Kylee’s story: ‘I emotionally abandoned myself’

August 16, 2016

I believed in a chemical to make me feel loved and worthy. It never worked

Kylee bravely shares her story after undergoing the rehab program at the Salvation Army‘s Moonyah Women’s Camp with the support of Zonta Brisbane City Heart.


Hi, my name is Kylee.

Before coming to Moonyah I was lost and alone, and pretty desperate with no end in sight.

I wasted untold joyless hours using and drinking but the need was never quite satisfied, and in the process I lost everything that was good in my life and the people who really cared about me.

I turned down their living, breathing awesomeness in favour of chasing that high. I emotionally abandon myself; I believed in a chemical to make me feel loved and worthy. It never worked and so in desperation I came to Moonyah.

I was overwhelmed …

I was invited to attend the woman’s camp held at Brookfield—which was funded by Zonta and run by The Salvation Army—I was reluctant, but I went anyway. I was at a point in my life where everything I had done had failed and it was time to fully surrender. I was also a couple a months pregnant and this was my last chance to get it right, for myself and for my unborn child.

The camp was overwhelming at first and I just kept to myself. What I struggled with the most was connecting with the women; I’d never had close female relationships and I had a lot of trust issues.

But, the activities they had at the camp helped to break the ice. One in particular was jewellery making, which I really enjoyed. I didn’t realise I had a creative side and it gave my self-esteem a boost. It also helped me warm up to the other woman; they were all so encouraging. We had a formal dinner and talent show which was so much fun – our social anxieties just dissolve in this environment.

Another activity which was life changing for me was the Encountering Emanuel group. I found a clearer understanding about Christianity and about the Trinity, and how at times in my life I have felt a presence but never really understood that it was the Holy Spirit.

The women at the camp helped me to trust

What I found at Moonyah was more than just sobriety. The women at the camp were amazing. These were woman who all had their own stories and limitations, but I felt enveloped by their kindness and love.

These women knew their worth; they did not hold back because they had the courage to face their fears in this safe and trusting environment. These women helped me to trust.

Graduating with hope

By the time I was ready to graduate from Moonyah, I was only a month away from having my baby boy. I was no longer an empty shell and was not afraid to be a single mum because I had faith that God would provide, and not give me more than I could handle.

Moonyah gave me almost everything I needed to set up my little home and I also received vouchers for Coles Myer provided generously by the ladies of Zonta. The vouchers helped me buy a groceries and items needed for my baby I otherwise could not have afforded.

My experiences over the last 15 months have helped me to stay clean and sober and I realise now that God, and myself need to be my biggest fans – that quiet voice of compassion and understanding that whispers “you can do it” and “you’re doing great” just when I need it the most.

My advice …

If there is a piece of advice I can offer it is this:  just because you may not have these things, doesn’t mean you never will. You just have to decide to have them moving forward –and that you’re unwilling to compromise your self-worth ever again by using or drinking.

And if there is ever a love that you accept blindly and fiercely, make it the love from God and the love from yourself.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of Zonta and the Salvation Army, for this I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you need help or are in a position to help:

Amena Reza and Lisa Newman
Zonta’s Amena Reza and Lisa Newman

Thanks to the Zonta Club of Brisbane City Heart who provided Kylee’s story and raised funds for the ladies on the program to go to the annual retreat Kylee speaks of. It really helps the ladies with their recovery as we read firsthand.

Zonta has a history of supporting this very worthwhile program and if you would like to join to make a difference, visit the new chapter of Zonta – here! Led by Amena Reza and Lisa Newman (pictured left), the members believe every woman has the right to:

  • Live in dignity – free of fear, coercion, violence and discrimination;
  • Be educated no matter where she lives;
  • Enjoy equal opportunity and mutual respect in the workplace and in life; and,
  • Reach her full potential.
The ladies of Zonta Brisbane City Heart
The ladies of Zonta Brisbane City Heart

Even in Brisbane, there are women living on the streets, or living their lives in fear of domestic violence, or suffering from substance abuse, and many women who simply do not have the means to fulfill their potential in life and live their dreams. Zonta makes a difference to local women through fundraising and service.

BridgetJones_Flyer Bridget Jones’s Baby fundraising screening

 Take the first step by joining She Brisbane’s Social Reporters, Michaela and Jennifer at Zonta’s coming fundraiser, the movie premiere of Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

About the movie: You remember Bridget … well, she’s broken up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) leaving Bridget (Renée Zellweger) over 40 and single again. Feeling that she has everything under control, Jones decides to focus on her career as a top news producer. Suddenly, her love life comes back from the dead when she meets a dashing and handsome American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey). Things couldn’t be better, until Bridget discovers that she is pregnant. Now, the befuddled mom-to-be must figure out if the proud papa is Mark or Jack.

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