The wake-up call this meth addicted mum needed

by Anonymous / 21 November, 2018

"I spent two years recovering, finally creating somewhere where my kids felt safe, secure, stable." Photo / Getty Images

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 A mum shares her struggle of overcoming a meth addiction to help give a better life to her two children.

It was the day that changed my life. I picked my five-year-old son up from school, and he sat there sobbing, “Mummy, why doesn’t anybody like me? Why doesn’t anybody play with me?” I asked if he was nice to the other kids, and he said: “yes, but they just laugh and run away from me.” And suddenly I saw what they saw. He had used clothes, worn shoes, and looked dirty. 

We had nothing. No food. Nowhere to sleep. Nowhere to shower. I was 25, and with his 2-year-old sister, we were living in a car. At night we’d park up on the side of the road. No one slept well. My kids were sad and hungry. “Sorry, but this is our life,” I’d tell them. 

 

I was a drug addict. Meth was destroying me. It takes over your brain, your way of thinking, and you don’t know right from wrong. I thought I was controlling it, that it didn’t affect me, or my kids, that much. Because I wasn’t hungry, I thought they weren’t hungry. When I think about it now…. 

How did I get there? I had a good childhood, but there were no barriers. By the time I was 12 I was smoking marijuana. It’s always been in the house. Mum caught me smoking it one day and didn’t really mind. I thought it was cool. I ended up getting caught in the fourth form with an ounce on me. Mum picked me up and took me shopping. She said to the principal ‘Oh well, I was expecting that.’ That was the end of school for me. 

I ended up losing my virginity at 14. At 16, I fell pregnant. Mum didn’t really care. Dad was furious. I ended up having an abortion three days before my 17th birthday. And the drugs were there every week after that. But now it was meth. It was my new life. And all of a sudden I had lots of new friends. But when I got pregnant again at 18, I stopped. I couldn’t go through an abortion again, so I had my son, and then my daughter when I was 23. But in between, as I lost homes, friends and relationships, the drugs came back. I was on my own, masking everything. 

That was until that day I picked my crying son up from school. I rang a friend out of town and said ‘I can’t do this. I need help.’ I packed up the kids and drove there. As soon as I’d made that decision, it was easy. You don’t need rehab to get off meth, you just need willpower and support. Addiction is a disease, and I spent two years recovering, finally creating somewhere where my kids felt safe, secure, stable. 

But confronting life without drugs is hard.  If it wasn’t for my kid’s school I don’t think I’d be where I am now. It has been the rock. They know where I’ve come from. They’re there to make sure everyone is ok. It’s amazing to see the love. They’ve got the Breakfast Club, so every morning my son wants to go there. The kids have had KidsCan food, clothing, shoes, nit treatments.

No one judges. The help’s just there. I’m not going to be too proud, and put myself under, trying to say I’ve done it by myself. KidsCan’s snacks have meant I can give my kids three meals of meat a week. You’re going to get further together as a team than you would by yourself.  It is hard to put your hand up for help. It feels like you’re failing. But you’re not. Everyone’s struggling. I’m paying $560 in rent a week. The food prices are crazy. I’ve come to realise a car is a luxury item. We can’t even afford a freezer. 

But slowly, I’m finding happiness. A parenting course has been my saving grace this year.  I’m learning to stop doubting myself. I’m so much stronger than I ever thought I was. It’s made me realise I’m actually quite smart. I’m a good parent. I am. I’ve made some mistakes but I’m getting there.

Now, I can sit and play a game with my children which I didn’t have the patience for before. Outside, we just clown around. I love it. And the effort I put into their schoolwork now - they just blow me away, they’re so smart. Now, I am going to go and study to become a primary school teacher.

I’m really proud of myself, but in saying that, should I be proud? I made those choices. I did that to my children. I beat myself up every day for the things I feel I’ve done - to my son in particular. He’s very resilient. But I don’t think I’m ever going to feel like I’ve achieved anything great until I know he’s okay. 


 

You can make a real difference for families doing their absolute best. By providing food at school, clothing and basic health and hygiene items you can ensure Kiwi kids can get to school and into the classroom in a position to learn.  Join KidsCan and donate at www.kidscan.org.nz

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