Addiction is an illness that so often destroys the lives of those affected as well as the lives of those they love. This destructive illness can result in the loss of family, friends, homes, jobs and money. It is not unusual to hear of those affected by alcohol, drug or gambling addictions living on the streets after losing everything they had to their habit.
However, it is important to remember that treatments are available for addiction and that there are countless people out there working hard to help those affected overcome this terrible illness. The media often reports on stories of those who have found themselves at rock bottom or those who have lost their battles with addiction. However, it is nice to hear stories of those who have managed to turn their lives around and are now living clean and healthy lives, having conquered their demons.
Australian rapper 360, whose real name is Matthew James Colwell, has taken to Twitter to inspire others and to tell the story of how he overcame a crippling codeine addiction. In January 2015, he was forced to cancel a concert in New South Wales at the last minute due to an overdose of Nurofen Plus. The official story was that he was struck down by a sudden illness, but the star recently revealed the real reason behind the cancelled show and a further thirteen cancelled dates that same month.
Fifteen months on from these events, the rapper is fit and healthy and was keen to show others his achievements. Matthew posted a photo of himself weighing just sixty-seven kilos at the height of his addiction to prescription pills. At the same time, he also posted a picture of himself weighing in at 110 kilos and says he became hooked on junk food after rehab because it made him ‘feel better’.
Now the 6ft 5in rapper weighs a healthy ninety kilos after swapping junk food for a healthy diet and becoming a gym enthusiast. He said, “Here’s my transformation from junkie to sobriety and how I’ve managed to stay off drugs for a year and three months.”
Matthew believes that his healthy diet and exercise regimen helped to strengthen his recovery and said, “I’ve got a new found respect for bodybuilders and anyone who’s single digits shredded (single digit body fat percentage). This s*** is hard! It really does take a lot of dedication and discipline.”
He added that setting himself goals at the gym has “been the most crucial thing for my sobriety and recovery.”
Matthew released a track entitled ‘I’m Sorry’ early in 2016, in which he rapped about his codeine addiction; it is about his addiction and subsequent overdose in 2015. He has previously spoken about mental health issues and how he used to self-medicate with substances such as alcohol and drugs. He is quoted as saying, “I used to get very anxious and have panic attacks. If I was feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I’d escape any way I could. Before, I just wouldn’t eat; I used to wake up and drink straight out of the vodka bottle. I loved it.”
He is now hoping that his story can inspire other people to overcome their addictions, but he admitted that he has had to learn how to live again, saying, “It’s been SO hard to face my mental illness head on rather than trying to run away and escape. I’ve had some dark moments, but 80 per cent of the time I’m good. I know what to do when it hits. I’m not a very strong person, so if I can do it, you really can too!”