I grew up in a sole parented family

I grew up in a sole parented family with 2 younger brothers I helped care for. A lot of responsibility was placed on me as the eldest at a young age. I felt different through out my school years, living in an alternative home with a hippy mum.

I turned 13 and we moved to northern New South Wales for 6 months then made the transition to Tasmania with the bare essentials. Oh such a beautiful island. I spent the next five years feeling cold, dark and lonely physically, mentally and emotionally.

Depression and suicidal thoughts haunted me within 6 months of moving. I was physically and verbally abused in year 8 at my new school. I first tried pot and alcohol that year. The next two years I drank and smoked at any opportunity I got with friends.

Over 5 years my life progressively spiralled into an out of control lifestyle of dangerous living, abusive partners, family estrangement and all day, everyday feeding myself poisons. I was on a path of self destruction. Trapped in a world where drugs were everything.

I dreamed of a magical life whilst surrounded by chaos. I didn’t care about anyone or anything, only my obsessive need to escape myself and reality. I am lucky to be alive and in one piece today. At 18 I moved back to Queensland with my family in the hope of having a clean and productive fresh start to life.

Within months I had moved to seek out my old lifestyle. I was in hospital for a week after an accident I couldn’t even remember when a nurse gave me the number for drug counselling. I went and was encouraged to seek long term rehabilitation. A month later

I was living in a community with other recovering addicts like myself. I spent 8 challenging months learning about my behaviours and dealing with deep emotional issues from my past.

I am now in a halfway house free from the shackles of the depressive life I lived for so many years. My dreams are becoming reality. I now have the confidence and respect in myself that I thought I’d lost forever.

Going to rehab has been the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life. I am once again a person who loves and cares. I owe my life to rehab. I aim to study and work with young people like myself who suffer from mental health and/or drug addiction.

What I’ve experienced I want to help encourage and inspire them to grasp. I am truly grateful for the help and guidance I have received.