This experience was shared by a member* of Rewired - a support group for men who have sex with men and use methamphetamine, run by the NZ Aids Foundation and NZ Drug Foundation.
I came out about six years ago. I always knew I was gay, but society in those days sort of forced us to marry.
I would say I had a fantastic, happy, married life that gave me two amazing sons. My wife found out I was having an affair with a guy, and she packed my bags and loaded them into my car, and left it at the bus station.
I never went back home.
I started messing around with other guys. I met this guy who was 27 years younger than I was. We just clicked. The sex was awesome. We moved in together and I discovered he was a dealer.
I was driving around at night, delivering and picking up things with him, and then having to go to work in the morning. I couldn’t cope with that, so I started puffing meth to keep me awake at night. Then in the morning I would puff again to keep myself functioning during the day.
He was an intravenous user. We had our first fight when he found out that I’d gone behind his back and used intravenously. I’d pierced my arm full of holes trying to find the vein.
He got arrested and my whole life turned upside down. I went on a month and a half binge. I knew where to get the drugs from. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry that I wanted to have sex with – if he was a drug user, it was so easy to entice them. During that period, I got HIV. I was just in self-destruct mode, so I didn’t even care.
When he was sentenced a couple of months later, I still didn’t have the strength to kick him out. He stayed with me while he served his home detention, and he was feeding me drugs for rent.
Everything around me was crumbling and I could see it. I started going to CADS but it was just a front at the end of the day. I was still using drugs for sex parties, going to the clubs. I was still dealing drugs, going out, coming home at 2 or 3 in the morning.
Eventually, I lost my job and then my world just revolved around drugs. Money was running out and I was forced to move out of my apartment.
I plucked up the courage then went into Wings. From there I went into a treatment centre for 17 weeks. I sabotaged my graduation.
I didn’t have the confidence. I wasn’t committed enough to my rehabilitation because in the back of my mind I still had drug usage, had the sex. And my peers in rehab had the same problem. We were still talking about, fantasising about, drug use.
A month after I was kicked out of rehab I was invited to a party. I picked up again, and I didn’t stop.
Then I went to my doctor for a checkup. I was honest with him about my use. Then that sort of sparked the reality of my life – I’m going nowhere.
I now have a new SIM on my partner’s account, I’ve deleted all social media with links to old drug connections. Some people ask, “can you get me green?” and I say, “no, I don’t wanna go there. It would put me in a place that I don’t want to be. Here’s the number – get it yourself”.
Being off drugs becomes so emotional, it’s part of the process.
Two weeks after the conclusion of Rewired, I realised that if I fuck it up again, I’m gonna lose it all. I’m gonna give it my best shot. I don’t want to take drugs, and I know I need to seek professional help.
I get to the end of the day and haven’t used, and think to myself, fuck - I’m so proud of you.
Being honest is important – as soon as you start telling a lie, you put yourself back on the wheel. How many of us are truly honest?
Honesty keeps me sober.
*Audio recording not their own voice.
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