From all outward appearances Katie had the perfect life. She had a good and hard-working husband, a happy marriage and four wonderful children. Nothing meant more to her than her children and family, but she hid a dark secret – she was wracked with severe depression and was self-medicating with alcohol after suffering a still-birth in the spring of 2013.
Shortly after the loss, Katie was pregnant again and she focused on family and stayed far away from alcohol. After the birth of her fourth healthy baby, she just didn’t have the tools to deal with her grief and depression and soon as the new baby was weaned, she started drinking heavily. She knew she had to try to keep it a secret, but that turned out to be impossible. Her family immediately closed ranks and staged an intervention. Katie was so full of remorse, guilt and concern for her family that she agreed to enter treatment at Casa.
When Katie arrived at Casa she was terrified. “Initially, I just wanted to go home. Every waking moment I just cried and wanted to go home...The thing that made the difference is that I realized that these other women were like me. I thought I was the only person in the world like this…. Once I realized that these women were moms, they were professionals from all walks of life and that I had a commonality with them, it made me realize that I needed this. I needed recovery.”
Katie stayed in Residential Treatment at Casa for 30 days and spent another 60 days in Sober Living where she received daily therapy and counseling . “I’ve never been in therapy. Never dealt with my dad’s alcoholism (he has been in recovery for 11 years), but I came to realize that I had been depressed since I was a teenager. In my family mental illness was not something that was discussed. At Casa talking with professionals and dealing with my mental health was okay.” She and her husband attended Family Group therapy and he began to understand what she was going through.
While in Sober Living, Casa gave her a scholarship to attend Intensive Outpatient treatment. “We took advantage of what was offered to me. People would say, ‘if you have any questions or if there is a moment that you need someone to talk to just call.’ That was what I got in Sober Living. It was something I couldn’t have gotten at home – it was the access to all of this knowledge on campus that I was able to reach out to at any given moment. Everybody was so forthcoming with advice or just an ear. That was pivotal to me.”
It has been six months since Katie arrived at Casa for the first time and she doesn’t take her sobriety for granted. She still visits Casa five days a week and participates in the free group sessions, aftercare and volunteers with Casa’s alumnae program, Las Estrellitas. “When I come to Casa, I feel like I am coming home.”Katie, Alumna