Before my mouth wrapped itself around the pipe that had the crystal methamphetamine (ice) in it, I was already hiding alcohol in my cupboard, taking pills, MDMA and smoking weed every day. From memory, I was sober maybe once or twice a week. I was 15. They say drinking and small drugs like weed are gateways to others and they aren’t wrong. It is a domino effect.
By 15, I had been exposed to childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and severe bullying. At 15, with not one adult noticing something was wrong, myself worth was nothing. So what else was I supposed to do, right?
I can’t remember the first time I tried crystal meth. What I do remember is the pure euphoria I felt once I did it. I was hooked from the first breath I took in. The way my mind and body felt is hard to describe. My whole body was electricity, warm, buzzing electricity. But that was at first. The exhilarating feelings I felt when I first started, did not last for long through my addiction. It was not long before I was even more angry, irritable and hungry for more. It wasn’t long until I felt like I would die without it. I was still using alcohol and other drugs through this phase.
I was never sober at this point. I went to school, saw my friends and family as normal, my friends knew I was a drug addict and somehow my family did not. It has been 7 years since I started and my family still do not know that I am a recovering drug addict.
At 15, the world is supposed to be your oyster. You start to think about getting your license, a boyfriend, a job, the idea of saving for a house, being successful because in just 3 short years, you are an adult and it’s time to start growing up. I wasn’t there. All I was thinking of was the next time the meth pipe could touch my lips.
During this time, my parents had divorced, my dad took the house and we had to put my grandmother who lived with us, in a nursing home. My mum was her carer. I was in so deep with my addiction I stole from my nan, my mum and stepdad. I NEEDED money to pay for this addiction. For this one thing that I felt like was keeping me alive, despite the anger I felt while on it, my mind was still buzzing and I got to run around like a little kid. My childhood was cut short; I wanted to feel like a little kid again. I wanted to be happy. My grandmother passed away, I know that she would forgive me for stealing but I have not yet forgiven myself. I don’t think I ever will.
Addiction takes you by the balls and holds them tight; it will not let you go. You are owned by it. It controls your mind and your life, tearing away at you ever so slowly. It invites you with its euphoric feeling in the beginning but it refuses to warn you that it won’t last forever. Your body belongs to it.
At 15, I was told I had depression and generalized anxiety disorder. People with mental illnesses will always be more susceptible to drug addiction, that’s a fact. I was responsible for my actions but at the same time, I don’t completely blame myself.
I saw a lot of things I shouldn’t have seen in my addiction. I saw police raids, I saw an older man assault my best friend at the time, who then became psychotic and thought I was having sex with her dad. Which ended up going back to my mum and for some reason I had to FIGHT so hard to convince I was doing no such thing. It was disturbing; I had to convince my mother at 15-16, that I wasn’t sleeping with my best friend’s dad?! That moment will always stay with me. It made me feel like again, I was nothing, I was just dirty.
My drug addiction didn’t stop until I was 18. 3 years of not being sober, there are so many things I can’t remember. My friends have great memories of us that I cannot recall. There are conversations that I should remember but don’t. It is saddening as those teenage years were supposed to be my prime. Full of fun, love, friends, new experiences, funny moments, memories, I have less than half of these memories.
How could I remember it when I was smoking crystal meth before school on a Monday.
I failed all of my high school exams because I was either hung over, coming down from the high or hadn’t slept at all. I did attempt to further my education after I left high school at 16, but I didn’t care, I just wanted drugs and alcohol. I wanted to forget. I hated myself and I didn’t know and didn’t have any adults to lead me in the right direction. My sister hated me and my mum was a mess. My dad was far away and never took notice. I was so alone; I only had my best friend. We were the same and came from the same type of childhood background. She is now certified psychotic, 7 years on. And I don’t blame her, she has seen some shit that no young woman should ever see. But her and I, we felt like we could run the world together, we had each other and that’s all we needed. I saved her life once. She tried to kill herself. Then I tried to kill myself too later that year. I overdosed and everything in the house I could get my hands on.
