By Holly-Maree Jones
I’m not a little girl anymore
I’ve lived a life not many have
I’m feeling like a drowning soul
I can’t keep going round and round
My mind starts playing tricks on me
Just one more drink ‘she’ll be right’
It’s like a losing battle – I know just where that drink will take me
Straight back to the hell inside my head
holding on so tight to the bottle
Thinking that this is how life should be
Never fearing any consequences of my action
I motor on with bottle in hand, never worrying about tomorrow’s consequences
I just don’t care with a bottle in my hand
It’s become a part of me
It’s taken me to some beautiful and ugly places
Made me into a monster – that I just don’t like
It’s taken me years to realise with bottle in hand
I cut myself off to the world I’m in
- Poem composed in Art Therapy 2017
I started drinking alcohol when I was 13 to escape reality.
I was bullied a lot at school and I had some pretty big family problems. The alcohol drowned out the hurt and rejection I was feeling and pretty soon I was drinking weekly.
I loved it. I loved everything about it – the taste, the buzz, everything.
I was young but I always found a way to get my hands on some alcohol, whether it be through a friend’s big brother or a cupboard I shouldn’t have been in.
By 15-years-old it had consumed me. It was all I could think about. I’d think about it when I was at work, so the next day I’d call in sick or come up with more excuses.
I started getting bad hangovers so I’d smoke marijuana to balance it out, and I’d have to drink so I didn’t feel sick. I lost job after job but it didn’t matter because drinking was more important than anything else anyway.
I was drinking about a dozen a night with my then-partner, which went on for years.
When I turned 22 I realized I needed to stop the drinking. I knew it wouldn’t magically fix everything for me. I was clean and sober for 266 days until a traumatic event sent me straight back to the bottle.
I drunk harder, more frequent, and I took harder drugs. I was drinking in the morning and I had to be stoned to get out of bed. I knew it was wrong but I didn’t know what the right thing was.
I moved to Invercargill a couple of years ago to get away, and for the second time I realized I needed to stop drinking.
I sought counselling and found Nga Kete. It was the best thing I could ever have done, and I’ve been sober for the past seven months.
They’re so empathetic and caring. They’ve helped me with things I didn’t even know I needed help with, and taught me to cope better. They’ve taught and shown me what a real family is, and I’ve loved being a part of the Te Rongo Pai group for its education and group setting.
I have completed Art Therapy, which was therapeutic and healed a lot of areas for me. I also attended the Hikoi te Hauora Addiction Recovery Camp, which built up my self-esteem and self-confidence.
I’m finishing my vet degree now and searching for my father. I want to be in part time work and I want to have my own family.
The idea of drinking makes me sick now. It makes me so sad that I had to resort to drinking.
I’m so pleased I received the help I so badly needed, and I’m finally on the right path in life thanks to Nga Kete.
For information about our Addiction Services call (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242