Meet Bayside Transformations graduate: Joshua George
IT WAS only last year Joshua George thought people could read his mind.
At the 24-year-old's rock bottom, he was holding down a job while addicted to ice and had tried rehab twice already.
"I first tried in 2013 in Brisbane's Transformations centre when I was 18,” Joshua said.
"I had no idea what I was in for, I just knew it allowed smoking so I used it like a homeless shelter.
"There was a lot of love in that place and I kind of liked it but felt like I was missing out on life.”
Joshua's second time didn't last much longer.
Originally from Cairns, he first started using drugs at 15 after experiencing a family break up and death in the space of a few weeks.
"I smoked pot by myself, I was a real loner in my addiction,” Joshua said.
"By the time I finished school I was already had a full blown, few hundred dollar a week habit.”
Over Christmas last year, Joshua had "a really horrible three weeks and got involved in violence”.
"I thought that Transformations was the only time in my life where I had felt happy, like truly happy.”
But that didn't mean the third time was a walk in the park.
In the first week, Joshua said he packed his bags twice.
"All the hope and just disappeared when I got here because all the things which bring up your past behaviours and make you take responsibility is hard to experience,” he said.
"The first two weeks ... you sort of think everyone on the outside forgets you.
"Your moods are pendulum; I've heard it explained as you are either 'mad, glad or sad' and there is nothing in between.”
After nine and a half months at Bayside Transformations and 21 months in the program in total, Joshua has graduated.
"It really helped me that the supervisors were people who have been through the program themselves,” he said.
"I hope to be that support to some of the other guys now.
"I don't think anyone could tell me anything for three years and you know in your head they have gone through what you have if not worse and you can't dodge what they are saying.
"They are legit and happy and their faces are clear and I wanted to be like that.”