User's Story: Young and Restless
“Young” and “restless” are the first two words that come to mind when I look back on my life so far. The third word is “waste” ‘cos that’s what I’ve done with my teenage years. Nineteen years I’ve been in this world and not a thing to show for it. I’m currently in the nick now, at the arse end of a three year sentence and if you ask me three years is a big whack for a 16-year-old kid. I suppose that’s where the restless comes in.
My life went down hill once I turned 12 years old. I started doing rorts, the usual break and enters. It was all for the drugs. Just trying to get enough cash for a session, all day, everyday. I was a bong rat, bad on the shit, until I started to hang with this girl named Megan who was one year older than me. We became partners in crime - and inseparable. We had our first smoke of gear together as well as our first eccy. I wasn’t thinking about using gear, but one day I thought why not try it once, just to see what it’s like? And that’s all it took to change my mind.
From that moment gear was my drug of choice. I just loved it. And I had my girl Megan enjoying the moments with me, which made it even better. I had to keep up the crime to support the habit but it was all fun and games - until I got pinched for armed robbery. Two weeks later I got nine months in a juvenile centre out at Campbeltown. But my girl promised to visit me as much as she could, and that’s what she did! She came out every two weeks with my brother. By this time I was nearly 13, but not new to the system. I had already done heaps of overnighters. But this was my first lagin and I was happy as long as my girl brought me socks (drugs). Yeah, enough gear and pills to last two weeks.
Once I got out of juvi I was back into crime again to support my habit. My girl was harpooning the gear now, to my surprise. But it was gear and I didn’t care. You would have thought that the death of my good mate TJ, who died from an overdose at the age of 14, would have pulled me up. But no, I kept using, thinking it wouldn’t happen to me.
Until my 14th birthday. Megan and I mixed up in a place we called Junkie Lane after scoring off my Asian connection. I’d put away mine and was helping Megan when all of a sudden I just hit the deck. I woke up with Megan crying and ambos swarming around me. I signed a piece of paper saying it was on my neck if I died and on my way I went to do another earn to get on! That same day, around five hours later, in the same spot in Junkie Lane, we mixed up. It was sweet until after being on the tilt I awoke to find Megan gone. I walked up the road to find her up against the wall with a fit in her hand, not breathing. I looked for my phone but remembered I’d sold it days before to get on. So I picked her up and made my way to the main road, found a phone box and dialled 000. The ambos arrived – the same ones who came for me earlier. They rushed her to Nepean hospital. But she couldn’t be revived. I felt it was my fault and still do to this day ’cause if I had my phone I could have saved her.
I went to the funeral but didn’t hang around ’cause of the guilt I felt. I couldn’t even look her mum in the eye to say I was sorry. I still think about the good times we had and how I lost the love of my life and my best friend, all because of drugs! It’s been five years since that dreadful day and the pain and guilt is still there and it won’t go away. I still have contact with Megan’s mum and she doesn’t blame me for what happened. Such a young life to be taken and so much she could have done with it.
After I lost Megan I went cold turkey, off the shit altogether with the help of Megan’s mum. It hurt but that was it. I’m off the gear now and have been for those long five years. I just wish I could turn back the clock and save the love of my life from what happened. I’m still young and I’ve got a long life to live ahead of me. And that’s what I plan to do.
You will always be in my heart and soul, forever cherished and never forgotten.
Illustration by Ursula Dyson
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