Quinn’s Ice Addiction Recovery
Quinn was a regular 40-year-old father and husband working in IT, but he had a secret. And once his wife discovered the truth, residential addiction treatment for his ice addiction would turn his life around.
My name’s Quinn. I am forty years old and I work in IT. My particular poison was ice.
When I was sixteen or seventeen, I smoked weed recreationally.
Then it all really started with me and my mates coming across the drug, ice. We started smoking ice and party drugs and went from there.
It all started off as a sociable thing really. Then it grew and stuck with me. Then, the group of mates I had started smoking it with fell away, and I gravitated towards other users who were also smoking ice.
It was around this time that I realised that my use of the drug was becoming a little less social.
I managed to get off it for a while when I was nineteen and then started up again during my 20s. Then I had another little break from it. I had seen a friend develop psychosis, and he ended up in a really bad way. I made a pact with him that we’d stop smoking ice to help us both recover.
Life bubbled along until I was exposed to ice again in my mid-thirties. When that happened, addiction came at me like a freight train. I went hard and fast. Next minute, I was on it every day trying to manage this with a wife and two small kids.
Not to mention, I was paying a mortgage and being the primary carer for our kids while my wife worked.My wife had no idea what was going on. When she met me, she knew that I had dabbled in recreational drugs like coke when I was going out with the boys, but she had no idea about the ice.
My wife was livid when she found out. She found out twice that I was smoking it before the final death knell. The first two times I’d been able to convince her that I had a plausible reason for smoking it.
The third time, she didn’t catch me per se, but she found $26,000 in cash withdrawals missing from our bank statement. That occurred less than twelve months into my using.
She confronted me, and of course I could not explain these cash withdrawals to her.
The addict in my brain was trying to think up a plausible excuse but I was frozen. I couldn’t come up with anything. I had been caught.
Before I was caught, every time I’d go out to score, I’d be having this internal struggle – “should I, or shouldn’t I?”.
I knew that it wasn’t right, but I also knew that I couldn’t stop. I knew that there was something wrong, because despite my rational thinking, I went out of my way to get drugs.
We decided that rehab was my only option.
Going to rehab was actually a relief. I enrolled in Hader Clinic Queensland’s thirty-day program. I detoxed for seven days prior to entering rehab. I organised to take a month of sick leave and told my employer about my addiction. In fact, I told as many people as I could.
I wasn’t certain of what the response would be, but my employer was supportive and granted me sick leave. It reinforced that being honest about your condition will set you free.
Rehab was a great experience. It was the first time in twenty years that I felt proper emotions. I felt guilt and shame. Throughout the last twenty years, I had never felt any guilt or shame about smoking ice. Every now and again I’d feel a little bit guilty but did not realise how deep in it I was.
My experience at rehab wasn’t what I thought it would be. I had thought that rehab meant being strapped down with toothpicks in my eyes and being admonished for using – “drugs are bad, you know”.
Instead, it was a spiritual awakening. Rehab isn’t for those who aren’t in the right frame of mind – you must be ready and willing to make the change.
The biggest things rehab taught me were learning to be tolerant and accepting of others and not to let my emotions lead me back to places where I wanted to use.
Additionally, I had to learn how to deal with my feelings. No longer could I use because I was feeling angry, frustrated, or sad.
For the first couple of weeks, when I would see my two daughters, I would cry. I now want to be the best Dad I can be.
It’s been a hard road for my wife and me. Naturally, she feels angry and betrayed.
JJ has been instrumental in helping me learn to deal with my wife. He has helped me to understand that she will beat me up emotionally as her way of dealing with my addiction. That I needed to learn how to respond to the situation, rather than have a red-hot reaction.
It doesn’t always pan out, but I am trying.
Since going back to work, life has improved. I can communicate much better with my peers. I can think clearly and now navigate complex tasks with ease. Now I am having to deal with a bit of boredom, but it’s inspiring me to try something different.
I’m approaching six months clean. I am grateful to the Hader Clinic Queensland for their help and support.
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