Meth addict’s hope message
A feral meth addiction, psychotic episodes, guns, gangs and a short stint in prison were once part of everyday life for Janet Balcombe.
Balcombe tells her story in the recently published memoir
a new and updated edition of her previous book
‘‘I want to bring hope to people who are suffering with addiction or brokenness or hopelessness or those stuck in a toxic relationship...for people stuck in any kind of personal hell.
‘‘The key to recovery is come out of your life for a time, come away from old friends and places that trigger you. Whether it’s rehab or a friend or family, make a clean break for as many years as it takes.’’
Balcombe, who grew up in Ruawai, says she fell in with the wrong crowd in Auckland.
An alcoholic at 19, she added prescription medication to the mix following the death of her brother.
Then she hooked up with a drug dealer and methamphetamine cook for two Auckland gangs.
‘‘We became complete outlaws living off drug money and being addicts.’’
Her experiences include a terrifying psychotic episode and three days in Mt Eden prison on charges of kidnapping, guns and drugs.
She gave up meth when her partner said they couldn’t both afford to use it and booked her into a hotel for a week.
‘‘It wasn’t easy but I muscled through the first week and kept one foot in front of the other and got through the worst of it,’’ Balcombe says.
But she went back to her boyfriend for another six years, becoming increasingly frustrated at life.
‘‘I felt ‘I’m sick and tired of being a dope’, and realising I’m going through life in a daze. I wanted some clarity.’’
Returning to her parents house to recover, she realised how sick she was and also discovered her faith in god.
Her original book was a finalist in the 2015 Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards.
Now aged 49, she lives ‘‘a restored life’’ with her husband and son.