“I grew up in Heist-Op-Den-Berg. My whole family lives there. I’m an only child and I always got what I wanted. I liked living in Heist but I felt more at home when I was in the city. As a child I visited Antwerp a lot. There’s always something to see and always something to do. You never get bored.”
“I studied as a mason in apprenticeship contract, which means that you study and work at the same time. But I soon realized it was to difficult for me and it was harder to focus on my grades because I had so much work. I also had major behavioral problems which resulted in me changing schools al the time.”
“I had a lot of good friends in Heist but definitely some bad ones. We went partying a lot and that is when it went wrong the first time. I experimented with drugs but luckily I was able to stop. I was only fifteen years old at that time.”
“Two years later I became a dad. Me and my girlfriend were only together for two years, but I loved her and my baby, so we kept the child. Three years later she dumped me and took my child with her. She wanted to raise it alone, she took away my father ship. That was a very difficult time for me, the urge to use drugs again became bigger. I knew what it was and how it made you feel. I wanted to be happy again, that’s when I became addicted.”
“I did it once,
I can do it again”
“In the beginning I didn’t want any help. I didn’t want to distance from my product, and I was scared that I couldn’t do it. I was a different person when I was under the influence of drugs. When my parents said they were sometimes scared of me, I knew I had to do something. I went from clinic to clinic and even was clean for 3,5 years. I thought that I was strong enough to resist it, so I went out with some friends. I relapsed. I had worked so hard to get clean, and I threw it all away in just one night. Years of rehab and therapies spilled for one good night. I had to start all over again.”
“I am six months clean now and I’m trying to get in contact with my daughter again. This time it is more important that I stay clean, for myself and for my daughter. You need to arm yourself against triggers. You need to be one step ahead. You are addicted for the rest of your life. That is a hard thought to live with but you need to pull yourself up from the positive things. Things like structure, working and daily tasks keep me clean. I did it once, I can do it again. I’m the only one who can do it, it’s trial and error.”
“This is only the beginning”
“Happiness to me is enjoying life to the fullest and being grateful for the small things. I had to search for it a lot. Getting to know myself and thinking about what I wanted in life. Now I know that it’s my child that I want, a life outside of this with my family.”
“My biggest fear is to relapse. I have a long way to go and the chance that I’m going to use again in the future is very big. But that will be a learning point to move further. But it gets hard. I sometimes dream about using again and when i smell it, i need to control myself. I need to stay alert all of the time. I’m six months clean now, but that’s only the beginning.”
Describe yourself in three words.
Calm, helpful and honest
Which song do you never get tired off?
I don’t really listen to songs, I listen to sets of music such as techno, retro and house
If you could be anything in the world, what would it be?
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would invest my money in real estate but i wouldn’t go crazy, I would also give something to charity
What’s your favourite place in Antwerp?
The Meir, I like to shop and i like looking around. The Meir is a nice place to do that