Adam’s Story: A Moment of Clarity

What’s it like when you reach that point when you say, “Enough is enough, I have to change.” And you do change! The moment of clarity that triggers the journey to recovery. Here’s what my close friend Adam had to say in his Recovery Story.

‘Eventually, I ended up living in a caravan in Palm Beach, near Rockingham. I had sold my car for $50, which bought me two dope sticks. I got around on an old pushbike from the dump, but ended up selling that. I was just drinking and smoking dope to get blottoed, and often would wake up to find myself covered in vomit. The caravan, like me, was a mess. Eventually the dope ran out, then the money.

I contacted the Salvation Army in Rockingham and they said they could temporarily house me in a house in Mandurah. As far as I remember, I walked to Mandurah, carrying two black garbage bags containing my few possessions, $10 and a cask of wine.

Then came a moment in time I will never forget. I was walking through a small cemetery in Mandurah when I stopped to look at a gravestone and said to myself, “If I keep going with this destructive life, I will end up in a grave, or jail at the very least.” At the time, I didn’t really care. It was a bit of a strange moment in my life, a turning point you could say.

I continued on to the Salvation Army where I met one of their workers, Paul. He saw straight through me. He knew I had a big problem and asked if I wanted to do something about it. In the ensuing quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

Then, I just broke down and started crying uncontrollably. He put his hand on my shoulder and for the first time in a long while I felt safe. We spoke for a while and he gave me some options. Paul knew what I was going through. He had been there himself. No one had ever talked with me like this!

Paul took me to his place, fed me two meat pies and shared his story with me. He was over 30 years in recovery. He had been a real tear-away in his youth, but had turned his life around and was now helping other people. “This guy is an angel,”I said to myself.’

Adam goes on to say:

‘In my younger days, my addictive behaviours occurred with friends, in a culture of heavy drinking and drugging. However, over time, I changed such that a lot of my substance use occurred when I was alone. I moved around a lot as the consequences of my addiction became too problematical in each place. If I owed too much money, it was time to move on before trouble occurred.

However, as time progressed it became more difficult to escape from my addiction-related consequences. I became more and more cornered, and more and more in pain.

I was always good at denying I had a problem. At first, I never considered I had a problem. Later, I knew I had a problem. After all, I was homeless and still drinking and drugging whilst wanting to stop. I had burnt all my bridges and had no friends to whom I could turn.

Despite all this, I was still in some form of denial. Finally, my denial system broke down and I experienced a painful and overwhelming vision of the truth. I now hated myself for all I had done to my family and to others.

When I look back to that time in the cemetery and my first meeting with Paul, it was like I had some kind of emotional or spiritual experience that marked a turning point in my life. This conversion experience was not sufficient in itself to help me on the road to recovery, but it was a necessary element.

I saw myself dead or in jail and this really frightened me. I was broken and I surrendered into Paul’s arms and to all those people who helped me in Perth and Northam.

Thinking back now, it was as if something had clicked deep inside my body. I just did not want to drink or do drugs anymore. I was just sick and tired of it all. I just knew that I could not take any more. I still cannot really explain it to myself to this day—it was almost as if someone had cast a spell on me—but enough was enough, and I was now committed to NOT using or drinking.’

Why not check out Adam’s full story?

And an update on his story. Life is treating Adam well in Auckland, New Zealand, where he resides with his lovely partner Sarah. He’s just been promoted in his job, to Business Development Advisor, and really enjoying the position. Well deserved, I say!