Hi. We may not know each other, but if you are reading this now there is a good chance we have at least one thing in common.

Just over a year ago, during a desperate search online for ways to “cure” an addiction to crystal meth, I found this site.

I read every last bit of information before arriving at this section – where people in the program told me about their experiences.

I read those stories several times over the course of a week before I finally accepted that I wanted what they had and the only way I was going to get it was to actually turn up to a meeting.

The first time I went I only got as far as the door because, when I looked in, I saw faces I recognised and the thought of them knowing that I was an addict was too much for my ego, so I turned and ran.

Which is silly right? Because if they were there, they share the same addiction, and the only difference was that they were actively doing something about it.

It was another couple of weeks of misery before I plucked up the courage to try again. When I arrived, I was again faced with people I knew but they all smiled and welcomed me.

There was no judgement. They seemed genuinely happy to see me there.

I can’t remember what was said that night, but I left with a sense of calm and relief. The people were nice, they were genuine, they told me to keep coming back. So I did.

I must admit I came in with a delusional fantasy that just turning up would be enough.

I thought all I had to do was come into that room and listen to people and then I would never use again. But that isn’t the case.

After several months of struggling to even reach ten days clean, I realised there was something I was hearing again and again: that this is a program of action.

This meant there is no cure to this disease, but if I wanted to arrest it, I had to put some work in.

Like many people who struggle in the grip of addiction, I had put my faith purely in doctors and psychologists who helped me to understand the basics of things like brain chemistry and triggers but, for me, this became as effective as asking for sex tips from a nun – they can give you the theory behind it, but they have never experienced it before.

Therein lies the difference with a program like this – it’s addicts helping other addicts.

So, I did the suggested things: I found a sponsor and started working the steps.

The steps have helped me gain an understanding of myself. I came in with no idea of who I was anymore but, over the course of the past year, I have pulled myself apart and started to rebuild.

I have better relationships (particularly with my parents, for which I am incredibly grateful), I am in gainful employment, I have a roof over my head, my bills are paid, I have food in the fridge, I have goals that I am working toward and, perhaps most importantly, I have people in my life now who genuinely care about me and love me for who I am because they understand me in a way no-one else can.

I also have a spiritual connection in my life and if, like me, you find that irksome, don’t let it put you off, ok?

I love what this program has given me. I get to connect with people from all walks of life.

We can listen to and support each other through the good times and the bad.

Now, when I see someone from my past walk into a meeting I am so happy and relieved because it means they are on this path as well.

I love what I have now, and I want them to have it too! And, even though we don’t know each other, the same applies to you, my friend.

I remember when I tried my first drugs I was told “try it, you might like it”. I can honestly tell you the same thing applies to the program.

CMA Helpline