I had a stable childhood, but as a young boy, I struggled with anger. As I got older, I felt inadequate and looked for acceptance and belonging in all the wrong places.
At the age of 12 I had my first cigarette and my first taste of drugs; marijuana. I started drinking alcohol, and that was my journey for the next seven years. It escalated at times into crime. I spent time in court and in the watch house. My life spun out of control from the get-go. My parents didn’t know what to do with me. They tried everything they could to discipline and correct me, and there were many times when Dad and Mum had to ask me to move out of home because I was out of control.
My life spiralled into a series of life-threatening incidents. I had so many near-misses while driving. I was self-harming and was always in search of the next high. I knew I needed help.
My family had helped me detox but I hadn’t faced the deeper issues behind what was driving my addiction. Each time I stopped using drugs or alcohol, I found myself drawn slowly back into a life of drug use and abusive relationships. I got to the point where I wanted to end my life. I felt so empty and dry that I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t feel anything. I got a timely phone call from an old friend at church, it saved my life, and she encouraged me to try Teen Challenge. I did an assessment and got accepted into the program. This was the beginning of my recovery, but it was not an easy path.
My journey at Teen Challenge was tough. I found it challenging, especially the first bit. I felt sorry for myself and was slightly annoyed that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. But I got a second chance at life because of Teen Challenge. I slowly changed from the inside out.
My life was transformed. I do believe that the power of addiction can be broken. I went from strength to strength in all areas of my life. I addressed my fitness, my health, my mind and my soul. I have just completed an internship at Teen Challenge and am looking forward to securing a full time job as a school chaplain.If you are thinking about rehab. I want to encourage you. If you are looking for recovery, just do it. Don’t hesitate, because your life is worth much more than you think it is. I’ve lived it; I’ve gone through it, it works.
*Name and image changed to protect privacy