Kim’s Story

January 2019
Kim's Story
I come from a long line of professional alcoholics and drug addicts. For many years, I felt that it was my destiny to fulfill the family tradition. I had done several detoxes, both outpatient and inpatient programs followed by a half-way house. The spiritual awakening everyone talked about never came. Even a brief stint in jail didn’t nudge enlightenment.

In June of 1999, I found myself in a homeless shelter for women. There, the Sisters of Mercy also tried to help keep me clean. Unable to do so, I vaguely recall the big white van that came to take me away. I arrived at a treatment center with absolutely no intention of staying clean. By now, my sense of self-worth was all but gone and I thought to myself, “Why bother, What’s the purpose?” As the weeks passed, I was encouraged to consider long-term treatment. At first I balked at this, as surely there was an easier and softer way.

Reluctantly, I gave in and I found myself at Gaudenzia Fountain Springs. There, the
days turned to weeks and weeks to months. Rational thought came back, and the fog began to clear. I began to wrap my head around the Therapeutic Community concepts and tools, and I found my voice. I began to hold myself accountable, as well as others. I began to understand what responsibilities were and what it meant to be a responsible person. This instilled some pride in myself, pride which I had never really felt before.

I was due to complete treatment between Christmas and New Year of 1999. The plan was to be home to ring in the New Year. But I had reservations, as that nagging little voice inside an addict’s brain said: “We’re gonna party like it’s 1999!” That’s when it hit me, my spiritual awakening, if you will. I was done. I asked to remain at the program through
the holiday.

Fountain Springs allowed my children to partake in my recovery process and encouraged the man I was with to partake in that process, too. Today, I am proud to say that man is my husband. We recently celebrated 25 years together.

Gaudenzia set me on the path to find purpose with my life. Today, my family is healthy and intact, my children are knowledgeable about the dangers of addiction and have followed my life in recovery. The family tradition of addiction is a thing of the past. My purpose was to break that chain of addiction and help those who still struggle.

In June, I celebrated 19 years clean and still live a life of purpose. I currently work in a treatment program as an Aftercare Specialist. My name is Kim B., and I am in recovery.