Kate is a former ‘party girl’, her life spiralled out of control as she gradually succumbed to the influences of alcohol, cocaine and sedatives.

On November 18, 2011, the thought of imminent death led me to call my aunt and mom to come and pick me up from my apartment, which had, by then, grown dark, smoky, and messy beyond words. My mom found me lying on the couch with cigarettes, peanut butter, and coconut water—three items that had usually done the trick—but this time, I was too far shot to recoup.

I realized that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. After they brought me home (and without fully understanding what was going on), I agreed to go to detox and rehab.

After 10 days of detoxifying my body from the chemicals, I went through 28 days of regular “what you see on TV” rehab. There, I learned the importance of 12-step programs, getting a sponsor, attending meetings daily, and working to make amends with the people I’ve hurt.

After the residential program, I decided, on my own, to continue my care with an extended program. This decision cost me another 75 days or so on the grounds of some bodunk south Jersey estate surrounded by tree farms. It may not sound enticing, and it absolutely wasn’t, but during that time, I lived with other women struggling with addiction, and they became my backbone. They carried me when I could not walk, and they taught me how to open up, be honest with myself and others, and, most importantly, to put the bat down and stop fighting.

At 23 years old, it’s hard to fathom a life of sobriety. But I know where I came from. I know how life had become so dark, twisted, and confusing, how my emotions had been completely nil, and how my relationships had vanished. I’ve come to see how rampant substance abuse is among young people and, unfortunately, how many it leaves for dead. I’ve learned that addiction is a disease—one that’s cunning and baffling; powerful and unrelenting.

On November 18, 2011, the thought of imminent death led me to call my aunt and mom to come and pick me up from my apartment, which had, by then, grown dark, smoky, and messy beyond words. My mom found me lying on the couch with cigarettes, peanut butter, and coconut water—three items that had usually done the trick—but this time, I was too far shot to recoup.

I realized that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. After they brought me home (and without fully understanding what was going on), I agreed to go to detox and rehab.

After 10 days of detoxifying my body from the chemicals, I went through 28 days of regular “what you see on TV” rehab. There, I learned the importance of 12-step programs, getting a sponsor, attending meetings daily, and working to make amends with the people I’ve hurt.

After the residential program, I decided, on my own, to continue my care with an extended program. This decision cost me another 75 days or so on the grounds of some bodunk south Jersey estate surrounded by tree farms. It may not sound enticing, and it absolutely wasn’t, but during that time, I lived with other women struggling with addiction, and they became my backbone. They carried me when I could not walk, and they taught me how to open up, be honest with myself and others, and, most importantly, to put the bat down and stop fighting.

At 23 years old, it’s hard to fathom a life of sobriety. But I know where I came from. I know how life had become so dark, twisted, and confusing, how my emotions had been completely nil, and how my relationships had vanished. I’ve come to see how rampant substance abuse is among young people and, unfortunately, how many it leaves for dead. I’ve learned that addiction is a disease—one that’s cunning and baffling; powerful and unrelenting.

Now Kate has, with the help of AA and NA (Narcotics Anonymous), her sponsor, and the foundation of support she while in rehab continues to maintain, with her family and close friends. She feels that it is possible to stay clean and sober and still be successful—even in your 20s.

I lost so much through my addiction—my apartment, my job, friends—and yet, I’ve gained more than I can explain. I now have my life. And with a clear mind, I’m capable of doing so much more with this life than I ever could have imagined in the past.

Some days are tough, and the nights can be even tougher. But it’s true when they say “one day at a time.” And if I remember to focus on exactly where I need to be at this moment, I know that things can only get better. And I’m confident that they absolutely will.

Read More About this Story Here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/my-story-my-battle-with-addiction

Rehab Reference: https://www.seabrook.org/