A yellow tennis ball, born with so much promise, taken out of the can with so much life and possibility, has admitted that its drug addiction has led to its almost complete destruction. The tennis ball, riddled with the scars of addiction, and with only days to live, has agreed to speak to BrokenNews.com.au on condition of anonymity, saying it is speaking out now in the hope of saving other young tennis ball’s lives.
The ball was bought in a can of three balls by a tennis-loving family in Chermside, in Brisbane’s north, in 2011. The can of balls had spent a short time on the shelf of a local Rebel store before being purchased, and the balls were being used almost immediately.
“We had a great upbringing,” one of the ball’s brothers, from the same can, told BrokenNews.com.au. “We were out onto the court immediately, darting about, bouncing everywhere and loving every minute of it.”
But it all changed one grey July afternoon, when the ball was hit over the tennis court fence, by its 13 year old owner, who, despite a long search, was unable to find it.
“That first night was hell. I had no idea where I was,” the ball says, choking back tears. “I didn’t realise at the time but I had actually been hit into a shopping centre carpark and had landed underneath a camper trailer.”
Lonely, and seeking new friends, the ball spent the days ahead looking for its family and seeking solace in strangers.
“I fell in with the wrong crowd. Soccer balls. Snooker balls. Mirrored disco balls.” The tennis ball fights back tears: “When I was first offered the drugs, I had no idea it would get to this.”
The effects of addiction became clear almost immediately.
This picture of the ball (above), just 18 months after it was removed from the can, show the initial effects of early drug use. But, as the days and weeks went on, so too did the feelings of isolation, loneliness and insecurity. The ball turned to harder drugs and soon had an unquenchable methamphetamine habit.
“I would do anything to get the drugs, and I still would,” the ball says, shaking its head. “But have a look at me, it’s totally ruined everything.” The ball’s addiction has left it as a shell of it’s former self. What once was a radiant, golden orb, is now a greying, freying sphere of disillusionment.
“I’ve lost my family, I’ve lost my health. I’ve lost everything,” says the ball, now sobbing. “I could have been used at Wimbledon, but look what I’ve become. Please. Please. Please don’t make the same mistakes I did.