I let people know that 'I used to believe in drugs, but now I believe in God'.
I grew up in a good family, but we travelled a lot with my dad's work, and I spent Year 11 & 12 in boarding school, it was here that I first experienced a strong sense of disconnection from my family. I began partying. My drinking was different from my friends. With them, they seemed to have a ‘stop’ button, but I kept going and often experienced blackouts. I continued to experiment and party, I was having fun. When I was taking drugs or drinking, I didn't have to think about things.
I became a mum and had 3 children; the partners I chose were violent. I had been introduced to pills, speed and ICE — not a good combination for raising a family. The Department of Families removed my children from my care. I loved my children, and I tried to give up my addictions for them and had two unsuccessful attempts at rehabilitation. On one occasion, I was released back into the community and was able to care for my kids, but I didn't have the strength or support to reintegrate into family life.
I came to Teen Challenge broken but ready to get well — for my sake (and I knew my recovery would mean my children would have the mum I was meant to be, caring for them).
I lost 16 years to drugs and alcohol; I spent 365 days in rehab and because of the love and support of the staff, volunteers and friends in the program I have been 'free' for over 13 months. The program works if you work with it.
*Name & image changed to protect privacy