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One of the things that I do to keep me safe, like for me, I get a lot of my healing sustenance from nature. I’ve always used water. Water can be in a river, can be in the ocean. Big large sums of water. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I go down to the water, down to the awa, and just sit there and watch it come in and come out. There’s a sense of calmness that comes over me, or when I’m back home, the Ngahere is my other way.

My higher power could be wairua, it could be Tangaroa, Ngahere. It could be a person that I’m with. It’s about being around people that you’re safe. I make sure whomever I’m with we have a bloody good time, but don’t need alcohol to make that time good.

I do not want my mokos to ever see me in a state that I used to be in, never. It’s about that generational cycle of stopping it, and if they don’t see their nan doing it, they won’t have one of those memories that perhaps my kids have, and they’re worth it. They’ve worth every inch of me not picking up.

The one thing about identifying whether or not I had a problem was everyone else around me saw I had a problem, but I didn’t, and they were telling me I had a problem, and I still didn’t. I would really love to help those that are going through not identifying, but unfortunately, one has to identify that they may have a problem.

Even having this korero may trigger something, because that identifies, “oh, I done, oh shit”. What it does for me is makes people go back and be accountable to themselves, and go through their own personal inventory, and see, “am I okay with this? When I drink do I do this? Am I hurting other people while I’m doing it?”. If your answer is yes, then, “okay, do I think I’ve got a problem or not”, and I’m going to be honest most people say, “no, I don’t have problems, still don’t”.

Denial is a very strange thing, it’s a very powerful thing, and it’s not the river in Egypt, and it can be holding someone to ransom that denial. Ait’s so strong, and sometimes it takes a tragedy for someone to realise we don’t have to go that far to wait until someone’s been killed in an accident, drink driving. We have choices, and for me it’s like power up, grab it. You own it, you’ve got the power to change.

I’ve gone through a journey where I now feel at peace that I’ve walked the walk, I’ve talked the talk. I’ve reached the stage where [pause] kei te mohio te reo, iti, iti te reo, ki au, engari. You know, because we talk about the moko kowhai, and people got to do this, and people got to do that, you’ve got to have permission, or you’ve got to obtain a certain degree, and for me it wasn’t about having a degree, it was I’ve walked my talk, I’ve talked the talk, and this is what is shows.

He tenei nge, e He and these are my family, the four winds; husband, child, child, child.