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Baden's story

I actually started spearfishing when I was pretty young, had a paper round, saved up a bit of money and got a Hawaiian sling, and started walking down the end of the street where there was a reef and started, spearing fish down there.

It just had a bit of a draw. It drew me into the ocean. Like, I love the ocean. Just find it very therapeutic. Just an escape. Like, it's an escape from everyday life. Like, I mean, there's no phones, or... If you're under the water, no-one can nag you.

My mind races a lot and diving would just calm everything down. I really need that to be an observer of my thoughts, thoughts don't control my actions.

I remember the first time I discovered the reef, like, I just always noticed this shadow in the water. Yeah, put on a mask and snorkel and decided to swim out there one day and it was amazing, like, all the reef and the fish that were out there.

And then I, um, eventually got a job in a dive shop. And, all up, I worked there for eight years over that time.

I was the vice-president of a spearfishing club. I did competitive spearfishing, got a sponsorship. Also, I think it still stands.

Like, I got the record for the biggest cuttlefish speared in Victoria, but we had to get it weighed on government-certified scales.

So, I ended up having to take this thing into Woolworths at the deli and get it weighed by a guy that was working behind the deli counter, with ink going everywhere, all over the counter, and making an absolute mess, and then get this guy's address and details to put him on the, uh, paperwork and get other witnesses.

We were eating it for the next week and, uh, got a bit over eating cuttlefish that week.

1 in 4 Australians will struggle with alcohol, drugs or gambling in their lifetime.

Just one part of Baden's story is his lived experience with drug addiction, but it's often the only part that people choose to see.

Right now, roughly half a million Australians living with addiction are unable to access the support they need due to a lack of available treatment or fear of judgement.

People shouldn't be defined by their substance use.

I'm a father. I'm a grandson. I'm a brother.

Addiction shouldn't define you as a bad person or a weak person.

Addiction's just a symptom of some underlying issues.

Given the right support, we can offer a lot which is what I'm trying to do these days.

Discover the real stories of addiction without the stigma.

Share your story and together let's rethink addiction.


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