At the end of 2018, Katie was addicted to alcohol and other substances. The Recovery Ways alumna also suffered from underlying mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. In December of that year, Katie took the life-saving step of going into treatment over Christmas.
It was not an easy decision for the single mother. “At first, I didn’t want to go,” the Maryland native remembers. “My teenage son needs me,” she told herself. She also had a hard time picturing herself in a faraway, unfamiliar place in Utah.
Katie arrived at Recovery Ways on December 23rd. “All I could think was, ‘I’m missing Christmas, my son’s never gonna forgive me.’” Realizing that she was there with people in the same situation made it more comfortable. “You get really close with the people you’re with, really fast and the people at Recovery Ways helped me get better and that was really the best Christmas gift.”
One of the keys to Katie’s success in the program was continuing treatment, which for her meant the step-down level of partial hospitalization after successfully completing residential treatment. “I focused on getting healthy and then on staying involved with Recovery Ways. I also did sober living and then briefly went back home to Maryland in May 2019.”
In March, her son and her parents came to Utah to visit Katie for a few days. “I talked with my son about living in Utah which still seemed crazy to me then, even as a possibility. Everything I knew was back east, but I knew I needed to make some changes.”
“I needed to trust where my heart was headed and that was here in Utah but it would only work if my son was on board.” During her addiction treatment, Katie chatted with her son on FaceTime a lot. “When I was in sober living, at one point he remarked ‘you look pretty normal’ and then added ‘the way you used to a long time ago.’ That made me cry. It was a big deal for our relationship—for him to see me get better.”
They moved to Utah in July 2019, where her son is going to high school now. Katie is still fully engaged in her recovery. “I’m like a poster child for sobriety now because I love it so much,” she says. “Recovery Ways has been amazing to me, they made me feel comfortable and they made me feel safe.”
“There was a time in recovery where I wondered, ‘how do I do Christmas without drinking? How do I watch a football game without drinking?’ But thanks to Recovery Ways I learned how to celebrate Christmas without drinking. I was able to watch the Super Bowl without drinking, and I have celebrated and gone out to dinner without drinking.”
Delaying recovery because of the holidays would have been problematic for Katie. “I was in a very safe place during a very hard time. It was a blessing that I was there during Christmas.”
This year, Katie will be celebrating two years of sobriety on Christmas Eve.
If you, a family member, or a friend are struggling with addiction and/or mental health issues, Recovery Ways wants to help. We are dually licensed to treat mental health disorders and addiction. Don’t delay seeking treatment because of the holidays. Our admissions coordinators can recommend a plan of action, suggest an interventionist, or speak with your loved one. For more information, please call us at (888) 988-5217.