I lived in denial for more than half my life so changing my programming is an ongoing work in progress

At age 17 started smoking marijuana, dabbled in heroin by age 19 having been introduced to this via smoking crowd... in my 20's did some speed. Late 20's binge drinking... mid 30's full blown heroin addiction started ended up having 3 separate naltrexone implants, numerous home detoxes, took crystal meth during implant phase ended up back on heroin homeless doing street sex work and in an abusive relationship.

My life was going nowhere I did not have a good living situation and had ongoing housing issues. The other most important factor would be my son who is now 19. I wanted to get better for him. I started seeing friends who were seasoned users die and I got very scared that I too would end up a statistic. The thought of my family hearing I had been found dead alone in a toilet was too much to bear. I had once been very creative, had even been to Uni, I’d written and directed plays for marginalised young women and I had let it all go to shit. I was lost, depressed and ill.

In 2010 I went to Windana therapeutic community for 5 months but got busted on a day leave and had to exit the program. Since then I have spent the last few years at my parents in recovery, haven’t smoked dope since or drank but have had recurring issues with heroin am currently on a very low dose of suboxone. I returned to study 2012 gained a Cert 4 in community services but did not go on to diploma and am currently learning Auslan do occasional NA meetings

For me recovery is about not placing expectation on myself trying not to focus too much on outcomes, it really is a day by day challenge. I lived in denial for more than half my life so changing my programming is an ongoing work in progress. My latest thing is Mindfulness - this has been suggested by a few professionals so I am about to look into that more thoroughly than I have.

I think I still don't get that it is a long at times slow process. Drug use trains you to expect reward and gratification fairly immediately for any effort expended and this is not the case in recovery. Accepting this and managing my expectations in all situations is the hardest challenge.

I am strong I am intelligent and I will never stop trying to navigate my way back to life but I would be lying if I said it was easy it was not until I stopped that I realised what I had forfeited & what underlying problems led me into a life of pain and addiction..regret & bitterness destroy.. Some days there bitter taste is stronger than life’s sweet one but I push through the discomfort because there is always tomorrow and I know it can be different.