My name is Alice, I am 30 years old, I was born in Broome in northwest Western Australia. When I was 21 years of age I gave birth to identical twin boys. When they were three months old I began using drugs, namely Meth and my life went downhill.
My childhood memories are happy. I grew up with my mum, dad and my two older sisters Jessi and Victoria. My parents did the best they could with us kids and we never went without. We were not exposed to any addiction such as drugs or alcohol or any violence in our household. My parents are still happily married and I will be forever grateful for what they have done for my children and me.
My first encounter with drugs was from the age of 14 when I started smoking cannabis and cigarettes. This began when my parents moved us from Broome to Perth in 2006 because they wanted me to get a better high school education. As a 14-year-old girl from the country, I took the move hard. I didn’t fit in with the girls at my new school, and I refused to even try to make friends.
After my oldest sister gave me my first bong, I started smoking every night, as soon as my parents were in bed, as a way of coping with my life changes.
I left school at 16 and was at TAFE studying business administration when I met my first love and moved out to live with him. Four years later, heartbroken, I ended my relationship. This was my chance to change my ways and I did. I stopped smoking pot, got my real estate licence and worked in Subiaco as a Property Manager. I was living the dream in the city in an apartment with my best friend. Life was great.
I remember hearing God’s voice telling me “you’re having twins, Alice, with or without the support of the father.”
I met the father of my kids about three months later. When I was was two weeks away from turning 21, I found out I was pregnant. But I did not want a baby with my boyfriend and I didn’t want a baby full stop. But when having an ultrasound at the clinic before the termination, I found out I was having identical twins. I just got up and walked out of that clinic. I remember hearing God’s voice telling me “you’re having twins, Alice, with or without the support of the father.”
My sons’ dad left me when I was seven months pregnant. I had moved back to Broome to live with my parents as I needed my mum’s support. The father of my children to this day hasn’t met his sons. Jack and Lachlan were born on September 3, 2013, two healthy little boys – all I could ever dream of.
Yet in November 2013 I began using Meth, little knowing this would control my life and leave my family in ruins. I soon went from smoking Meth to injecting it, and my habit just got worse and worse. I don’t remember much of 2014 or 2015; in fact, I don’t remember my sons’ first birthday at all, and when I look back on photos I feel absolutely sick – I was so cracked out and stick thin.
Between 2014 and 2017 I tried numerous times to get clean and, in fact, I managed to detox for 11 months, but I wasn’t cleaning out my heart and dealing with the issues that led me to want to escape reality.
In 2017, after I had been with my now ex-boyfriend for about four months, my parents asked me to leave their home. They were sick of my deceitful behaviour and most of all I think they were over me using them and upsetting the household.
When I was home I was never really present. I would be asleep or on my phone organising drugs, getting ready to go on my next bender. My children suffered most of all and that breaks my heart. But at that time I didn’t care that I had two beautiful sons who needed my attention; all I wanted was my next shot. Sickening.
I know that God was always with me because I’m still alive.
I left Broome in August 2017 and went with my boyfriend to live in Derby, which is two hours north of Broome. Over the next four years, we moved between Broome, Derby, Port Hedland and Karratha. My life was a chaotic mess of taking and selling drugs, lying and cheating.
About two years ago my partner started getting violent. He would get drunk and half kill me, then pretend the next day that nothing had happened. At one point I had a permanent black eye. I’ve had all my ribs broken, a fractured sternum and numerous other physical injuries.
But I know that God was always with me because I’m still alive.
In May 2021, my brother in-law Casey messaged me on Facebook asking where I was and whether I had any intention of coming home to Jack and Lachlan. He also sent me the link to Shalom House [a faith-based drug rehabilitation facility located in the Swan Valley north of Perth].
I rang the phone number the next day and spoke to Peter Hempsell, who asked me if I was ready to be told what to do and when to do it because that’s what was going to happen. I told him I was ready. Peter then gave me another phone number to call and told me not to get offended if the second Pete was short and straight to the point. I rang Peter Lyndon James [Shalom House’s founder, an ex-ice addict] who told me I was a very selfish person and to call him back when I had got rid of my boyfriend and was back with my parents.