My best friend and I stopped being friends for a while. I needed another source for drugs. One night, I was supposed to go to a friend’s house, I got to the central area of my suburb to get the bus at 9pm at night when he messaged me to say I couldn’t come over any more. I had lied to my mum so I couldn’t go home could I! I was sitting alone on a bench when a middle aged man started to bother me, I acted casual. Two other men stepped in and asked if I was ok. I thought oh, they’re nice. They were in their 30s. They invited me back to their house, I obliged. At their house there was drugs and alcohol galore. Yes! I thought. I can get it. One of the older men tried to sleep with me, I was still a virgin. My brain didn’t see the danger I was putting myself in with these men. I am forever grateful to whoever my guardian angel is, that I was not harmed during the time I spent with these men.
In TV shows or docu series you see drug addicts with the scabs on their face or arms, yeah? That’s from them feeling like things are crawling all over their skin and their body is screaming for the next fix.
I was high as a kite after one session of crystal meth and I was sitting in the lounge room by myself watching TV. It was very dark and all of a sudden I started to feel like I had a million bugs or spiders crawling over my legs. I felt their little legs scurry over me. Of course, reality was that there was actually nothing on my legs. But that is the point of addiction that I was at, that’s how drug ridden my body now was. I still wasn’t 18 at this point. Something snapped in my brain, telling me to STOP. Stop doing this, we can’t do this anymore.
I went home the next day or two later and I decided that I was just going to stop. Cold turkey. Drop the pipe and don’t touch it. Again, no one knew about this specific addiction. I had to do this by myself. I ended up smoking panadol optizorb off a spoon in the shower, so that I could feel something. It gave me a little high. It wasn’t anywhere near what crystal gave me, nothing will compare to what it gave me. But I stopped, for a while. I was still drinking, smoking weed and taking MDMA, I was still stuck in an addiction just not as strong. I knew I was getting better though. I knew better days were coming deep down.
Shortly after I turned 18, I was at a party and met some guys there. I knew they smoked ice. I didn’t know these people. Coming out of a crystal meth addiction, the hunger for it was still there. I ended up driving out into the middle of the bush with these guys and going in to an old, dirty and smelly tent, I smoked crystal meth there and then I got dropped back to the party early hours of the morning. I was buzzing and it felt so so good, but I knew this wasn’t what I wanted any more. I am glad I did what I did that night, because that was my last straw. I took a good look at myself and asked myself what the hell I was doing. I didn’t want this life. I wanted to be able to sit there and go yes, look at what I have achieved; I wanted to be proud of myself. I didn’t want to chase happiness through drugs any more. I stopped altogether.
I did get psychiatric help throughout this time, but that is another story. I was diagnosed in 2018 with cyclothymia which is an illness on the bipolar spectrum. I either didn’t have just depression or this diagnosis was drug induced. I will get into that later.
One’s story of addiction can be so similar to another’s, the events that occur can be similar if not the same, but the way we cope can be different and our outcome can be different. However, addicts can always rise above their struggle and be proud of themselves and their life. Although support from family and friends is so important, I recovered by myself and with help from a counselor. It can be done.
Recovery did not seem possible to me. I am 22 now, I still consider myself a drug addict. I have done MDMA and cocaine over the years still but I have the self-control to not go down the rabbit hole again. I know how easily I will get hooked again and destroy my life. One little taste of it and I go crazy. It takes every fiber of my being to control myself around drugs. I am and always will be a recovering drug addict. My story isn’t over; there is still work to be done. One of the hardest things that I had to believe was that I was worth recovery and my life was worth it to be made beautiful. I was worth everything the world had to offer me. I found my light at the end of the tunnel and it was the brightest thing I had seen.
At this point in my life, I can say that for the most part, I am sober.