KALEY | Colorado Springs, CO

“It was the first time they realized that I didn’t choose to be messed up.”

I started using heroin in high school at sixteen years old. I held a 3.98 GPA and a part-time job, so my family didn’t necessarily see what was going on with me. Even when I admitted I had a problem they still couldn’t grasp the depth of what I had been doing and experiencing. I started IV using at eighteen which quickly spiraled me into a debilitating addiction where I couldn’t effectively hide what I was doing anymore. Eventually, my mom searched my room and found my needles and spoons, and my family gave me the gift of an intervention on my nineteenth birthday. That’s when I entered a nine-month intensive inpatient treatment program and got sober. I could not have been blessed with a more understanding mother—she never stopped supporting me. Although many family members struggled with accepting my disease and viewed me as a criminal (which in some aspects was true), my time in treatment changed their perspective. While I was in treatment; we had to do a family weekend, and my family started to scratch the surface of understanding and began to support my recovery. There we talked through what I had gone through and why I couldn’t stop. I think it was the first time they realized that I didn’t choose to be messed up. I didn’t wake up wanting this. We all healed, and now our relationships are more meaningful than I could have ever imagined!