THE TWO OF US: JENNY AND LILY'S STORY
I remember the night in February when my daughter, then aged 24 told me she was injecting heroin. I was overwhelmed by feelings of utter confusion, ignorance, fear of the drug itself and not knowing where and how to seek help. Soon after came anger - anger that she was so stupid as to take heroin, anger that she could steal from the family. I knew she had tried an assortment of drugs since leaving school, but it was hard to pick up on her drug use as she suffered from depression, and so she was never an easy teenager.
I spent a year helping her fight her drug use while she lived at home. It was a year spent with hope that the next detox would work and then it didn’t. I was fortunate to link into Family Drug Support and gained much support from this. I believe that like everything in life (and that includes heroin) timing is important. Both my daughter and I had to reach a stage where living at home was no longer feasible. She then moved to King’s Cross in Sydney.
Eventually she realised she had to change direction. This led to her being on the methadone program, which has so far proved successful for her
Stopping my heroin use is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Without the loving support of my family, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.
What a lot of people don’t realise is this thing can be so much bigger than you. I would sneak around the house looking for money, feeling physically ill that I had sunk so low. But the craving and cramps would push me and I always knew that after a shot everything would seem better.
For a year I went through the motions of trying to beat using, with many trips to the doctor, psychiatrist and treatment centres. But I don’t think I was ready to give up at that stage. For me, the party wasn’t over yet.
It wasn’t until I found myself living in a motel in Kings Cross, doing sex work that things changed. It was what I needed and wanted to do at the time, but it wasn’t how I wanted my life to go, how I saw my life continuing. I realised I wanted something else and I simply couldn’t have it with an active dependency. Luckily I could go home again, so I moved back, ready to make some changes this time.
I’m now on the methadone program and that turned out to be the thing that works for me. Things have changed. I have a job, a steady relationship and - more importantly - I’m happy and the future looks bright.