Tegan

Has a lived experience of addiction

Tegan

My addiction started at age 18, after I was sexually assaulted. I smoked marijuana daily until the age of 25 when I found out I was pregnant. By my 26th birthday I was partaking in recreational methamphetamine use, due to domestic violence. Two months later, I had a $500 a day ice habit, had lost custody of my son, lost my house, lost my family, and was homeless living in my car. I was stealing from family and stores to trade for drugs. I quickly ended up being arrested over 10 times before going to prison for the first time in September of 2018. The exact same prison my Mum has worked at for 15+ years. I got out with hopes of changing, I didn't. My addiction got worse, I was once again homeless, away from family, and in another domestic violence relationship. I was no longer myself. The drug ‘ice’ controlled my body and mind. It had total control over me, and I never thought I could be sober. I was the person I used to judge, and cross the street for. I begged, I stole, I lied, I was violent. Another 25+ arrests later and I landed back in prison, in February of 2019. I was convinced I couldn't change.

Today I'm 644 days sober, I have my family back, I have full custody of my nearly three-year-old son. I never thought I could get sober. But prison saved me, and I'm thankful for every mistake I made. I was able to overcome my demons, and face the real reasons for my addictions, for the first time in my adult life. I learnt to know my triggers, I learnt how to control myself, but most importantly I learnt how to never let my demons take control of me. It is a daily fight to stay sober, but a fight I will fight every single day. I will never be a recovered addict, I will always be recovering, because I know how easy it is to fall back into that trap. I'm not ashamed of my past, or my addiction, instead I take pride in it. Addiction is still such a taboo subject, and there is little to no help for struggling addicts. I want to be a voice, to let anyone struggling with addiction know that they CAN do it, they CAN get sober, they CAN live a normal life. Everyone has the power to have the life they deserve, some of us just need someone to lean on to get back on our feet. I don’t want people struggling with addiction to feel ashamed about it. There is NOTHING to be ashamed about. Addiction is a disease, not a choice. No one chooses it. But addicts are made to feel less then human by a society that looks down on addicts. A society that hasn't yet accepted the difference between choice and a disease.