A Dream Come True

A Sportsman’s Journey from Drug Hell to Whole

Thank you for the opportunity to offer my story, both from the perspective of a worker in the field (I have worked in residential alcohol and other drug treatment services for over 15 years) and from the perspective of ‘a mum of a wonderful son’. When my son was 22 years old I tried to do the textbook thing and say

“I think you need to see a Counsellor, I think you have a problem with drugs”, but he tried to support me by saying “Don’t worry mum I am only a young bloke this is what young bloke’s do I am only having fun!”.  I offered the opinion that maybe it would not be ‘fun a few years down the track’ and for the next four years it wasn’t, for either of us.

I have seen pain and anguish experienced by both substance using people and their families experiencing the 4 “D’s”; Despair, Devastation, Degradation (fortunately for our family not Death),so much lost and for some so much gained.

My 6 foot son (a talented sportsman) who was at his best playing weight of 90kgs, dropped to about 60kgs he finally was experiencing devastation, degradation and despair. He decided to ‘change his lifestyle’ and met up with a couple of old hard heads — non drinkers, non-smokers, and journeyed to the “Daintree” for a stint of prospecting and an opportunity to get away from the triggers back home.

Anyone who knows anything about recovery, relapse, drugs or alcohol understand the importance of ‘change’ is that it needs to come from within — with other positive supports around.   So for my wonderful son, who really just wanted to live a happy life, his journey continued to be a bit of a struggle.  Around this time my son’s role model (his grandfather who he viewed as a dad) passed away and I worried for my son (the depth of his sadness seemed to overwhelm him).  He came back for the funeral and after a couple of weeks in town slipped into old patterns of behaviour (hanging with old mates, using, fighting, disappearing) he returned to the “Daintree”.

He had a dream, in his dream he was doing something he loved — ‘playing a game’ (of football) and in his dream he scored the winning try.   My son told me that something within was guiding him it was a spiritual awakening, a life changing experience.  He came back home, played his sport, managed to stay in a positive, healthy place, and most importantly stopped using.  

With a few years gone by, I was hoping all the trials, dangers would have passed for him, but, life is not so simple I think.  He recently decided to seek out a Counsellor…because of unresolved ‘anger’ issues.  A vulnerable man taking a strong step!

What can I say to all the wonderful people who have offered your stories on this website, what you have lost, what you have gained, your life experiences, your understanding of the ‘horror’ I think it is important to remember the journey, to pass on the word, to post the signs for others who may be suffering.