Hey I'm Alana. I'm 33 years old and have lived through depths of drug addiction from the age of 14,. My addiction was fuelled by my environment: my father leaving; my mum suffering with depression and drug dependancy; my three older brothers identifying as skin heads, living in boys homes, then later on in and out of jail.
My mum did the best she could with what she had. Childhood for me wasn't one with security, stability or emotionally safe. I walked on egg shells most of the time.
I found marijuana at the age of 12, I loved the way it made me feel I soon found new ways to escape my reality.
When I hit high school, I then tried meth. It was fun at first Little did I know it would eventually take everything from me and leave me emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and soulfully dead until in desperation I sought help.
After losing both of my brothers to suicide 23 days apart, and watching my mother slowly do the same with alcohol and drugs, I was left without family, apart from my eldest brother who said to me "Sis I have to go" and left Auckland to save his life. I thank God he did, as losing him would have been the death of me as well.
At 19 I landed in prison, looking at a jail sentence of 3-5 years for dealing drugs. at this point with loosing my family and looking at jail I had hit my all time rock bottom it was then I knew if I didn't get help I would die.
Over the last 13 years I've done dtox six times, and four attempts at resident rehabilitation. You'd think I'd have had enough right?
Well yes I have!
40 weeks ago I left dtox. I enrolled at future skills academy to do my New Zealand certificate in Health and Wellbeing, Mental Health and Addiction support strand, which I have now completed. I was lucky enough to be accepted to do a placement at Te Hā Oranga which is a kaupapa Māori organisation that runs alcohol and drug programs in the community. There I have learned how to best support people just like myself, and I absolutely love it.
My life today is full of choices. Today I love myself; Today I am a present mother; Today I have hope for a life beyond my wildest dreams, and for the first time in my life, I am truly happy. The only way is up for me today.
I will never forget my past, the things I went through, and that lonely prison I lived in for so long. That past has made me the strong woman I am today, and I can honestly say that I am proud to be Me.
I just want to say to anyone out there struggling or have a similar journey as mine, you can overcome it. You can beat addiction, all you have to do is believe you can. Admit powerlessness over your addiction, come to believe in a power greater than yourself and that you can be restored to sanity with the love and support of the people who love you.
Today I am fearless.
Blog written by: Alana
The #IAMFEARLESS campaign was run by Studio81 as a way to encourage women from all walks of life to kickstart, inspire, and/or motivate any upcoming goals they had, to share a part of their life's journey, and to impart any wisdoms learned along the way.