“I was broken, I had no hope. I had no choice, I was paranoid. No joy…just a void.”
Before I was seduced by methamphetamine, I was a normal 20-year-old. I had a normal childhood with both parents at home. When growing up I finished year 12, I had a fiancé, a car, a job and a bright future. I was totally naive to the other existence I soon found myself in.
It took six months to discover that my partner used ice—I had no idea. I believe I was hooked the first time I used; I just didn’t realise it. It didn’t take long to go downhill from there. Soon my life was full of chaos, pain, shame, lies. I was involved in toxic and violent relationships. I was alive, but I wasn’t living.
There is almost no place to go to help you fight addiction, and after 20-plus years (of using and several attempts along the way to stop) I stood in front of a mirror, crushed and broken. I needed help before I died.
I wasn’t sleeping, and was having anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t know who I was without drugs because they were so much of my identity. I had no hope I could get better—until I found the Salvos.
On 20 February 2017 I went to The Salvation Army’s Brisbane Recovery Services Centre. I spent two weeks in ‘Moonyah’, and it was the best experience for me. I was supported by someone in rehab who was also a former addict. It showed me that ice recovery is possible.
I also learnt that I could draw, and I am using this to help me in my recovery.
I went to AODS (a government service) as soon as I got back to Rockhampton and also attended the Salvos First Step program.
First Step helps so much, just knowing you have other people going through the same thing, that you are not alone.
Jenny who runs it is just awesome. It’s much more than just a job for her; if you need her—she is always there. She goes way above and beyond, and others at Rockhampton Salvos do too. They never desert you.
The only thing I’m doing different this time (than the other times I attempted to get clean) is I’m beginning a spiritual journey. If it wasn’t for my new-found faith in my higher power (Jesus) I’d probably be dead by now.
Discovering what is beneath the urge to fill the void in my heart is slowly starting to help. Learning about spiritual things was foreign to me, so this has been a huge step, but it is giving me the strength to continue on my journey.
I became estranged from everyone, but I’m now working on reconnecting with some of those I pushed away. This isn’t easy. I was somebody’s daughter, I was a mother to three. I was a sister, I was a friend. I emphasise the word ‘was’. I have caused a lot of pain and harm.
My road to recovery is hard. The amount of work, commitment and practice that is required is huge. Drugs have no boundaries, borders, prejudices, race or religion.
Some amazing people have supported, encouraged, told me off, and just been there to help me, at any time of the day I needed them. They are still helping me as I continue to learn how to function and live once again.
As told to Naomi Singlehurst