Walgett Man

I grew up in Sydney but my mobs from Walgett. Unfortunately, in many Aboriginal families, using drugs and drinking alcohol becomes the norm and so I was exposed to it from a young age. When I was stuck in my addiction, I bounced back and forth, and it was an emotional roller coaster, I didn’t have any control over my life. I just focused on when I was going to get my next high. That was my main priority and I got into crime to get my fix. I let it control my life. I had no control until I took that first step. I went into rehab a while ago but after I came out, I still relapsed on drugs and alcohol. Later, I realised my recovery meant more to me than just having a night out, getting off my face and so my mum pointed me in the direction of Marrin.

At Marrin, it surprised me that there were people with your best interest at heart and they believed in you. Before you even walked in, they knew there was a better person within you. They’re good as they’ve always been there, and they are 100% there all the way. They have
never said anything to me that they haven’t gone through themselves. When people understand what you’re going through, it’s a big help.

Before I even attended a meeting, id listen to other addicts make out like people were sitting around hugging and crying, but once I got in there it was different. I realise it was different from the life I knew and was capable of.

At my first meeting, I was sitting with people twice or three times my age and seeing them there 20 years on because they know their addiction still exists. That was a big wake up call to me because they’ve lived and experienced life and they still come to meetings.; seeing people in the group that have done good for themselves and getting to see their kids again, that was what I wanted.

I watched men cry in meetings and they were actually opening and being honest. It made me realise I did have an addiction. After that, I felt I could face it. I thought “its alright to be vulnerable.

As I started to get recovery, it was lonely at first but as you become a better person in yourself, you think “id prefer this than going out”. My old friends didn’t visit me and so I thought if I’m only good enough to be around when I got drugs or alcohol: then I surrounded myself with people who didn’t do drugs or alcohol.

Mum was telling me “you got the ball rolling you might as well keep it going”. Mum also tells me she’s proud of me.

It depends on the choices you make. Their lifestyle wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted. I was saying to my partner “if it wasn’t for Tony and Marrin, I wouldn’t have the house, car, job or things to show for myself”. It’s a massive change.

Now I can enjoy getting up and going to work every day. Little things like pushing the lawn mower, playing with the dogs, time with my partner, going to the beach whenever we want and not having the thought “I have to get home and have a cone, or I need money for a drink” If it wasn’t for Marrin, I don’t know where I would be. Marrin changed my life, Marrin is good.

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

You are welcome at Marrin Weejali.