I grew up in Bondi in a foster home.

“I had it pretty tough as a kid and I have done a lot of jail. I have done 17 years all up and have been an addict since I was 16. I have four kids and life was pretty bad at one point. When I hit 16 I was up at Kings Cross selling and using a lot of drugs and for the next 20 or so years I was in and out of jail,  fighting my addictions.”

I was estranged from my foster family. They wanted nothing more to do with me.

“Things got pretty bad, for a while there I was homeless and staying in squats in and around Kings Cross. I started using heroin and then ended up going to jail for two years. When I got out I swore I would never use it again but then I graduated to ice and that was my drug of dependence for many years.”

It got to the point where I thought I wasn’t worthy.

“I got told so much that I was a scumbag… you start believing it and when you start believing it you give up on yourself.

I made the decision to stay out of jail and get my life on track in 2012 and I managed to do it for four years, I really turned my life around.”

Things fell apart when my mate had cancer and my missus was leaving me.

“I ended up back into using and back in jail. I made a firm decision to get my life back on track. It wasn’t as simple for me as going to rehab; I knew I had a lot of other stuff to deal with.”

The rehab pointed me in the direction of Marrin.

“From the first phone interview I had, I could feel the fact that they cared, which was really positive for me. The care plan itself was moulded according to what I needed. We smashed it out of the ballpark. Everything, every goal that was set we achieved.”

I wouldn’t say I am cured, I know how easy it is to fall back into it.

“I personally don’t believe there is a cure; it will always be there in the background. All I can do is work on myself. I have to say I am a lot more in tune with my emotions and anger. We did 10 weeks to work through my anger and I have come a long way in that regard.”

The living with addictions group is well worth it.

“There were a few little things, the videos, the content in that program that helped me understand it. Now I am working two jobs. That’s massive for me. They get me by, and I have my licence back and a car and my own place. I have actually got a life now. It has been quite some time since I had that.”

Things are on the up and up – things are good.

“For the first time I can wake up every morning and I am happy, smiling and content with how things are going.”

Do you need support to overcome addiction? See our Aboriginal drug and alcohol misuse programs and social and emotional support programs. Contact us for a confidential discussion.

You are welcome at Marrin Weejali.