Benefits of participating in a Family Support Group
Today, people would describe me as optimistic, happy and kind. This is a big difference from who I was just over 8 years ago when while on maternity leave, I had confirmation that my partner was using ice. Actually, his ability to function normally was disappearing as fast as him when he received a phone call. I was becoming accustomed to stories of why he did not make it home again. Over time they made less sense and the nights turned into weeks. Days would go by without even a text message, and I became pretty good at thinking of worst-case scenarios. Then he would wander in the door like nothing had happened like I was the one who had the problem of not accepting his new lifestyle choices.
I spent a good part of my free time googling and trying to learn as much as possible about this drug that I knew nothing about. What I read was horrifying. Stories of people using the drug to promote how their life benefited from the use, psychosis, horror stories, meth mouth and how individuals have a 5% chance of recovering from ice addiction. One of the last times I googled this content was when I found the Family Drug Help helpline number. What a blessing and what perfect timing. I had significantly whittled away my small amount of savings believing the manipulating and convincing money requests from my partner. I accepted the promises he could not keep and felt disappointed, angry and hurt. I struggled to know what was real, I was confused, and I was leaning on his sister to support me.
On my first contact with this helpline, I was offered a place in a 6-week program, which I eagerly accepted. This course was excellent, I sat with people just like me; lost, confused, sad and angry. Each week I gained more insight. I learned how to care for myself and how I learned unhealthy coping skills to deal with my partner's addiction. I was so caught up, holding onto the man I had fallen in love with, that I had not accepted who he had become. All the behaviours and traits that worked in a relationship without ice were being manipulated to support his ice addiction and I was slowly becoming tired and worn down, doing the same things over, expecting different results. The six weeks flew by. My heart felt a little empty at the thought of it ending, so when I was asked if I would like to attend a support group in my local area, I excitedly said yes.
This support group has changed me and in turn, my life has gotten better. I have learned so many transferable skills in other areas of my life that not only has my life improved but also my relationships with those around me. I still look forward to that meeting twice a month. Sometimes a guest speaker will attend and share their story of addiction and recovery, or a professional from an industry that touches my or my loved ones' lives.
I have learned about boundaries, enabling, empowering, communicating, listening, assertiveness, safety, and self-care. I have also known the power of being in a room of people on a similar journey to myself who share their strength, experience and hope. I have learned the value of being in a space where what is said in the room stays. It is empowering to share my thoughts and feelings without being judged or criticised.
I have made many friendships in this space, people who help me with my children when I need it and people who understand my journey because some of it is also theirs.
Today I feel blessed for my partner's addiction because it is part of my journey that has helped me be the person I am today.
My Experience of the Rehab at Home program - Jack
Addiction is a disease that can take over someone's life. It can be hard to break free from addiction, but it is possible. There are many resources available to help people struggling with addiction. Seek out help if you or someone you know is suffering. You can get through this. I could stop using, look at my issues, achieve significant positive change and recover.
If I can, anyone can.
For those afflicted with addiction, life can seem like a never-ending nightmare. They know that they need to make changes in their lives, but the temptation is too much, and they relapse time and time again. The shame of addiction is enough to force them into isolation, thus making it even harder for them to escape its grasp. Addiction can take over every aspect of someone's life-destroying relationships, careers and dreams.
But there is hope. With the help of family, friends and professionals, addicts can get their lives back on track and reclaim their dreams.
Addiction is a challenge that I have faced for many years. It has been a long and arduous journey, but I am finally on the road to sustainable recovery. Addiction can be incredibly destructive, not just to the individual but also to their loved ones.
I want to share my story in the hopes that it will help others who are struggling with addiction.
When I was young, I struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. It was a difficult time for me, and I almost lost everything. But I got help, and now I am sober and healthy.
Addiction is a severe problem, and it can be tough to overcome. Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, and what works for me may not work for everyone. I am grateful that I found a program that worked for me, and I would encourage anyone struggling with addiction to do the same.
Recovery is possible, and there is hope for those willing to seek it out.
Thank you for reading my story. If you are struggling with addiction, give the team at ASV a call, they care, know what they are doing and can provide evidence-based assistance and support. The ASV rehab at-home program team is here to support you every step of the way. You are not alone.
"ASV programs and services provide affordable, evidence-based drug and alcohol rehab options across Melbourne, Victoria. The core program is delivered in the person's home where they feel safe and their privacy is protected". - Jase Bowman - ASV Manager Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center, Melbourne 2020.
ASV staff provide programs that are delivered by experienced, qualified industry professionals.