By ROXANNE MILLAR
BRIDGETTE Davis used to live her life in a "black hole" - drugs, alcohol, violence and prison - her life was self destructing before her eyes.
But 15-months-ago a colourful paintbox transformed her world, and now the mother-of-three is facing a bright future getting her life back on track.
The Crystal Creek artist is turning her experiences as a former drug addict and inmate into art, and lending her stories to the new Community Drug Action Group (CDAT) in Tweed Heads.
With hard work, her future is finally full of colour.
"I look back at my life and see the timeline, and now I just don't have an option to go back to that life of violence and destruction," she said.
"I started drinking when I was 14 years old. I was an alcoholic from the start. I ended up on drugs and in prison, had dysfunctional relationships, domestic violence - the whole lot.
"Eventually I was empty and put myself through a long-term rehab program at Southport, then moved to the Northern Rivers. That was 16 months-ago.
"I walked into this home with one suitcase four months ago, now I have almost everything I need, including my kids.
"But it has been the hardest road I have ever walked."
As part of her rehab Bridgette has expressed her recovery through art, which she is now including in displays for CDAT.
"It is my balance. At first my art was in bits and pieces, but now it has become centred, much like myself," she said.
"I plan on doing an exhibit. I would also like to talk to teens about my life story. I hope everything I have gone through can benefit CDAT and the community.
"With drugs and alcohol everyone can do their little bit. We can carry the load for those who need help."
The Community Drug Action Team is still looking for team members - phone 0755 241898.