Colac district footballer Harry Sinclair says passing on his powerful message following a nine-year drug addiction has given him a new lease on life during his recovery.
Colac’s weekly narcotics anonymous meetings that he introduced have already begun to have a positive effect on the community, attracting five to 10 people every Friday night.
The 27-year-old has even begun spreading the message to the region’s youth, doing talks at local schools and sporting clubs.
Sinclair is almost nine months sober and has recently moved out of his parents’ Colac home, living independently for the first time since he got out of rehab.
He opened up to the Colac Herald about his battles with mental health and drugs in July.
And now Sinclair says he has found peace and balance in his life for the first time in over a decade.
“I moved down to Ocean Grove two weeks ago, and I’ve got a full-time job with a glass company in Geelong,” Sinclair said.
“Moving out was a bit daunting, which sounds a bit weird coming from a 27-year-old, but I’ve lost that little bit of accountability that my parents provided.
“When I was using, I would never use around my family, but there’d be times when I’d go out for a coffee with a mate and not come back for six months.
“When I moved back home with them post rehab, they were a barrier between me and drugs.
“Being out on my own again, I’ve got to be careful not to take my own will back, old behaviours can creep in.
“But that’s the beauty of having these (narcotics anonymous) meetings in Geelong, they have one every day.”
Sinclair said he hadn’t forced anything during his recovery.
He said every major step since returning from rehab had happened “really organically”.
“I haven’t forced myself to get a new job, to move out, to start new friendships,” Sinclair said.
“As something came along, I’d ask myself if it was going to be good for me or negative, and went from there.”
Sinclair said he returned to Colac each Friday night to visit his parents and attend the NA meetings he began.
He encouraged people struggling with drug use to attend and reach out.
“A few people I spoke to before they started said don’t be put off if it’s just me sitting there for the first few weeks, it can take a while for the community to feel okay going to it,” Sinclair said.
“It can be daunting for a small town,” he said.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.