It started when I was about 15. I was drinking on the weekends and smoking weed. Then I started drinking 3 times a week, I was even drinking on school days. By the time I was 19 I was doing amphetamines, acid, ecstasy, prescription medications, pretty much anything I could get my hands on. It started out recreational but it quickly became a habit. 20 years later and I couldn’t recall 2 consecutive days where I wasn’t either pissed or high.
In the last 5 years, I was introduced to ice and everything just went straight down. It was surprising how quickly things went downhill. After spending 20 years doing drugs, I had built up a bit an immunity to them but ice just grabbed a hold of me. I wasn’t the same person anymore. My Mum used to say that it was like I was possessed.
I had always worked and always had money to buy drugs and alcohol but I was spending $2000 a week on ice. It takes away all consequential thinking. I didn’t care if the electricity bill was paid or the registration on the car, all I cared about was getting my next bag of ice.
I hocked my wedding ring, I think I got about $100. I had a guy waiting in the car park for me and I walked out, threw the money on the front seat of his car, took the drugs and didn’t think I had done anything wrong. It ripped my wife’s heart out.
Ice took everything from me, my job, my family, my security, it nearly took my relationship and my life.
On the 27th of June, my wife found me trying to hang myself under our house.
After that, I went to get help. I attended Alcohol, Tobacco and other drugs (ATODs) and from there I was given the helped I needed to get clean.
I couldn’t tell my wife everything I had done, so I told my caseworker. He immediately booked me into detox and a rehabilitation centre. Everyone thinks that to go to rehab you have to pay thousands of dollars, but that’s not true. I went to rehab without even 1 cent.
I spent 8 days in detox where I experienced hallucinations, cramps, hot and cold sweats and even had seizures. I used to think people were idiots when they said they had seizures from detoxing but it’s true and you can’t go to rehab unless you detox because you be really violent.
I had about an hour between being released from detox until I was admitted into rehab. For the first 3 weeks in rehab, I was still in denial. I still believed everything that went wrong in my life was everyone else’s fault. I wouldn’t even admit I had a drug problem. After 3 months at Goldbridge, I left and I have been clean and sober ever since.
I used to take drugs for energy, I didn’t think I could get through a day of work without them but now I work 2 jobs, I volunteer and I go to meetings and I’ve never had so much energy.
I attend Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and I will be in these groups for the rest of my life. These meetings aren’t like going to someone who just read things out of a textbook. These are real people who have lived the same things, helping each other. We are all people who can connect and understand each other.
Every day is a challenge, I still have some days where I think I could just have a little bit and no one would know, but I would know. I have a sponsor who has been sober for 9 years and I talk to him, on the phone, after meetings and it helps.
Life is so much better now, it’s just the little things like being at my kid’s birthday and I’m not drunk, having Mother’s Day with my wife and it’s not all about me or just sitting down and having dinner as a family.
If you’re struggling with drug addiction NA meetings are held at St Saviours Hall, 70 Auckland St, Gladstone. For further information call 0484182094.
“It works if you work it!”