Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

Hannah's story

When I was 12 years old my Dad died, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I found that if I drank alcohol I could let my emotions out, alcohol let me be who I wanted to be. Eventually alcohol became pills and ketamine, my life started to revolve around raves and weekend house parties. I forgot there was anything else to life. When I finally tried heroin I felt it numb me from the world, leaving me wanting for more. But I was too young, people offered my Subutex instead.

My lifestyle was dangerous. I was really sick, very often. I would pass out in the bath, I could hear parents banging down my door because their kids were inside, and probably in the same condition I was. I was arrested and lost everyone’s trust, including my mum’s, my flat became a crack house with people coming at all hours to score drugs. My relationships were destructive, I would find relationships that helped me use and score. They often became violent.

Then I fell pregnant. And for the first time I could remember, I wanted to live.

I needed to be a role model for my daughter. So I changed, I felt like I could take on the world after giving birth to my beautiful daughter and cutting drugs out of my life. But it was too much too fast. So I started to dabble and quickly fell back into full-blown addiction.

No matter what I tried, I couldn’t break the cycle of addiction, and every time I fell back into my old habits, things got worse. Social services were going to take my daughter away, I had to beg for one last chance at rehab.

But this rehab was different, in there I learned how to calm myself down, and deal with my feelings in a healthy way. I was taught how to have real relationships, love myself and understand the traumas in my life. I understood that my life matters.

Now social services are out of my life, drugs are out of my life and violence is out of my life. I have friends who help me, and I help them. We don’t hurt each other. Writing this, almost two years have passed since I have used substances of any kind, I have a beautiful daughter and a family. My life matters, their lives matter, every life matters.