Getting clean and sober worth the effort | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Getting clean and sober worth the effort

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

My name is Katherine. I am a drug addict and an alcoholic. I am a proud mother of a 6-year-old boy.

If someone were to have told me where I would end up a little over two years ago, I would never have believed them. I grew up in an upper middle class home. I have loving and caring parents who taught me right from wrong. They did their best to instill morals and values to their children. I am the baby of seven. I always felt different (something I would later learn was a classic sign for children who would later become alcoholic.) I had two events that catalyzed these feelings making it easy to turn to alcohol.

I believe alcoholism can be genetic and in my case was. My grandfather was alcoholic, a binge drinker, and there wasn’t much hope for alcoholics when he was drinking. My father has told me stories about his father being dragged off to the state mental institution only to be given electric shock treatment and then released with no hope of ever staying sober. Somehow, my father drank very little, probably because of such painful memories of his childhood. Alcoholism skipped to me and from the first time I drank I knew I was alcoholic. It was my best friend for many years. All my feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem disappeared when I drank. Except many times bad things happened when I drank, which became more and more frequent as the years passed. Alcohol lead to everything else.

I was in treatment for alcohol and drug dependency twice before I turned 30 and I could never stay sober. My family tried every way possible to help me and I couldn’t stop using. My companionships continued to lower and I found it easy to follow their lead. I will not say that my problems were anyone’s fault but my own. However, I can say that I never meant to hurt anyone, but I hurt those I loved the most. Never did I want to become what I had become. And, I became hopeless and helpless. I didn’t know how to stay stopped when I could stop for very brief periods of time.

I arrived in South Lake Tahoe Oct. 4, 2001, and entered my third treatment center at Sierra Recovery Center. I began the battle of a lifetime. I took me 3 1/2 months to titrate off a medication I was being given to keep me away from heroin. The problem with methadone is it is very difficult to get off the medication for good. I was sick for months after taking my last dose of methadone. I know I was not alone during this time and it really wasn’t me doing the work. Everything I have been through has lead me to where I am today. I would not change any of it. I am a productive member of society and I am trying to correct my past mistakes. I try to help others who have problems with alcohol and/or drugs. I am on the road. It is not the destination, but the journey. I am becoming the mother, and the daughter that I have always wanted to be.

For more information or questions regarding recovery, contact Sierra Recovery Center at (530) 541-5190.

– Katherine is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic at Sierra Recovery Center.


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