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My friendship with Helen grew slowly. We often hung out together as mates. I was friends with quite a few of the amazing women from church, but as time moved on it was Helen who I became best mates with. I really enjoyed her company, but I was scared that I would get it wrong again. Things started to change when Helen moved from the house with four…
 
One night I had an unusual dream. I dreamed I was back in Ballarat, in the house full of drug users and I was dealing again. A homeless guy turned up at the door and I invited him in. He was totally derelict. We could see he was destitute and in pain. We offered him a shower and some clean clothes, and shared our food with him. He asked for drugs a…
 
With day after day of long and lonely strict routine I believe what they say, ‘A change is as good as a holiday.’ Within a few months that change happened when I was moved to Barwon prison, a newly built complex near Geelong. This was completely different from Pentridge—clean, spacious and no rats, not ones with tails anyhow. I spent my days playin…
 
I had walked through a door that I did not even realise I’d been searching for. That door was Jesus and walking through that door I discovered something I had never known before. This something met me in my lost place and embraced me just as I was. It was a love that did not care what I had or hadn’t done. It was a love that knew me and accepted me…
 
Our house was guarded by three mongrel dogs. Sly was a huge black Rottweiler pup, big paws and playful, yet fearsome because of his size. Sly was a harmless sook who slept on Simon’s bed. Then there was Darius, a muscular mix of bull terrier and Rhodesian ridgeback. Darius was rusty brown and huge, like a canine wombat. He was both untrainable and …
 
I woke up as usual on the day of my release, only to be quickly overcome by nerves. It was October 1987, I was twenty-four and it felt like I was just starting out. There was so much unknown about living a life of freedom once again. After three years of maximum-security prison I was to be released. I made my way through the necessary procedure on …
 
I had little around me to give me hope for anything more than the ongoing purposeless life that I had, day in, day out. As the months rolled by the inner despair set in. Every night the unrelenting nagging of the voices in my head continued. It was always the same thing that I heard—‘Kill yourself!’ so I could join ‘them’ on the other side. I knew …
 
My case came to trial after three long months on remand. The evidence against me was pretty much watertight, so I figured the best thing I could do was plead guilty, try to be co-operative and hope the judge would go easy on me. A guilty plea meant no real trial, and no jury. The arguments from prosecution and defence were over the severity of the …
 
My heart was pounding. My eyes narrowed in on the knot in the timber table in front of me. My knuckles turned white as I made a clenched fist. I tried to suppress the genuine fear that this was going to end badly. I looked up as I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans and tried to read the almost bored look on the magistrate’s face.…
 
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