News & Events

Angie’s Community Road to Recovery

24 Mar 2020

Young mum Angie came to Odyssey House to deal with her ice use, but also found our wrap-around holistic support helped her rebuild and take control of her life in many ways. 

My FACS worker [Department of Family and Community Services] referred me to Odyssey House Community Services as a way of regaining custody of my little girl. She had been removed and placed with my brother’s family when she was four.

Her father and I were young and clueless about parenting when she was born. We kept on smoking cannabis and he also started laying into me when he was drunk or stoned, which seemed like all the time. It wasn’t a safe environment.

 Losing custody of my child, realising I wasn’t a good mother, separating from my partner – all in one go – was a big shock. I should have got help then, but… instead,

 I made a bad decision to try ice.

 I thought I could smoke a bit of ice now and then to feel better. Never think you’re in control of drugs; they control you. At my worst I was using ice every day for months at a time.

Things started looking up when I met my current partner. I was able to cut back on my drug use, but always felt like I was on a slippery slope and I missed having my daughter in my life. He and my FACS worker encouraged me to go to the free counselling through Odyssey House Community Services.

I found out I was pregnant just after starting counselling. It was scary but also a huge motivation: having a healthy baby, retaining custody of him or her, and getting my daughter back.

At first I had trouble managing my emotions and frustrations during counselling sessions, but the therapists stuck with me. They made me feel I was worth the effort.

I did all the Odyssey House support groups: Mental Health Recovery, Alcohol and Other Drugs Recovery, and Bringing Up Great Kidsi. My partner and I did relationship counselling, plus another parenting program called Circle of Security.

All the way through I’ve been treated as a whole person – yes, I had a drug problem and mental health issues, but I was also a mother trying to regain her child,

a pregnant woman keen to be a better parent, a survivor of domestic violence,

with family members who still use drugs.

Odyssey House helped me with all of that, through the counselling and groups, and also by referring me to other services and supports in the community, helping me plan for the future and even attending my FACS pregnancy planning conference. 

Now, I’m so much better in so many ways! I wouldn’t be here without the caring people at Odyssey House, who helped me believe in myself.

We have custody of our healthy little boy, and I’m hopeful I’ll soon have my daughter back with me. I’ve built strong support networks and attend aftercare counselling to keep on top of things.  And I haven’t touched ice for a long time.


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