Sarah’s story

 

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Sarah* from Tarrengower Prison

 

I grew up in a family of six kids in regional Victoria – I was the second youngest. My sister had Down syndrome, and my parents did the best they could. We went to Church every Sunday.

When I was 18, my boyfriend had a speed habit. I was with him for 6 years, and when we broke up I had a habit too. Since then, I've struggled drugs for 30 years.

During that time, I’ve been in and out of prison five times. I’ve run a video shop, I've cared for my dying mum while my three kids lived with me. I was so busy – I never had time to come down. I would go for days without sleeping.

The drug and alcohol counselling [I’m doing in prison] is changing everything around. I'm understanding myself more. I'm learning to deal with stuff I couldn't deal with before, like the guilt and the consequences.

I've done every drug and alcohol program on offer, and I’m now a peer worker.

My Caraniche counsellor has been amazing. Every session just blows me away. I feel I owe her a lot. She's helped me see things more clearly.

I'm excited about the future. I'm excited about leading a normal life. I’d like to work or volunteer and reconnect with my family and my daughter.

*Names have been changed.