Over two years, Hilde Nicolaisen, 42, went from being a mother and nurse to a life as a criminal drug addict.
– In 2001 I weighed 42 kilograms, I got severe bleeding, bruising and teeth began to fall out. After starting morphine and amphetamine, the decay went incredibly fast, Hilde Nicolaisen, 42, told her office in Tromsø.
A crop of autumn creeps through the window and is reflected in the pictures she has hung on the walls. Hilde talks openly and reflects on how she over two years went from being a resourceful nurse and mother – to addicted and homeless.
– I surprised everyone. Not least, she says.
Today Hilde is free and lives a good life with cohabitants and children in Tromsø. Every day she works in the Rusmisbrukernes Interesseorganisation (RIO). Much has happened since Hilde stole in the workplace for the first time.
Do not work at work
February 1998. Hilde is a nurse at Tromsø Hospital, and just finished today’s guard. In the bag she has a dose of morphine she has collected during the day. Later, alone in the apartment, she puts her first syringe straight in the years. Waves of calm drift into the body. She falls down on the couch and sleeps through the weekend.
– I worked as a nurse and had drugs readily available. It started to stole sleep medicine, but I advanced quickly to strong substances like morphine. As a nurse, you know what works, how it works and how long. I gathered medicines at work and took them in my spare time. I was not bothered at work, but I gradually became more unconcentrated, she remembers.
As a nurse, you know what works, how it works and how long. I gathered medicines at work
It is no coincidence that Hilde became a substance addict at the age of 32 years. At the same time as she juggled her job as a nurse in addition to a further education, she was struggling to deal with a difficult divorce. She looks at the big photo that is framed next to the computer screen. The four children in the picture mean everything to her. Still, she turned their backs.
– I took medicines to avoid feeling something, she explains and turns her eyes away from the picture.
After the divorce, the ex-husband received my care for three of our four children. The circumstances around that I will not talk about for my family, she adds.
Hilde stole medication at work for two years before she was discovered and dismissed. In an empty life, she became acquainted with a man who abused amphetamine. She tried the fabric, liked the effect, became homeless and hooked.
– My colleagues looked another way when I met them. They did not know how to cope with the situation. I lost contact with friends and family. I was not the one who let people so close to me, she tells.
February 2002. Hildes colleagues have long forgotten the skilled nurse who got fired two years back. They would never know her again if they met her on the street. For Hilde’s body, she is thin as a leaf and in her head she has one thing; amphetamine. The scare is to run out of fabric. The scare is having to deal with reality that has raked like an outfit tights around her legs.
– I tried so well it was possible to have fabric available all the time. I had to keep all the senses awake. Sometimes I did not sleep in four to five days. One of the effects of amphetamine is that you do not need much sleep, she explains.
Hilde emphasizes that being a drug addict is a 24-hour job – without any breaks or breaks.
Escape from Life
“Being able to live and survive as an addict, it requires a lot of resources. You get a different attitude to things. You do not see so many stings, and realize that if you get something done, you’ll get it done.
She thinks before continuing.
– There are many ways to escape from life. It is safer to sit in the living room and drink red wine. Or to drown at work. But being a hype is probably one of the most visible ways, she says.
As Hilde slid deeper into abuse, it became harder to distinguish right from wrong.
I have never robbed people on an open street or prostitute me. I have never been subjected to abuse and never taken overdose
– I spent between 1000 and 1500 dollars a day on fabric, and had to become criminal to get enough money. I stole everything from bikes to credit cards. When it was at its worst, I never knew where to sleep. One winter I broke into a student residence and slept in the first room. Other times I slept in a tent or at a hospital, she remembers.
Hilde shakes her head when she thinks about everything she has been involved in.
– I gradually crossed many borders and became another human being. But fortunately, I kept some limits. It mattered to me. I have never robbed people on an open street or prostitute me. I have never been subjected to abuse and never taken overdose. I always looked after myself, trying to get a shower, for example, whenever possible.
– Delicious rest
Hilde does not hide the fact that amphetamine abuse did more than dull her pain.
– I have come so far that I can look back on some of the good memories of my time as a drug addict. Amphetamine is a stimulant drug. It opened up, among other things, to things in my consciousness that would otherwise not open up. Rusen made me ready and awake in my head. I realized myself better. But it’s a mess, so the positive feelings are fake, she emphasizes.
Said she was sick
Hilde says that she had a good visit to the children during good periods.
– Then we did ordinary things, went to the cinema and Burger King. But it was not often I had money for it. And afterwards when it became really bad we had to explain to the kids that I was too sick to see them. That was the word we used when they were small. Only after they have grown older have we told them the truth.
August 2003. Hilde fell in love with Hodestups in his current cohabitant, Ragnar.
– We met each other with a common friend, and both wanted out of the rush. We decided to quit. The rule was that if one of us exploded we had to go apart. And we were not allowed to argue. Because when you stop baptism you do not know what are withdrawals and what are real feelings.
Hilde and Ragnar became each other’s therapists. Together they managed to find their way back to a no-less existence.
– It was a lot about managing to motivate each other so much that we saw it worth it. And to be able to finish, I had to process things from my past, I had to go inside myself and see why I became drug addict. And in that process, I had to forgive myself. Feelings like shame and bitterness have I got rid of, explains Hilde.
– The hassle was bad
11. September 2003. Hilde put his last shot with amphetamine.
But the match was not won until she could also put the ice-cream behind.
– To cut out the hare was the toughest. The hare has a great ability to shout everything into a fog and allows you to gradually lose the ability to think critically. The hare takes away the top of all emotions. It also takes away the joys.
Cutting out the hare was the toughest. The hare has a fantastic ability to shout everything into a fog
Hilde eventually realized how serious the consequences of the cannabis use brought with him. Today she uses this experience in the work of the Cannabis project at RIO. Among other things, she is responsible for the ice-hunting course.
Back to Kids
Hilde turns off the computer and drops the wallet and phone into the bag. Now she is going home and making dinner for the children.
– When I worked to get out of sleep, I felt sorry for it. That I had failed as a mother. I knew how important it was for me to come back as a good caretaker for my children. Hilde has spent a lot of time talking to her children about drug abuse.
– I have been aware that the children will understand that they have no fault of becoming a drug addict. They have a very good relationship with it and look at the experience as a resource. My 18-year-old has taken a clear stance, she does not drink alcohol. I’m very happy about it.
When Hilde finally was healthy enough to be a mother, she was keen to take back the lost time.
The first time I was well, I tried a little too hard to be a good mother. Now it has normalized more, and I think they are happy, she smiles.
– Has become stronger
Hilde rises from the chair and locks the office door behind her. She walks in the afternoon sun toward the car to take her home to the family table. An elderly man by bicycle greets her in passing.
– Hi, how are you? Hilde replied cheerfully.
– It was an acquaintance of me from the drug environment, she explains.
– He is one of the heaviest amphetamine users in the city. I knew him well when I was abusing.
Hilde crosses the square where the deciduous trees are becoming yellow. On the benches, drug addicts are close together and hiding from life. Perhaps they are talking about how to raise money for the next dose. Perhaps they wonder where to sleep in the night. Hilde does not stop. The voices from the benches no longer belong to her world.
– In my childhood, I never learned how to process bad feelings. That’s one of the reasons I started to rub me, “she said.
It’s totally ridiculous to think about the life I lived. It’s like someone else than me. At the same time, I see that I have become much stronger after drug abuse. I know better who I am. I have become much more honest with myself and with others, she concludes.
– I told my children
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