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Sorting his life out with ‘people just like me’

Wed, Feb 19, 2014

Staff Writer
WSPAK – Poland

WARSAW, Poland – Lukasz sells the street newspaper WSPAK. He spent most of his life in the small town of Hajnowka, which he says he both loves and hates.

Vendor Lukasz

Photo: courtesy of WSPAK

“In 2003, just before my graduation from high school, I lost my mother and a few months later my dad passed away. Life had to go on. I continued post-secondary education specializing in electroradiology. It would not have been possible without the help of my aunt, who gave me shelter through this period. After obtaining professional qualifications I had to go back to Hajnówka to look after my sick grandparents. There I decided to carry on with further education.

In November, at the beginning of the second year of my higher studies, I told family and friends that I was gay. I want to tell you this, too, because I want to live in harmony with myself.

Electroradiology gave me a lot of satisfaction. In June 2010, the Children’s Health Center in Warsaw took me on an internship. At the same time I started yet another course in social studies.

The future looked brighter. And then my grandfather died. A few months later, when I was working at Alzheimer Patients’ Center, I had a mental break down followed by clinical depression. I found consolation in alcohol. I neglected everything: family, friends, school. I spent all my money on drink. I took out loans.

In mid-January 2012 it dawned on me that what I was doing was just so wrong. I realized that alcohol was not the solution, only an escape. At the end of May, a friend made an appointment for me to see a psychologist. Psychotherapy helped me a lot.

Slowly I started to sort my life out. Soon I found a permanent job as a security guard. A few weeks later I learned about WSPAK. With nothing to lose I decided to try selling the street paper. I also knew that there I would meet people who – just like me – did not have an easy life. This was a very good decision.

My dreams and plans for the future? First of all I would like to get back into working as an electroradiologist. With that I feel like a fish in water. This is my world. I also love to sing. I would like to develop my musical talent and I secretly hope that one day, sometime in the not too distant future, I can make a record. WSPAK and the people there taught me that everything is possible. Now I believe that there are just beautiful moments ahead.”

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