“The greatest impact is knowing that I’m a leader whether I like it or not, that my actions speak a lot louder than what I say or do, and how I carry myself.”
Ethan says “it just hit me and it got dark. It got to a point where I either was going to kill myself or ask for help. Obviously, I asked for help and my life changed from that. Those three words; I just said I need help.”
He walked out, his spirit came back and now this 29-year-old Gurindji man from Western Sydney has realised he wasn’t born to be an alcoholic. In fact, he has just accepted a role as the Community Impact Manager at the Indigenous Marathon Foundation with Robert de Castella. Ethan is showing people that they can change their life and make something of themselves.
Have you read: Are You Stronger Than Your Excuses? – Julie Watson
Teenage drinking, as well as doing drugs, is one element of the Western Sydney culture and Ethan Mulholland was a product of his environment. He had a choice at that age and that’s the path he chose to go down. It all started when Ethan was 14-15 years old, around the time his arm had been in a cast for about four to six months due to a sporting injury.
He played a lot of sports during his youth which began with rugby league at the age of four (he is a massive Rabbitohs fan) and included a period dedicated to cricket. He even held the title of Penrith Captain and played alongside Pat Cummins, who is now an Australian Captain. Ethan always looked up to older kids and as they were drinking and having parties that became his weekend sport.
Initially Ethan told himself that 18 would be a good age to get it all together, however, drinking was his identity, which also eventually led to drugs and between the ages of 18-25 life went really quickly. Ethan’s worst fear was thinking that he wouldn’t be able to have fun without drinking because every Friday night was a party.
The hangovers meant that he was not himself the next day, or the next two days if he had been drinking pretty hard and that escalated with unmanageable problems. Ethan wouldn’t turn up to work and that meant he felt like ‘crap’ because he knew he was not living up to his full potential. The best way he knew to deal with what was going on in his head was to drink again.
He couldn’t shake this drug and alcohol addiction because, for one, he didn’t put his hand up and ask anyone for help. That all changed on January 8, 2018, Monday morning at 8am to be exact, when Ethan decided that he was going to ask for help. He broke down in front of his mum and the only words he could say were “I need help”. He had finally come to realise that leading yourself from addiction to sobriety was not something he could do on his own.
Have you read: The Champion of Courage – Martin Stark
The recovery journey led to The Glen, a place that Ethan speaks highly about as not only the place he experienced as a client but the place where he went on to be a respected employee for the last four years. Ethan has been introduced to the concept of ‘giving up to grow’. Opportunities come when you give up the things which aren’t serving you well.
In today’s The Culture of Things (TCoT) Podcast Ethan shares his new approach to life which is to surround himself with the right people and grab opportunities when they come. He has regained his confidence and says that “the people that taught me everything, I’m a product of all of them. I’ve taken bits of every one of all the leaders I’ve looked up to.”