I have been struggling with addiction since the age of 12. I drank heavily 3 or more times a week. Since then and for the past 12 years, I have had many highs and lows but addiction was my constant companion all along.
Eventually in June last year (2017), I admitted myself to the strictest rehab in Australia for eight months, which is in Perth on the other side of the country from my home, I've lived in since birth, in Canberra. I knew that it was time to get rid of my unwelcomed companion, the one constant company in my life which has made it hard for me to really enjoy a life anything close to a normality or healthy. The rehab experience was not easy. The institution was very aggressive and believed highly in tough love mentality that was of no good to people like myself who really wanted to battle their demons. There was not much healing. This rehab was far it could be from its purpose, it was more traumatising than anything I have been through in many ways. I remember watching planes fly overhead wishing I could be on one back home to Canberra to see my family again. I will spare you the details but it was not a rehabilitation, healing or a recovery nurturing environment at all. It fed my sense of loneliness and helplessness.
After these 8 months, I started working 2 weeks after my return from the rehab in Perth. I received many compliments from my bosses for my sales performance and commended me for making the monthly highest sales, especially for a new employee.
I told you my addiction was my companion and I never left it in Perth, I carried it on my shoulders on my way back home. With the stress of my work and burning need to prove my worth to the company and my bosses, my cocaine addiction returned viciously and has sadly swallowed my life over last six months. It got really bad when one of my best friends was sentenced to jail for drug induced crime, which was out of character for him.
I was recently fired as my addiction interrupted my ability to work and hampered my energy levels. I also got glandular fever as I was burning the candle at both ends.
My life has become unbearable. I go to sleep and wake up, all that is on my mind and the one thing I keep thinking about is how and when will I get my next hit or high. It is degrading and tearing me apart. It is alienating me from myself and my family who watch as I destroy myself. To make it all worse I had had a taste in rehab of what a clean life could look like, so the contrast from my life now is ugly and shameful, I was robbing myself of life but didn't know how to change or even minimise the risk.
I am sharing my story with you and seeking your support because I have applied to enter the 12 month rehabilitation program at “One80TC” which has an entry only fee of $950. This is to just to get in the door. Ironically, $950 is roughly the daily cost of my addiction, the only constant companion through it all, even though I have run out of funds to support it.
When I started this campaign I wasn't sure how much was a reasonable goal. I have achieved enough money for intake into the program. I will essentially not have an income while I'm in rehab which is a year long program, so any extra really helps towards my rehabilitation and the consequent expenses over the next 12 months :)
No pressure but if you feel it’s a worthy cause, I would really appreciate any money possible.
Thank you so much for reading this. It was embarrassing to write so frankly about my struggle, it's not something I like to advertise, but I have no other option.
Thank you again for your time!
Ben Owen Age 24
If you have any questions or would like to be kept up to date with my recovery, my personal email address is [email redacted]
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