It felt so right to be back in Sydney, I busied myself reconnecting with old friends and contacts as well as becoming a full and active member of a family I had grown to appreciate more than I ever had in the past.
Work wise, I started doing some project marketing work for my old mate Chris at Annandale, as well as building a contract Auctioneering business with offices across the breadth of Sydney.
To the outside world, it appeared I was overcoming the blackness that had engulfed me over the past six years, but the feelings of unworthiness lingered.
There were many times when I berated myself for leaving Ray White under the circumstances I did and the relative failure of Melbourne haunted me.
I was beginning to understand the blackness would never really leave me but I needed to live with it. Chloe and Jerry had not been able to do this for many reasons, their example played heavily on my mind.
As the fourth child in a family when your three elder siblings were suffering or had suffered varying degrees of mental illness, I suppose It was inevitable these thoughts and fears would occur.
Instinctively, I realised the importance of my family in my battle. What I may have thought of as obligations in the past, were now paying dividends as this family found its sense of balance.
There were many occasions where I would fail as a father and I would understand the power of forgiveness from you and the kids as well as the generosity and forbearance of Douglas.
The Ray White NSW Company awards night was looming and Chris was pressing me as to whether I was going to attend as part of his Office team, I resisted going. Shame was certainly part of the reason, I had built this state and now I was nothing, I had done a great job of fucking up my life and a night such as this would only demonstrate how far I had fallen.
From centre stage to the wings.
Reidy, who was now leading NSW rang and asked whether I would be coming and how much it would mean to him if I was there.
I accepted and on the night, I was very surprised to be presented with a plaque, it was inscribed as follows.
Your dream for NSW to achieve $1 Billion in a month was finally achieved in March 1999
You were the first to believe this would be possible
From a Grateful
Brian White Chairman, Andrew Jamson Finance director, Brian Reid Group Executive Director.
Alan and Paul were present this night, but I did appreciate their names not appearing on the plaque
I know Reidy meant well and I really appreciated the thought behind the gesture, Reidy was one of the truly good guys.
The effect on me though, was simply to emphasise how far I had fallen, the blackness returned.
How could I have been so weak and stupid to allow this to happen?
I retreated to the family but could not speak about the shame I was feeling.
Thank God you were here at this time.