My story

I believe looking back on my past that I had addict behaviours from an early age. From the age of five I was stealing money from my father and became very secretive and withdrawn. Growing up without a mother in my life full time had an impact on how I related to women. A large amount of my friends were male because I felt that I got on better with them.

This is how my addiction started, by hanging out with the wrong type of males.

When I was twenty one I met a guy who I knew had a history with drugs but I never thought that I would ever touch them, knowing what they had done to my brother. Going out with him changed my life.

After six months he began to control what I wore, who my friends were, and the more my family told me to stay away from him the more I isolated myself from my family. I moved out of home and moved to an outer Sydney suburb. It was then he introduced me to heroin. From my first shot I fell in love. It made me sick but it also helped me lose weight fast, which was what I always wanted. My usage was only on weekends to begin with then it was once a week as well and within a month it was everyday. I had a full blown heroin habit and was finding it hard to support my habit as well as my partners. We resorted to ripping off dealers, stealing from family and from my employer. I couldn't believe that I had a good job doing what I liked but stealing from somebody who treated me like a daughter.

My health deteriorated and I could not get out of bed unless I had a shot. I often never turned up for work till I had a shot. Eventually my boss realised that money was missing and confronted me. I owned up and from that point on I realised that I needed help but at the same time I thought how could I live life without heroin. I struggled with this for a while and my partner and I made the decision to get clean. We had heard about rapid detox and his parents were willing to pay for it. We did the detox a couple of times but each time ended up using.

After we broke up I continued to use for a further year and eventually grew sick and tired of the daily routine of trying to get the money to get on. I became depressed and desperate. I had lost everything that was good in my life including myself. I had no money, going through withdrawals and decided the best thing for me to do was to get clean. While I was going through the detox process I became so sick that I was taken to hospital.

While I was in hospital one of my nurses told me he used to work in the drug and alcohol industry and recommended that I go to a rehab. I had reservations about recovery and did I really want it if I had to change.

After my fourth discharge at this rehab I was referred to another program .It was here that I was introduced to a self help group.

I did not get into it straight away and used it as a way to avoid my issues and socialise. After staying there for four months I left with a male who had just finished the program. It was my old behaviours and patterns all over again. Everything was going well until he said out of the blue it's over. I was so angry at him and myself for allowing myself to put him before my recovery that I ended up drinking. I hid this secret for a few months from everybody till life dealt me a card that rocked my world. I could not accept life on life's terms that I used, and I used with my ex partner. My using started from where I left off. I hated every minute of it but was in so much pain that I could not stop.

I used to laugh on the inside when people said that self help groups ruined their using but eventually agreed with them as I knew that my life was not meant for me to be using for the remainder of it and if I continued to use I could die.

When I made the decision to come back into recovery I knew the only way for me to do it was to come back to the program I had begun with, and finish what I had started so long ago. It was not easy for me to come back and admit that I had been beaten by addictive addiction. I fitted in well but it took a while for me to drop my fronts and let people know the real me. When I dropped my fronts I started to grow and started to make changes from my past recovery. I met women in the self help group, listened in the meetings and let people into my life.

Today I know that I don't have to pick up to hide my feelings, today I can allow myself to feel them and talk about them. This has been through hard work.

Through staying clean I have gained respect from my family who I have let down so many times and they could have easily given up on me and I'm glad they haven't. I have some wonderful people in my life who have given me love, support and trust. I would not have any of these things if I was still using.

I have never felt so happy within myself like I am today and picking up is not an option for me anymore.