A EUROBODALLA mother who left the shire to break free of ice and rebuild her relationship with her children has begged others to shun the drug.
In a moving letter to the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner, the mother said she shared her story to show how easily ice (crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride) could become a corrosive habit.
To shield her family, she asked we not reveal her name.
“My story is not a pretty one, but hopefully can give insight into how ice can take control of anyone’s life,” she wrote.
“I worked a great job, looked solely after my children, fed, housed and supplied a good life for them.”
Then she met a man.
“I fell in love,” she said.
“He had just started using ice.”
At first, she smoked only with him.
“This drug starts off as a party drug, one that you only want at weekends,” she warned.
“Don’t be fooled.”
Monday would arrive with a new ball and chain.
“To get through the next few days, I would need a smoke,” she said.
“Before I knew it, it became a daily thing. Not just once a day – four-to-five times a day.”
She said the slide from party drug to daily habit took “just a few months”, but she hid it well.
“I could work and still be a respectable person,” she said.
“My friends never knew what I was doing.”
If a friend noticed her looking haggard, she pretended she was “tired”.
“Ice is the only drug a mother will sell her kids for.”
But her children were paying the price.
“I was getting very short with my kids,” she said.
It really hit home when, one day, a medical professional and family member commented that “ice is the only drug a mother will sell her kids for”.
“I could see that straight away,” she admitted.
“I loved my children, but happily shut them in their room.”
In the past it was “playing, talking, rides and trips to the park”.
“I was a wonder mum before ice,” she said.
“My life was for them – but not anymore. That was what scared me most.”
Watching her relationship with her children wither was too big a price to pay
“Losing my time with my kids hurt more than the money I was spending, or what it was doing to my body or mind,” she said.
A year into her habit, she went away for two weeks to visit family members and did not smoke ice.
“I came back feeling great,” she said.
“My closest friend said I looked amazing: full of life, healthy.
“That was who I knew I should be.”
Her partner did not agree.
“I tried to convince my boyfriend that we needed to get off ice,” she said.
“He had gone through at least $20,000 – all his savings.”
He chose the drug over her, but she voted for her kids.
“I spent the next nine months trying to be strong, wanting ice every day,” she said.
“One day, he came over and I knew, if I didn’t get away from this town, I would fall back into smoking ice.
“My love for him and ice were intertwined.”
She began planning a new life and nine months ago, moved with her children out of the area.
“I still want to use ice and I think about it a lot,” she said.
“I’m not around people who do it, but if I really want to get ice, I could.
“It is everywhere. I know I am addicted.
“After two years of not using, I try every day to be strong.
“It is not about age, colour or status.
“It can happen to anyone.”
Each day she reminds herself: “It’s a nice drug to be on, but it’s not nice to you.”
She fears for others using ice in rural areas.
“It will be the drug that destroys society and families for a very long time,” she said.
“It has a hold over you that is hard to shake.
“You think, ‘one more will not hurt’, but it does.”
This mother is just one of many people who have shared their stories in Fairfax Media’s Breaking the Ice campaign. Visit www.batemansbaypost.com.au/news/breaking-the-ice to read more.