I am the eldest of 3 children and the darker one of the 3. I never met my birth father and still long to know about my father’s side of the family. My brother and sisters father brought me up from 18 months old and that is who I call dad, it wasn’t till I was a bit older I learnt he wasn’t my biological father.  

Growing up in a dysfunctional home is what I thought was normal, Dad would take off to the shops and not return for months at a time this is when he’d go on binges. In these times we’d drive around in mum’s car trying to track him down. We always knew when she had found him all hell would break loose. Screaming and yelling was standard for my parents and walking on eggshells was my way of life. I felt like a mother figure to my younger brother and sister during these chaotic years. I was a good child at primary school. I would seek approval and acceptance from other adults and longed to be a part of a family that did family things and were able to talk to openly and honestly.

Intermediate I started to test the waters at school, so I ended up getting suspended for having alcohol in my drink bottle. The same year I used to steal my mum’s smokes and smoke them.

3rd Form are when the tables turned, I was all about wagging school, boys, cannabis, and drinking. I also started to run away from home in the middle of the night. By 4th form I was never really at school, so 5th form I legally left as I was never there anyway. By this stage I was involved with a guy I’d met on the school bus and we were in a relationship I WAS IN LOVE. He is what I considered to be my first proper boyfriend, time went on and I eventually moved in with him and his mum. I got a job at a rest home, id work and then drink and smoke a bit of pot in the weekends with him this was all good until I noticed I how he would become very depressed when he didn’t have weed and I realised how co-dependent our relationship was and I felt really disconnected from my friends and family. One night I decided to go have a sleepover at my mums with a friend, my partner wasn’t happy about it, in the past Id attempt to go and do these kind of things and he would say he didn’t want me to go and I’d feel stink so I wouldn’t go. This night I did decide to go and he committed suicide. This destroyed me, my addiction went from 0 to 100 really quick, I wasn’t able to process what had actually taken place so I made myself think he was on holiday and not actually dead.

 After this I ended up in a relationship with a guy who was 7 years older than me I got introduced to meth and that first puff got me good it was like Id found the love of my life and I felt complete. At first I started indulging on weekends, then it turned into a few days during the week then daily, my meth habit was out of control. I first started smoking with Meth cooks so getting it was never an issue for me. I took off from Tauranga and my family for a while and ended up out of town. I was in many situations that could have been life threatening and dangerous but it really didn’t bother me. It was like I was almost addicted to living life on the edge. I did want to expose my lifestyle to my younger siblings or parents although me being missing was clearly a dead giveaway plus I didn’t need them getting in the way of my using.

Not long after that I ended hanging out in Rotorua, this is where I ended up in trouble with the law and some hefty charges for my first ever offence and that is when I first attempted to get clean obviously cus I wanted to get out of trouble and I was actually freaking out. Failed at that attempt and went back to what I knew well “getting high and escaping reality. “Over my years in addiction I would also dabble in MDMA, trips, mushrooms and GBL actually who am I kidding, really anything on the menu. I ended up going to jail twice done a couple of sentences on home detention and forever involved with probation system. I would engage with Hanmer clinic and attend residential treatment centres and still go back out to what I knew best it was all I knew.

I ended up in a relationship with a gang member and that took my lifestyle and using to another level at first, I felt a sense of belonging and safe something I had longed for my whole life. It wasn’t long before that was all out the window and I was a victim to domestic violence and I also became violent and abusive. I got used to the fact I wasn’t his one and only and I learnt to be ok with that. Although there were some good times in our relationship the bad outweighed the good. He would do stints in jail and I would try to move on but this relationship was like a drug to me I was addicted to this too. 

2012 I found out I was pregnant and at this stage I didn’t know who the father… That messed with my head as it was like I was repeating patterns from my own life. I decided to keep my baby as I also believed things happen for a reason. The day she was born was one of the happiest days of my life she was perfect in every way and still that wasn’t enough for me. My baby girls first few years of her life she also was exposed to my chaotic lifestyle. 2 weeks before my babies 2nd birthday she was taken out of my care by my mum and her partner. I lost the plot and was riddled with anger. I wanted to burn my mum’s house down and became very abusive and I went even harder on the meth for a good few months.

 By this stage I had nowhere to call home, my things were getting stolen, people were after me and my mum had stopped me from going to her house because of this I started to feel suicidal and fearful for my life. The drugs weren’t working for me like they used to I felt hopeless and defeated and the look on my daughters face when Id briefly get to see her tore me to shreds. I came to the conclusion I didn’t want to be one of those mothers that didn’t get her kids back and sat around smoking P whinging about it for years. To be honest I was sick and tired of everything I felt like an empty shell with no life in me and it was time to sort my shit out or Id end up dead or in jail for a long lag.

I engaged with Hanmer clinic again, I attempted to go to treatment a number of times but kept missing the boat. 2nd December 2014 I finally made it to detox where I stayed for 2 weeks followed by The Bridge program which was 8 weeks but I ended staying for 10 weeks I then returned back to Tauranga and did the 8week IOP program, Seeking safety, Continuing Care and heaps of NA meetings (which I still attend today) Oh yeah and a shit load of counselling ☺ This time round I truly did surrender and put my ALL into my recovery after all I went to any lengths for my addiction.

Today I am not a slave to the drugs and my whole world doesn’t revolve around smoking, buying and selling Meth. Today I have hope and a purpose, I am a Mum with her child in her care, a daughter, a big sister, a friend, a colleague, and I am a recovering addict.  

Today I am grateful to have a loving caring God in my life, a beautiful daughter that taught me to preserve and not to give up, My Mum and My baby’s Pop for looking after her when I wasn’t capable of doing so and also giving me the kick in the ass I needed, my family for loving me when I wasn’t that loveable, Hanmer Clinic & NA for never shutting their doors on me and teaching me to live a new way of life, the people in my life who accept me as I am and push me to grow and believe in me, my sponsor for always being there for me and being a positive role model in my life and her unconditional love. 

One thing I heard in NA meetings was don’t leave before the miracles happen, I thought that was a crock of shit but today I can honestly say my life is so much more than what I have ever imagined. I still have my ups and downs but I also have tools and solutions that I have learnt at Hanmer Clinic and NA meetings that help me get through another day clean.

“I once was lost but now I’m found.” And today I have hope. 

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