Meet Bayside Transformation graduate: Nathen Todd
NATHEN Todd had his first cigarette at 10 years old.
By 12 he was a full time smoker.
At 13 years old he tried weed for the first time.
And since that moment there hasn't been any time across the last two decades where he wasn't using some sort of drugs.
Weed turned into speed then ecstasy, heroine, acid and eventually ice.
Nathen has been to prison multiple times but had never been to rehab until he came to Bayside Transformations two years ago.
The 39-year-old's addiction cycle didn't break until he lost custody of this three children to become wards of the state.
"That was the end of my world, my kids are my world," he said.
"But my kids have seen and heard stuff kids wouldn't be able to make up, or even dream of.
"When that was ripped away from me I went nuts. I was stupid. I was already a half-cut snake.
"I didn't want to live any more and I didn't want to take my own life so I was going and doing stuff to people you don't do stuff to hoping they would do it.
"They never did luckily."
Nathen found himself at the rehabilitation centre after reconnecting with his sister who brought him up to Hervey Bay from Orange.
"I was in a world of hurt, I was running from my past," he said.
Nathen was running from a co-dependent toxic relationship with a woman who was a drug-induced paranoid schizophrenic with a haunted childhood.
"We used drugs together," he said.
In Nathen's first week, while at a Transformations church event in Brisbane, he walked outside and sat at a bus stop and tried to leave.
"I was like, 'I am out of here, see you later'," he said.
"Three dudes saw me sitting there and persuaded me to stay. If they didn't come past, I was gone.
"And now I can't remember what they said to me."
Six months into the program, participants must quit smoking.
For Nathen this was kicking a 27-year habit.
"If you know the term 'coming out sideways', I don't know anyone who came out more sideways than I did," he laughed.
"I loved issues groups from day one. The program is that full on because you are tired and broken and beaten and a lot of the time I wanted to fall asleep.
In issues group, I couldn't fall asleep I was that wide awake.
"I got a lot of my own healing listening to what has gone on for them and the facilitator gave them homework to do to work through their stuff so I listened and did a bit of everyone's homework on my own.
"That is where I got my most growth I think.
"It wasn't until four to five months into it that I got into sharing so I was fixing myself through everyone else."
Now Nathen has come out of the other side and is the Bayside Transformations program co-ordinator and case manager with plans to continue on.
"My kids tell me all the time how proud they are of me for being here and keeping going. I am doing this for them and myself."
Nathen keeps in contact daily with his 17-year-old son, 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old daughter and is currently fighting for custody.