Five years ago today… I was admitted to an inpatient rehab for heroin/opiate addiction. Some of you know my story, most of you probably don’t. I’m sharing this here because I think it’s important to start the conversation and keep it going.
Although I’m sharing parts of my story, I want to be clear that this post is actually intended to help support those who are just starting to walk the path of sobriety or who have been thinking about taking the first step. Everyone’s journey is different. I respect and honor all ways to sobriety. Do what works for you!!
I was an IV heroin/ opiate user with low self worth, an eating disorder, and danced at night clubs to support my habit. This may come as a shock to you, since I’m living a completely different life now.
I watched “friends” of mine drop like flies from overdose… I watched them go in and out of prison… I myself had pushed the limits on what I was morally okay with. I hit rock bottom. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say if I kept doing what I was doing, I probably wouldn’t have survived to tell the tale.
For me, I needed to do something drastic to make a change. I was admitted to three months of in-patient treatment, and then another two months of outpatient treatment.
I am fortunate to have health insurance and a family that was financially able and willing to help me succeed. Not everyone has this luxury. A lot of addicts have no health insurance, no family to support them, and not enough financial resources to stay in treatment that long.
Shout-out to my mom and her husband, Chris and Jeff Clements who believed in me before I believed in myself.
They helped care for my untrained, reckless dog (now trained and a lot more mellow) while I was in treatment. They gave me the financial assistance I needed to help me get clean. They watched and protected me from self-sabotaging my own health and wellness.
Five years ago today, I admitted myself into treatment even though everything inside my head was telling me to run the opposite way.
Addiction does that to the brain… it high jacks the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for problem solving, self control, and making decisions. I wasn’t myself anymore… I had lost connection to who I really was.
On my first day of treatment, I attended a yoga class they offered every Tuesday night. Although I didn’t understand at the time why I felt so relaxed afterwards, it was enough to keep me going back to the class. In my free time, I stretched.
Sometimes it would be for several hours each day. Back then, I didn’t know about meditation or yogic philosophy… I just knew how great it felt to stretch and relieve the pain in my body. Chronic pain was one of my triggers to use, so it was important that I did something to manage this.
After a year of practicing yoga in sobriety, I decided I wanted to become a yoga teacher. I wanted to learn more about yoga and help others find the peace and serenity that I had found through the practice. I learned about meditation, philosophy, and began healing my soul. I found a supportive and loving community of people that were all trying to be the best versions of themselves they could possibly be.
During this time, I met my partner Dylan Mayeux and learned what a healthy and loving relationship looks like. He accepted me and loved me just the way I was, even knowing about my chaotic past. It wasn’t an easy road to get to this point. I’ve been admitted to the hospital twice… Once for a gnarly kidney infection that they offered me pain medication for (which I denied). Second to worst painful experience of my life.
Once for a jaw surgery where they broke both of my jaws to help realign them so I could overcome chronic jaw pain. I was offered lots of heavy duty pain medication for this one, but used the power of meditation to help me heal instead. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Also the most painful experience of my life.
As a recovering opiate addict, I choose to deny any narcotic as long as I am conscious and aware to say no to the doctor offering them to me. Once again, everyone’s journey is different. But to me, I have way to much to lose to even consider taking that kind of “medication”.
Today, I love everything about my life. I am grateful, even on hard days. I get to share what I love and what inspires me with my students. I am surrounded by beautiful souls. I have an abundance of everything I could ever need. I am happy, joyous, and free.
If you’re reading this and struggling with any kind of addiction…. You are not alone! I am here for you and would love the opportunity to talk to you about resources that are always available to you. Resources that helped me find peace and serenity.
If you’re not an addict but know someone who is…. Please remember their potential. They have the potential to shine their light in this word too. They may just need someone to believe in them until they can believe in themselves.
- May we feel safe, protected, and at ease.
- May we feel peaceful and connected to the collective consciousness.
- May we develop love and compassion for ourselves and for others.
- You’re just one step away from creating the life you want for yourself
Love & Light, Katie
Katie is a dear, sweet, light being who was both my assistant, and participant in Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra Teacher Training at Lotus Pond Yoga, Tampa.
You can join Katie at Lotus Pond Yoga: With a background in dance and circus arts, Katie has a passion for movement! Along with teaching yoga, she also custom crafts hula hoops and teaches workshops on how to find flow with a hoop. She’s performed at: Ruth Eckhard Hall and the Straz Center and continues to light up the Tampa Bay Area with her flow props. Her style of yoga is a “slow flow”, allowing time for each of her students to savor the moment.
She is Certified in Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra and has a passion for leading guided meditations. She believes that yoga and meditation are beautiful opportunities to slow down and be present, considering that the world can sometimes move so fast and provide many distractions from what’s really important. When she’s not teaching yoga, you’ll find this blue hair fairy frolicking around in nature or island hopping in the Gulf. She loves being outside and feels the most connected to the teachings of yoga when she is in nature.