Anna’s family issues, drug use, and mental heath problems took her to a dark place. But now, with the right support, she’s rebuilding her life.
Before I started using methamphetamines, things were going pretty well for me. I had two jobs, I had money, and my girls would go to day care while I worked. But my ex-partner was abusive, and that made it hard, so I ended up having to quit my jobs.
To get by, my ex-partner and I started dealing cannabis, and then a friend encouraged me to sell speed. Things changed, and eventually I ended up dealing ice. At this point, the domestic violence got really bad, and my partner was sent to prison. I started injecting, and my mental health deteriorated badly. I was hearing voices, and I thought people were living in my roof – I’d even talk to the walls.
So mum and dad found a safe place for me to detox, and rehab was suggested, which I knew I needed. I wasn’t feeling hopeful coming into rehab, because I’d already done three months clean in prison. But I was ready to start again. It took me a while to get into the Bridge Program, but eventually I was admitted as a resident. It was tough at times, but to hear other people’s stories and know that the people around you are in a similar situation, really helped. My case manager was great – she helped me heaps and was a great support. If I felt down, she encouraged me, and all the staff were fantastic and supportive.
I learnt a lot of strategies to help me stay off drugs and show me that there was more to life. I needed that motivation to make the change. The whole time I was at the Bridge I was still hearing voices. It took nearly eight months for them to go. I had counselling and even went to a psychiatrist. I was told that it was drug-induced psychosis, and that I needed to stay off the ice in order for them to go. I was told to ‘hang in there’ and they were right! I don’t hear the voices anymore!
I’m now 10 months clean and am in the process of reunification with my children. I am continuing with after-care support, where I see my case manager once a week, and have voluntary urine tests each week to show myself how well I’m doing. It also stops me from thinking about using methamphetamines. I give copies of my urine test results to Child Safety Services to show them that I’m on track.
The Salvos have helped me to get back on my feet, and ever since I left the Bridge I haven’t used. I feel great – I am a new person, and I couldn’t have done it without the Bridge and my family.’
*Anna’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.