Story 4

I was age 13 when I first started to experiment with weed and alcohol, I think this was a way to fit in with my friends.

I got bullied at school so my confidence and self-worth wasn’t that great and as you can imagine being a teen girl under influence and hanging around older people than me would get up to all sorts.

At the of 16 I started to go free partying and started to use ecstasy and cocaine, at this point I was still lived fairly good life still went to college and had a weekend job that I could keep down. Obviously me life style choice of drugs caused conflict at home and that’s when the arguments and rebelling against me parents started.

At the age of 17 I started to use ketamine, but wasn’t just a weekend thing no more this become a daily routine. At the time I didn’t know what I was doing but I was trying escape my life and what had happen. I was sexually assaulted around the time I stared to use ketamine no one really knew, I blame myself for what had happened. Because it was my fault I had slept with that many people over the years since I started drinking I thought this was the norm. But when I finally decided an enough was enough and said no they didn’t stop. I drop out of college and partying and ketamine slowly become my life. I wouldn’t turn up for work and went on benefits and hanging around with my friends become more important than spending time with my family.

It was just under two years later my body started to feel the side effects from using ketamine I started to get server cramps in my stomach and I started to lose control over my bladder. I got myself stuck in hard cycle. I sniffed ketamine because I didn’t like myself or my life no more so I couldn’t stop that’s what made me who I was gave me confidence and gave me this wall to block out feelings I didn’t like to face. Slowly my health got worse but with ketamine even thought it was what was causing the pain in my body a line would soon take away the pain. So I carried on as I where. In 2009 I had to have my bladder stretched I had drop from a healthy size of 12 to a 7. Now I look back I wish they never stretched my bladder because it gave me few extra years that I could carry on with sniffing ketamine.

I started robbing money from my family at this point to feed my habit, robbing drug dealers, running up massive tick bills and payday loans and credit cards.

Seven years later I could hardly walk was bent over like an old lady, had to wear nappies because I couldn’t control my bladder. I was losing everything my family didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t socialise with my friends no more, this drug that gave me confidence and made me laugh no longer did this I was so depressed and wanted my life to end. I was put on so many different pain killers to try instead of using ketamine but instead I would end up mixing them and then hallucinate, and nearly got section. I got in trouble with the police and got put on probation. This is when I started to get help, I started to see oasis and my probation officer on a regular basis. They would even do home visits because I physically couldn’t leave the house. They finally said about me going to rehab, then I would never dream that I could change, I had tried so many times over the years by going away of just going cold turkey that I could stop. at this point thought I was prepare to do anything so after a month of sorting out funding I finally got it, I had a day placement at the ley community and choice this rehab because I knew it was hard I need tough love to sort my life out. That’s when my life changed.

I arrived at The Ley Community on 20ml of methadone and I had to do a 3 week detox. I found this quite hard all your feelings start to come back but you have so much support from other residents that have been there a bit longer who had been already through it u see proof that it can be done. I had lot of confidence issues especially around my health, I was encouraged to get involved in day to day stuff and even actives things I would never dream of doing, things I thought I couldn’t do because of my health but over a while my bladder did start to get stronger. It wasn’t perfect but it was healing and I felt a part of something. I slowly come down off the methadone and pain killers until I could cope without them. This was a milestone in its self.

I then had to start work on myself which I found very hard, you start to take away the drugs you realise it isn’t just the drugs that are problem it is how you act, behave and what you belief is right that is the problem. You also deal with issues from the past and realise you can’t use these as excuses anymore to use. I had to go through some understandings as a girl and how I act when I was young had effect my self-worth and how I acted now round men wasn’t right. It was quite tough when you are in the programme as well being a girl and outnumber you attract a lot of unwanted attention that can be hard. But as the programme goes on you learn to love yourself and learn to build proper relationship with guys that you would never have had before. Along with the issue work you learn to build up a daily routine and work in the community, everything you do there prepares you for life once you get out and gives you tools to help keep yourself safe while in recovery.

I am now two years clean and in recovery. I have now rebuild my relationships with my family and have resettled in oxford with my peers around me I know have a new positive social network to support me and still have one to one support from the staff and after care staff at the community that place because you second home and always will be. I have now gone self-employed painter and decorator and am in full time work.

My health is so much better now, I still have the odd occurring bladder problem but noting that I can’t deal with in day to day living. And is still healing, I see myself quite lucky because if I hadn’t of sorted it out when I did I don’t think I would be alive now.