I had everything. A good life. A husband who had a good job and who loved me. We had a nice lifestyle block that we owned out right and our baby girl was now 18-months and old enough for me to start pursuing my own dreams of owning a shop in our little town. I found a shop and started up business. It wasn’t flat out, but it made enough money to pay its way and keep me busy. Life was good.
I didn’t go out a lot. I very rarely drank and if I did it was one maybe two so partying wasn’t a thing I did but I play pool and enter pub pool competitions. That was how I spent my downtime. I used to go to a town not too far from where I lived and play pool at nights. The people I met there would drink the night away and smoke cannabis. I’d have the odd puff of a joint with them, but I didn’t really like the feeling and then I still had to drive all the way home at night afterwards.
I made friends with a few people through these pool games, and they were doing heavy drugs. I would watch them high on acid, speed or ecstasy and always wondered what it was like. I got friendly with one person in particular and would ask her what it was like and if I could try some with her. She finally shared with me that she was smoking methamphetamine and always said no way don’t do it. She offered to get me anything else to try but not meth, until she gave in to me one New Year’s Eve and that’s where my addiction to methamphetamine began.
Initially it was a euphoric feeling to begin with and I liked it compared to other drugs I had tried and the more frequently I smoked the more it seemed to give me superhuman strength. I could do the hubby, do the house, do my baby, run my business, and go out at nights playing pool for money and feel at the top of my game with little or no sleep at all. Within a month a was smoking meth daily and buying large quantities to deal as well. My habit got bigger and bigger, and I started taking out loans against my business to fund my habit. I sold jewellery that my husband had given to me and eventually I began using our joint accounts for my habit too. He was none the wiser for a long time. He thought I was using the money for my business but eventually I had to tell him the truth.
I didn’t even care what he thought at that stage. My love for him had died as my love for meth grew. I carried on dealing meth while he did our daughter. I was barely home anymore. I stayed in motels or at friends’ houses dealing and smoking meth. I remember one deal went bad and I was left with no money, no meth, and people out looking for me because I owed them. I went back to my husband and demanded 10k. I didn’t even ask how my daughter was doing. She didn’t even enter my mind at that stage, I just wanted the cash. He said I had to wait to the morning and then he would discuss it. I was furious and remember taking what was left of the jewellery and taking off again. I swapped it for a bag.
When my husband finally called, I thought he would have some money for me, but he had rung to tell me how bad things had got financially. The business I owned had over 300k of debt in business loans, rent and money owed to suppliers. The joint account was in the red zone, and we needed to sell the house. I changed my demand to 100k and told him he could have the rest. Again, I just thought of getting my next fix and enough to be able to keep dealing. He replied, your daughter still asks about you even though you don’t ask about her and hung up. This would be the last time I heard his voice for 18-months.
I carried on wheeling and dealing meth. I got with a guy pretty high up in a gang. I never loved him, I just needed protection because I owed people he could protect me from. Eventually I started injecting because I could get higher for longer by using less. One night I overdosed and the guy I was with had someone take me to a park and call it in. The ambulance drivers who found me apparently said 10 more minutes and it would have been too late. They called my husband because he was still on record as my next of kin. He said I was unrecognisable when he saw me. I had lost so much weight, my hair had thinned out and I had scabs all over my face from the amount of meth I was using. I remember him saying to me, if RC - our daughter, could see you like this she wouldn’t even know who you are anymore. I broke down and knew this was my last chance at life because next time I might not be that lucky.
I spent three nights in hospital and during that time I talked to a social worker who helped get me on a wait list for rehab and got me into a halfway house while I waited for a bed to become available. Getting off meth was the hardest thing I ever had to do. It took weeks for me to get past the pain of the cravings but I just kept thinking I have nothing to go back to if I don’t carry on through this, so I kept pushing on through. My turning point was being admitted to hospital the night I OD’d and meeting the social worker there. If she hadn’t had been bothered helping me that day I probably would have gone straight back to meth. She saved my life.
Today, after a 3-year addiction to methamphetamine, I am 6 years 7 months and 3 days sober. I am divorced but I have a relationship with my ex-husband and our daughter. I live in a two-bedroom rental and my daughter stays with me every second Saturday. I work 4 days a week at New World and have begun online study in health and wellbeing to work towards becoming a support worker. I go to meetings weekly and the meetings, along with the people I have met there, support my sobriety, and help me maintain a new, healthy lifestyle.