storage unit close by and floated the idea of storing some possessions there. Harry knew he had to store his key belongings so he could move into emergency housing.

There were still a lot of items left after filling the storage unit, but enough had been saved that Harry felt able to move into emergency housing. After settling in, Harry slowly started building some healthy friendships and learned boundaries, which was a big change in his life.

Door illustration

“Sometimes, all it takes is someone willing to listen and offer a helping hand. Harry’s story teaches us that, with support, anyone can find the strength to let go of the past and embrace a brighter future." Rick shared.

“I walked alongside Harry helping him see the possibilities when starting a new chapter”. Harry, with Rick’s support, has started building new coping strategies to help manage his trauma. Harry had a major change in his life and received support to help him let go and move forward.

*Names and photos have been changed to protect privacy.

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