Nick's story

Nick’s story

I’m Nick and I’ve struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for most of my life.

I don't like talking about myself, but here goes. I’ve used drugs on a pretty regular basis since about the age of 14. I like speed, but I’ve used marijuana a lot too as it helps me to relax after I'm wasted. I’ve tried so hard to stop using over the past 5 years but I’ve only ever been able to stay off it for a couple of months at most, and then I go on another binge and I’m back on it again. It’s really hard because I’m a drummer in a band and we play the gig circuit every weekend. So I’m constantly at the local pubs and surrounded by drugs and alcohol all of the time. I’ve had a lot of different jobs as a kitchen hand at local cafés to help pay the bills, but they never last very long because I keep getting fired from not turning up to shifts or turning up smashed. I always told myself that it didn’t really matter anyway as what I was really interested in was the band and that the people who worked in the cafés were just losers anyhow. Now that I’m getting older I’m wondering what the hell I am doing and where my life is headed. I’m 37, still have problems with drugs and alcohol, don’t have a career, don’t have a wife or any kids, and have nothing to my name at all really. In fact, I’ve never even really had a stable girlfriend for any good length of time, and I’m beginning to wonder how my life has got to this point and why it hasn’t panned out quite like some of my old school mates who seem so together and happy and normal.

I guess I’ve always been a bit of a rebel and have liked to be different. I thought this difference made me special or unique in some way and have loved being above the rules. But now that I’m getting older my thinking is changing. I’ve been in trouble with the law a number of times for assault, mostly when I’ve been drunk or high. I always thought I got angry and hit people because they provoked me, but now, with the help of my counsellor, I’m beginning to see that whenever I’ve felt threatened I’ve tended to respond in an angry way. Recently, when a girlfriend had a fling with one of my best mates I got so angry that I used a knife to cut myself. I think I really wanted to die then. That is how I’ve ended up in treatment. My therapist is helping me to set some goals and work toward them and make sense of some stuff that I’ve always tried to push away - you know, issues with mum and dad when I was growing up. Dad was really violent and abusive toward me and mum, and I was always called upon to protect her and my younger sisters.  I think the pressure of it all was just too much and I turned to drugs and alcohol at a pretty young age as a way to cope and get away from it. So I’m trying to get my life on track and work out where I’m headed. I’m feeling OK about the goals I’ve set and am more hopeful about the future, even though I know it is going to be hard I also know that I have more support than ever before and everyone is really keen to help me out. Thanks for listening to my story.

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Last reviewed: 21 June, 2011