A few months ago, Kim Wilson hit rock bottom - a "dark, nasty place" she couldn't see a way out of.

Today, with the help of a fellow recovering addict and Lifewise Rotorua, she is working hard to overcome her mental health and addiction issues.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Miss Wilson and her "rehab mother" Nancy Worsnop spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post about their battles.

The struggles that came with being a single mother of four saw Miss Wilson suffering bouts of serious depression.


During these low periods and with limited support she turned to substances for an artificial high.

"I became mixed up with meth and marijuana.

"It was really easy to fall into that trap, because they are so readily available."

A few months ago, when the drugs had become an addiction, Miss Wilson hit what she described as rock bottom.

"It was a dark, nasty place, where I just couldn't see a way out," she said.

"I couldn't do it anymore."

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She left her Waikato home and her children behind to seek the help she needed and placed herself on a solo detox.

Going cold turkey on a substance like methamphetamine can create heightened anxiety, psychosis, paranoia and profound depression.

Miss Wilson struggled through it on her own for four weeks, before meeting her "rehab mother" Ms Worsnop in a support group.

That was what led her to Lifewise and the support she needed to apply for a rehabilitation course next month.

"As soon as I walked in here [Lifewise], it felt like coming home," she said.

"They show us love and compassion and you are never judged.

"We matter here."

Kim Wilson (left) and Nancy Worsnop have found support in each other as they battle their addiction and mental health issues. Photo/Ben Fraser
Kim Wilson (left) and Nancy Worsnop have found support in each other as they battle their addiction and mental health issues. Photo/Ben Fraser

Like Miss Wilson, it took hitting rock bottom for Ms Worsnop to reach out for help.

She had it all, a job she was passionate about, a husband she was in love with and 11 children she had raised, when everything changed.

"I had been in my job for nine and a half years, it was my passion.

"Then trauma happened, my life crashed and burned and I was in the depths of serious post traumatic stress disorder."

As someone who had enjoyed an occasional drink, Ms Worsnop quickly found the quantity escalating.

"I started drinking just to face the day, for Dutch courage," she said.

"I split with my husband, and we had to sell the family home.

"At that stage I was drinking a cask of wine a day, dropped down to 53kg, I was a wreck."

Five weeks ago Lifewise Rotorua offered her what she calls her "place of safety" by giving her a place to stay in its residential facility.

"Here I can be me, and not be judged," she said.

"Every day has become about giving back, there is a huge need out there.

"Even if it is just to make one person smile."

She said there were a lot of big personalities in the residential facility at Lifewise, but she had the highest respect for all of them.

"We often sit down and talk about how fortunate we are, because for every one of us there are 100 or 1000 people still out there who need help.

"But I give each of my roommates accolades to the highest for acknowledging they had a problem and asking for help."

Ms Worsnop said people needed to stop thinking addiction and mental health issues are something that won't happen to them.

"Addiction and mental health issues do not discriminate.

"You can be the most onto it person, you can have all the things you wanted in life and it can still happen."