Arnica, who is very passionate about her own journey with our agency, jumped at the chance when she was offered the role. She views her new position as the stepping stone to a new chapter in her life.
Arnica has led a challenging life through foster homes, alcohol addiction and brushes with the wrong side of the law. This story is just a snippet of events from her life.
“I’m not a victim; I know I’m not a saint. A lot of this is self-inflicted.” Arnica hopes her story will help other suffering addicts.
“I want people to know you get the most growth out of the worst events that have happened to you in your life. But, know that there is a way out. Anything is possible.”
Her journey at Nga Kete has helped her realize her potential and the bright future that lies ahead.
This is Arnica’s story:
Arnica, who was born in Whangarei, spent her childhood moving across the country from foster home to foster home. It wasn’t where she wanted to be and rebellion kicked in at a very young age.
“I was rebellious from the very start, and it gradually got worse the older I got.”
She felt as though she didn’t fit it anywhere – “I didn’t have an identity” – and would often get angry and run away from her foster homes, which is when she was introduced to the drinking culture. Getting expelled from school wasn’t an uncommon occurrence.
At 15 she was placed in a flatting situation but the rebellion worsened, she started mixing with the wrong crowd and the drinking increased. Her financial debt started spiraling out of control as she jumped from flat to flat.
Things “mellowed out” for a while after she met a man.
“I was still drinking but there were no cells or arrests.”
But it wasn’t long before her drinking started to increase again and the relationship soon plummeted. Arnica’s drinking became a need to suppress rather than to have fun. She would drink a 12 to 24 pack a day depending on how much money she had.
“I was the naughty kid, but it was normal. I knew no different. I didn’t realize I was capable of anything more. I thought my life was going to stay the same, and I was happy with it.”
In about 2008 she was introduced to Nga Kete but she wasn’t ready to make a change.
Her mental state would be the catalyst for change. About three years ago Arnica referred herself and has been a client ever since participating in group work and counseling.
“The staff made me feel 100 per cent supported and they could see the change happening in me.”
“They want you to succeed. They see your potential. They showed me my potential. I’ve grown up in these rooms.”
Arnica’s last drink was March 14, 2014.
She is enjoying her “new life”.
“I’ve realized I’m more than just a drunk. I’m intelligent. I’m a good speaker; I’m a good mum, strong and very capable. I’ve got something to offer.”
“I know all of that (my life so far) had to happen to lead to this.”
Arnica, now a mother of two, has been renting a house for seven years (her longest home she has ever lived in), has learnt about stability and how important it is.
“No matter the obstacles, I don’t have to run. I can stay grounded and get through it.”
Arnica’s future is looking bright. She’s excited about the opportunity to work within Nga Kete. She’s also enrolled at the Southern Institute of Technology to begin training in social services in the New Year.
“I just want to succeed.”