After that phone call, I was too ashamed and disheartened to tell my brother-in-law the outcome and I just told myself that this is my life and I will forever be stuck.
I couldn’t believe that my dad, the one who had given up on me years ago, was the one saving my life.
On June 3, 2021, my dad just rocked up to where I was living in Derby. I was standing outside with my partner and a car rolls in and it’s MY DAD! He got out and said, “C’mon let’s go.” He said, “I have my baseball bat in the back if I need it.” I was in shock, but the amazing thing was I just got in his car with nothing but the clothes on my back. I couldn’t believe that my dad, the one who had given up on me years ago, took on the role of bringing up my kids and completely shut me out, was the one saving my life.
It was a long 2.5 hours car ride back to Broome; other than my tears it was completely silent. But God’s voice was in my head and I’m so lucky I listened and found the strength to leave that life behind.
Upon arriving back in Broome my dad dropped me off at my brother-in-law’s house and I stayed there the night. The next morning my dad picked me up and we drove down to the beach so I could call Peter Lyndon James. When he heard I’d got rid of the boyfriend and was with my dad, he told me he would send me a text message, and I needed to read and confirm it all within the hour – and hung up.
The message said…
1. Send me a photo of yourself
2. Book your flight out of Broome by tonight NO LATER
3. Send me a copy of the itinerary and receipt for proof
4. Pay the $700 intake fee and send a copy of the transfer receipt
5. Confirm all of this within the hour NO LATER or don’t bother.
By 2pm that afternoon I was on a plane, flying to Perth to join Shalom House Women’s Rehabilitation Program. But before I had even got off the plane, I was calling my ex-partner because I’d changed my mind. I wanted to run from the airport, and I knew he would reassure me that running was the best thing, and he would help me find somewhere to go. I rang and rang and rang … no answer. About five minutes later I saw three people walking towards me wearing blue Shalom shirts. God had saved me again.
It’s been nine months since I came to Shalom House and I’m so excited for my future. Before I arrived, I hadn’t seen my children for four years, I had no relationship with any of my family and I was just a soulless body. I now work in the finance department of the office and God has restored my family fully, starting with my older sister Victoria. God works in mysterious ways but I’m constantly left in awe of what he does.
In October 2021, I went to Perth airport to pick up a lady flying in from Adelaide, but she had missed her 3pm flight so we ended up picking her up at 8pm. When we arrived at the airport, I felt like I was going to see someone I knew. When we walked into the arrivals section, I saw a flight from Broome had also landed, and moments later I looked over the huge crowd walking through the airport and there was my sister, my brother in-law, my niece and my six-week-old nephew. They all stopped and could hardly recognise me. We were all in shock. Five days later, I reconciled with them and that’s when God truly started restoring what I had destroyed.
I am forever grateful for the people God has put in my path and who he has worked through to help restore my life.
I then had reconciliation with my dad and my sons in November 2021 and God just had his hand all over that situation. I can’t explain what I have experienced throughout this journey, but I am forever grateful for the people God has put in my path and who he has worked through to help restore my life.
I recently celebrated my 30th birthday with the most amazing people around me, including my mum, who stayed with me in the ladies house. I don’t know what revelation God gave my mum but she ended up giving her heart to the Lord after the first night.
I will be forever grateful for my family, who I thought had given up on me but saved me. I know God worked through them and got me to where I need to be which is where I am right now.
I can say with confidence that my family is now fully restored. God has anointed me in leadership and I ask him every morning to help me, guide me, speak through me. Proverbs 3:5-7: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Before coming into the program, I didn’t know God; I wasn’t religious or brought up with any type of religion. Now, every morning after I wake up I read my Bible and every night before I close my eyes I read it again. The power of this book is amazing, I’m thirsty to know more, I’m hungry to know God and I’m in total awe of the amazing things our God does.