Personal story

Born 1st July 1970 in Sydney.

As a child I grew up in N.S.W in several different locations also attending several different schools. My family environment was dysfunctional i.e. disconnected from one another. I think the key words missing from my family situation when growing up was unconditional love, unity, boundaries

and basic guidance from a role model.

As a child I can remember being left to my own devices as my parents had long hours of work commitments. The also had their own interests e.g. for my mother (It was her horse) & father (long hours in the work place). My parents had divorced and had started new relationships and families when I was a young teenager. From the ages of 9yo to 15yo I was raised mostly between two families as my mother had divorced my biological father when I was only 2yo so I grew up in 3 different dysfunctional families, which really confused me as a child.

As I look back from this point at 32yo I can see this is where I started to develop my emptiness, loneliness & lack of emotions, as it started to manifest as I grew older into my teen years and this is where I've seemed to start to act out with addict type of behaviours, becoming angry and started to rebel and became involved in things like crime and deceitful dishonest behaviour (acting out looking for help in all the inappropriate ways).
At the age of around 16yo and starting to become uncontrollable and trying to find my place in all 3 different families and looking for a place to belong as a teenager, I ran away from all these places as I felt I had no sense of belonging.

I found the greatest man in the world my "Grandfather" as I had spent a lot of weekends and school holidays with him. He found me on the streets took me in under his wing and supported me to the best of his ability being a 75yo pensioner. He supported, loved and cared for me in ways I've never experienced before, as he tried his best to educate me in life. I think it was too late, my boundaries as a child were never in place and I had started behaving in an inappropriate manner. My disease of addiction started to manifest and grow in many ways and areas of my life.

My life as an addict with the disease of addiction had begun.

At first my drug use began as fun and exciting times went down hill fast over the next few years. I also had some very tragic accidents in my life as I was in a motorbike accident that put me in hospital with a broken neck in the spinal unit for 4 months, then out of hospital with a fused neck then involved back in active addiction and a life of crime to support this addiction.

Twelve months down the line, only to watch my grandfather pass away from a stroke before me, even today 10 years on I still feel a part of the stress that caused his death.

This played on my mind for years only for me to become more involved in active addiction with harder drugs. Using these drugs was an excuse to avoid the painful feelings of his death and loss not knowing my place in life and lack of guidance with no goals to fulfill my life. My drug addiction continued for a few more years until I sought help through rehabilitation in a men's drug free program in 1994. It helped me understand my disease of addiction and the dilemma I was facing with life with not being able to live and enjoy life on life's terms. It also introduced me to a self help group, where I see it helping people like myself, becoming aware of the disease of addiction and how to live and enjoy life without the use of drugs.

At that point in my life those methods helped me stay total abstinent for a period of eight and a half months after leaving the program, only to get involved in a relationship with a partner that was in active addiction. I had dropped off my self help group meetings and was neglecting to maintain my recovery process. I relapsed, which took me back out into active addiction for the next 8 years in 3 different states with many different partners, in and out of jails and institutions. The only thing left was death.

I attended a clinic to stop the drug abuse by getting on a pharmacotherapy program which I did for 26 months, I realised life was still full of loneliness and emptiness. At this point I made a decision that I wanted the life I had started several years earlier at my first treatment program, and with the self help groups, a drug free life.

All the things I wanted from drugs, drugs were not giving me, ie happiness, fulfillment, piece of mind and well being. The only time and place I had experienced those gifts was through the knowledge and experiences I had gained in the rehab program and at the self help groups.

Now back in the program at 32yo, admitted on the 23 April 2002 on a reducing pharmacotherapy program, I will be total abstinent from all drugs in 21 days. I am starting to feel that glimmer of hope again. As for myself just like many other addicts it is all about change. And just for today I am making major changes to my life and lifestyles, maintaining it correctly, and in the future will bring continuous changes so I can implement a successful and productive recovery.