September 14, 2022
By Kayleearne Clyde
My name is Kayleearne I was addicted to methamphetamines for five years. This October I will be three years clean. This is my story.
To share my story, I must tell you about the lowest places my addiction took me to. Some of these things I am not proud of but I will share them with you so you can understand the depth and how addiction took over my life and slowly took control until the person I once was almost ceased to exist.
I have always been a strong independent woman. Before addiction I worked two jobs that I loved, attended school and TAFE and had great relationships. I was happy with the direction my life was heading until one day I met someone. Looking back now I can see the red flags and early warning signs of this relationship. He manipulated me in a way that I believed that I didn’t have him, nobody would want me.
This was not a healthy relationship; there was a substantial amount of abuse physically and mentally, until one day he went too far that he broke my body, mind, soul and even my bones.
I’m not going to say this was the only significant event in my life that contributed to my using, but it is the event that pushed me into the darkness that I would soon feel like I was drowning in.
Soon my everyday life would be consumed with addiction. My day would consist of using, scoring, and selling. I stopped showing up for work and slowly lost everyone and everything I held close to my heart. But at this point I would not even notice or care because the only thought I had was using. I was in full addiction, and I felt I would never escape because the darkness had consumed me.
Over the five years of my addiction, I was in and out of jail until one day I met someone. This person would become the father of our child. When I found out I was pregnant It was like I could see the light in darkness, this child would be my escape. In a perfect world I would stop using and we would live happily ever after, but sadly this was not the case. Earlier I spoke of being a strong independent woman but during this part of my life, I was no longer that person and had handed my mind, body and soul over to my disease. Everyday my love for this child would grow as she grew inside me, but I would continue to use throughout my pregnancy and this perfect little girl would be ripped from my arms and put into Child Protection care.
You would think that this would be the light switch moment that I needed to get clean so our family could be whole again. But once again this is not what happened. I would struggle to go an hour without using because I felt that my pain was too great to face clean because losing my child felt like losing a part of myself.
I would continue to use and see my daughter three times a week for an hour until she turned three months old. This is the day that things would change because at 9.30am my house would be raided, and I would be imprisoned for five months. I had been in jail previously, but this time was different; the pain of being away from her was the motivation I needed to get myself clean. But I couldn’t just do this for her, I had to want this for me, and I did. I wanted my family to be whole.
On the day I was released, I already had five months clean time and I would reach out for support from services offered in Warrnambool that would teach me the tools and strategies I needed to implement in my life to ensure that I could maintain sobriety. I would receive help for my previous trauma and support for my mental health.
So where am I now? In July my daughter has been in mine and my partner’s (her Dad) care for two years; I hold a job; I am a mum; I have completed my Certificate IV in Child Youth and Family Intervention; am currently studying my Diploma in Community Services; and reconciled past friendships and formed new friendships. I have been a guest speaker at different places to spread my message of hope to all individuals affected by this disease. These are just a small example of my achievements I have been able to succeed in since finding recovery. My recovery didn’t come easy, but it came to me at the time when I was ready. Recovery is not something that happens overnight, it is a lifelong journey and something I will continue to work on. But it has been worth it.
If you are suffering from this disease my message to you, is you are not alone. If you are thinking about starting your recovery journey, then you have already taken the first step. If you have a friend or family member suffering just remind them that they are loved and no matter what happens they will never be alone. Simple things like this can spread a message of hope.
Kayleearne’s entry was named Paul Jennings special award winner in the 2022 short story competition.
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WRAD HEALTH’s vision is to advance the health and wellbeing of those in the South Western Region of Victoria affected by Addictive behaviours and to promote optimal enjoyment of life.
WRAD HEALTH seeks to provide comprehensive, holistic support and treatment to individuals and others affected by addictive behaviors and associated issues.
The philosophy of harm minimisation underpins the delivery of all programs offered by WRAD HEALTH. This principle recognises that people in our society use both licit and illicit drugs, and that drugs can be used in ways that are more or less harmful to individuals, families and society. Harm minimisation offers a number of options designed to reduce the harm of drug use to the user and society.
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