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Our Region, Our People: Meet Janet

Published 21 June 2022

Beating alcohol dependency through the holistic, compassionate, and harm minimisation approach offered by Lives Lived Well.


Janet was a single parent for many years and began drinking to relax and get through the challenges of a difficult divorce, the family court and raising her teenagers on her own. As a teacher, Janet was also a high achiever; winning awards for teaching excellence, innovation and project management in the establishment of school-based initiatives involving local government, businesses, and environmental protection organisations.

Janet said the story was always the same. She could relax with a drink in hand and habits developed from there around her perceived need for alcohol, until she found she was drinking one to two bottles of wine a day once retiring from teaching.

“I could still function as a high school teacher but was very concerned about needing alcohol to relax after work. I loved my job immensely but can’t deny the immense stress and incessant and increasing demands placed on teachers,” said Janet.

“The pressures from teaching and associated stress and anxiety continued to rise each year, as did my depression around my inability to forgive myself for my past mistakes and continued alcohol consumption”.

Janet found she could not stop her alcohol habit on her own and with the growing concern from her children, siblings, and partner she decided to call Lives Lived Well in Mackay.

“I booked an appointment with Tanya, my counsellor, and have not looked back!” said Janet.

“Tanya was particularly sensitive to my personal situation and provided me with resources to help build my confidence in taking the steps that we planned together for my recovery.

“I am forever grateful for her open communication, abilities in explaining what to expect, and skills in exploring ways to respond at a cognitive, psychological, and physical level.”

Lives Lived Well work with their clients to identify if they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, the extent of the problem, and what’s behind it. Case managers offer support and provide the tools to manage, reduce, or stop misuse of alcohol or drugs.

Through her program, Janet was referred to local health services as part of her recovery process. This included the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for a medicated detox and a referral to her local mental health professional for additional support. Janet was also encouraged to make a change to see a local doctor who has had extensive experience in alcohol dependency and withdrawal.

“The professionals I have seen through this process have all been wonderful and I am so blessed to have such a supportive team,” said Janet.

“This includes Tanya at Lives Lived Well who has made herself available whenever I have needed her.

“Her level of support has been second to none, as is her expertise in addiction, level of knowledge, and skill in helping me to pace myself through the different recovery phases.”

At what will hopefully be her last formal appointment at Lives Lived Well, Janet was asked by Tanya as to where her strength came from. She said her answer lay in the early discussions they’d had and the resources she’d been provided with, that had helped her identify what she was losing by continually being intoxicated.

“My list was long and very serious in how alcohol was affecting my life. It was affecting my health, my everyday existence, and my family” said Janet.

“In completing the recovery and maintenance modules provided by Lives Lived Well, I am truly on track and very happy about how good I feel and the progress I’ve made.

“That’s all thanks to Tanya and the support offered by Lives Lived Well.”

Lives Lived Well inspires people to live their lives well by providing support for people who are being impacted by alcohol or drugs or who are having problems with mental health. Lives Lived Well offers a range of free services including low-cost live-in recovery services, youth and family support including day, group and outreach services.

To find out more about Lives Lived Well, visit

Last updated: 21 June 2022