My name is Kat. I am sharing my story in the hopes that someone out there reading can relate, and can find that little drop of hope they need to keep fighting or to finally ask for help.
I have struggled since I was very young with feeling different. The tall awkward girl with a weird laugh- that was me. Even though I excelled at sports and academics, I always tried to fit in with everyone and that left me feeling alone and less than. I never felt good enough, yet I never truly knew who I was as a person. I lived in a constant state of mental and social chaos. That’s where drugs and alcohol came in. I could be whoever I wanted to be and feel however I wanted to feel. I could numb myself or bring myself up- drugs were always my solution. After high school, I ended up in jail for the first time, and I was assaulted by a correctional officer, but even that wasn’t enough to make me realize I had a problem or that hey, maybe my life is unmanageable. I thought I was fine because academics and athletics came so easily to me. I was able to go to community college and then finish my 4-year degree at a local university, with the help of an unhealthy relationship and ADD medication.
But while I was finishing my degree, my life changed forever. I got the call that my father had terminal cancer, and did not have long to live. Immediately I took on too much responsibility at once; I was the caregiver, cancer advocate, loving fiancé, college student, employee, and daughter all at once. Even though I was able to put my using to the side, my disease was still eating at me. My world came crashing down when my Daddy passed away 2 months before my wedding. I started acting out, using on a daily basis, and simply not caring who I hurt in the process. It got bad, fast. My relationship was toxic and dysfunctional, two using addicts don’t equal a healthy marriage. (I learned that the hard way) I ended up getting in even more trouble with the law, and found myself going to my first treatment center with 3 pending cases against me.
I did not understand the disease of addiction and I did not feel worthy of the new way of life recovery had to offer me. The thought of living life without my Daddy kept me sick for a long time. I ended up so low and hopeless, that I tried to end my own life via vehicle. I ended up going to the same treatment center 3 times in 6 months, and was kicked out my last time there. I am still pretty stubborn, but being kicked out- I was forced into trying a women’s recovery house. It is that house that truly saved my life.
I started taking suggestions as directions. I went to over 90 meetings my first 90 days, and continue to this day to go to meetings regularly. I found a decent job, and made new friends- real friends. I started working the 12 steps with a sponsor, and started finding out just who Kat is. I started to get relationships back with my family, and even earning back trust. It’s been 2 and a half years now- even though it has not been easy, recovery has made my life worth living.
My husband left me when I went to treatment, so I got divorced-clean. I have buried friends-clean. I have dealt with health issues-clean. And I have gone to jail- clean. Paying for the crimes of my past and going to jail clean was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but my recovery network helped me through and I was able to help fellow addicts while I was locked up. I learned that it doesn’t matter where you are, you can carry the message of recovery. We do recover, and we are never alone.
My life has changed in so many beautiful ways through all of these experiences though. Today, I am in the most loving relationship. I have found a man (also in recovery) who loves me the way my Daddy would’ve wanted me to be loved and we have a beautiful son. Today, I can guide other women through the 12 steps. Today, I can show up for people in my life- most importantly my son. My son never has to see me use.
So many people are dying of this disease every day, so if you’re reading this- there is hope. Love yourself enough for just one second, turn that self love into courage, pick up your phone and call someone you trust, ask for help. There is a better way of life, and you deserve it! Everyone deserves a chance to recover.