I started using meth at 17 - 12 September 2016

I started using meth at about 17. I knew someone who was cooking and was getting it cheap.

I was using heavily from that point onwards till I was around 19, at which point I was was able to get away from the scene for about two years before I returned to my home town and fell straight back into it.

At first it was every now and then, but quickly it became every weekend then every weekend and every pay day - soon it was more important than anything.

I committed a home invasion-style aggravated robbery on some dealers. There where children present but that didn't stop me. The victims were bound and beaten and drugs stolen.

Shortly after I was sentenced to 3.5 years in jail. I served my time and got out to home detention, during which I went to rehab. After finishing rehab I came home and met the love of my life. Things went well for around a year and then I started to occasionally use again which quickly escalated.

I found that I became obsessed with myself with little or no consideration for others, in fact, what consideration I did have was only ever in regards to serving my own desires.

I became unfaithful, unpredictably aggressive and disconnected from my family and partner.

I moved towns to start in business and did well for a while until once again I started using, this time in another city. My partner and I became very heavy users, approximately 1 to 2 grams a day - around $1500 to $2000.

I became so obsessed in myself and my ego that I completely ignored the needs of my partner and children. I would be verbally, physically, emotionally abusive. I threw my partner into walls and assaulted her on a number of occasions. Every time it happened I would hate myself and become suicidal and the only way I knew to fix it was for us to get fried and then everything would be OK.

I would tick things up and sell them to get cash, I would empty the bank accounts to buy crack and this has left both my ex and I in serious debt.

It all came to a head in May last year after a particularly nasty argument where things were thrown and my ex was assaulted when an item hit her in the mouth splitting her lip. I smashed up all the stuff in the house and our car, while my two-year-old daughter was present. I was arrested and held in custody overnight. I came home and everything was gone.

Since that day I have been working and striving to make the changes I needed to make. I was sentenced to counseling for violence and drug problems, also community service and supervision. It took months of relapsing and hard work to break free from the drugs. But I realised that the drug was only a symptom of deeper issues.

My change started when I lost everything, when I realised that my whole life all I really cared about was myself. But I found that what I lost was greater than silver and gold and that what I thought mattered, didn't.

The effect of meth on me was profound. I totally lost all my morals and honour. I was living in a constant victim mentality where all the bad stuff happened to me, not because of me. I was dishonest and a compulsive liar. All addicts are liars because you're having to live a lie.

Now my greatest focus and purpose is my ex and children, by taking my focus off myself and giving myself purpose I have found everything has changed.

The turning point for me has been my faith in Jesus Christ. I received a lot of help and support from some solid Christians, not judgmental holier than thou believers but real people with real faith.

I've learnt what love is, I've learnt what a real man is and how to be one, and now I'm walking the walk and walk in faith that one day my ex will see how I've changed and allow me to be a father and, God willing, the husband I always wanted and thought I was but was too selfish and deluded to be.

I've recently started contracting again and I'm paying my ex back for the debt I've caused her. At this point I'm not allowed anything to do with my children, and I cannot blame her. We are on some sort of talking terms, but due to my actions in the past she has no trust or faith in me whatsoever. I accept that because it's my fault.

But in time through consistent evidence of change I believe things will improve. I know that I have no right to tell anyone else when they should forgive, and heal from what I've done.

I know love is patient, kind, forgiving, non judgmental, not proud or self seeking, love is an action, love is putting others before yourself. I believe in a relationship if both parties seek the happiness and fulfillment of their partner and worry more about their needs more than your own, then and only then will true happiness be achievable.

Think about it.... all offences, anger and hate stem from entitlement and entitlement stems from pride or selfishness. You cannot control other's behaviour but you can control your reaction and by controlling how you react in turn brings change.

I now spend my time working and seeking to help others in whatever ways I can.

That's my story but it's only the beginning.


Contacts for support:

MethHelp  www.methhelp.org.nz

The Alcohol Drug Helpline (0800 787 797)

Women's Refuge or other family violence support services can help people who are trapped in abusive relationships. Phone the information line 0800 456 450.


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