Life after addiction
Former addict spreads message of hope to others
It was hard. I never thought I would get through the 10 days but I managed to get through.
– Ricki-Lee Orr
LESS than a year ago, Ricki-Lee Orr thought she would “live and die by drugs”.
Having lost the custody of her two children, her home, her car and ending up hospitalised on a number of occasions, Ricki-Lee made the life-changing decision to accept help.
“Life is good – I am healthy, I am eating, I am sleeping, I didn’t really know any other lifestyle from five years ago when I got onto drugs, this last five years has been mayhem and I didn’t think I could get off it – I was living and breathing it.
“It was my best friend. I am learning to be my own best friend at the moment and take it day by day.”
Harnessing a full measure of determination and resilience, Ricki-Lee broke the vice-like grip amphetamines had on her life and was brave enough to speak to the South Western Times a mere three days after becoming one of the first graduates from Palmerston in Brunswick Junction – the first drug rehabilitation facility in the South West.
Ricki-Lee’s addiction began five years ago when she used drugs as a coping mechanism after deaths in the family, depression and the stress of parenthood.
“Not having support around I turned to the drugs and it helped me for a little while to get through the day. I was self-medicating and I thought I was fine.
“But little did I know I had put a wall up and things were piling up on the other side of that wall.”
Her father had encouraged her to get the help she needed, but it took another hospital admission after a failed stint in rehab to change her mind.
“Usually I would leave hospital and get on it, but this time round I went to detox and thank God they put up with me there because I was terrible,” she laughed.
“It was hard. I never thought I would get through the 10 days but I managed to get through.
“But knowing all the things I would get out of it, the gifts of recovery were really rewarding.”
After the detox, she travelled to Bunbury to complete her rehabilitation at Palmerston on January 31, where she knew she had the support of her mother to help her through the tough six months ahead.
“It was really hard but worth it. It’s a small time period of my life I invested in and it is going to make a big difference to the rest of my life,” she said.
“I’d recommend it to everyone who needs help. You can’t tell somebody to go get help, you need to know yourself that you want to go get help.”
And the difference is already tangible, with Ricki-Lee regaining custody of her daughter, Pearl.
Ricki-Lee is now working on regaining custody of her son, has secured a position working at SWAMS and is working on finding stable accommodation.
“Maybe one person may hear my story and have hope.”
Recovering amphetamines addict Ricki-Lee Orr hopes she might give hope toothers by sharing her story.