It’s nearly been a year since I went into detox; I've gone through a lot of shifts in my thinking, and I've done a lot of internal growth since then. Since I grew up knowing addiction, when I fell into it myself, it took me a long time to to even recognise that it wasn't just a lifestyle choice; that it was a problem. When I fell pregnant with my daughter, I realised that it had taken hold of my life a lot more than I’d thought.
They removed my daughter three years ago; I had been a single mom with her, because we had escaped DV with her dad when she was 1. I raised her until she was six, right up until they removed her from my care. I had tried to do everything that was asked of me to get her back, but I ended up using…I just wasn't handling life without my daughter.
It got to the point where I tried rehabs, I'd get back out in the community and I'd just pick up again. It was like everything was just not working and I lost hope. I used to tell myself, fuck it, it’s in my DNA; it's never going to change. I'd almost died a couple of times, I started committing crime…I didn't know what to do.
I'd given up on my own life and my battle against addiction…but I didn't want to die knowing I'd given up on my fight to get my daughter back. So - still in a very, very sick mind – I thought, I'll just go to rehab, I'll get that certificate because then I know like I've done everything I can. Which obviously wasn't the case, but that's how I was thinking. I stepped into Foundation House, which was the first rehab I've ever done that’s 12-step based…and everything changed for me.
The second day I was there, I stepped into my first meeting; it was a woman's meeting, with ex-residents from that rehab. They were like sharing so openly - so raw and vulnerable - talking about their struggles and about where they're at now. For me, in that moment - amidst that energy in the room - there was a little shift. That flame of hope flickered back on…and I thought, fuck it. If they can do it, I can. And from there, everything changed for me. I thought, if I want what these women have, I've got to be honest, open, and willing - and that's what I dove straight into.
My drive at that time was still to get my daughter back…but slowly, there was another shift that happened for me.
“I started to realise that I had to do this for me. To get my life back.”
I can hope that that lands my daughter back in my care one day, but that's not a guarantee. And it’s so lucky that shift happened, because at the end last year, I started doing the legal process for restoration of care - but my application was denied, because I needed more clean time in the community. Had I not had that shift, I would have picked up again then - but I was able to think, well, that's just how it is at the moment. I'll get more clean time and I'll try again.