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Craig and Lana Dulic (The Southern Cross)

Addicted to drugs and alcohol, suffering stress, anxiety and depression, Craig says he was in a very dark place and without hope – until two words helped turn his life around. Source: The Southern Cross.

Desperate to change but not knowing how, it was nearly a decade ago when Craig went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Adelaide. There he met a “guy who was kind to me” and who was happy to listen to his story.

The now 45-year-old recalled how he shared details of the destructive behaviours that had controlled his life for so long, how he felt powerless and didn’t know what to do to stop his downward spiral.

“And he said, ‘me too’ – and those two words helped change my life,” Craig said. “Suddenly I felt heard for the first time. I felt like my experience had been validated and he didn’t once tell me I was wrong or I was bad or that I shouldn’t have done what I did. Instead, he said, ‘I understand, I know how you feel, I know what it’s like’.

“And he showed me what he did (to change) and I followed his lead.”

Craig said sharing his darkest moments with this man – who became his sponsor and close friend – was the catalyst that propelled him towards another round of detox. 

About five years ago, with his demons put aside, Craig realised that sharing his experience could help others who were struggling and he became a peer worker. 

To complement his work, Craig is undertaking Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work with registered training organisation Centacare Catholic Family Services.

Manager of Centacare’s training and education services, Lana Dulic, said the course was helping to “professionalise” the workforce and establish a set of standards.

“Peer work is a very intentional discipline; it’s using your lived experience to support others,” she said.


Helping others find the light (By Lindy McNamara, The Southern Cross)