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La'Catherine Story: Alumni Submission

Photo of La’Catherine (Left-Before/Right-After)

Every once in a while one of the many gifted and remarkably passionate people who have become Palm Partners Alumni through completing treatment submit to us a piece of their story in the form of writing, which gives us a unique perspective and intimate insight into the extraordinary transformation they experience in recovery.

Recently one Palm Partners Alumni reached out to us to share a piece of her personal story that is very intense, inclusive and inspiring. She articulates her addiction in an vividly honest way, and we felt compelled to share this gift of experience, strength and hope to inspire others.

Here is her story:  

It all started when a series of unfortunate events unfolded, and I woke up in a detox. The closest needle in sight was a Uni-Ball needle point pen, not a syringe (which I preferred). There were no more drugs to take away the thoughts I was left with; just this pen and paper, so I wrote on July 17, 2012,

“how can I pretend to be alive, when I feel so dead inside.”

This was the ending of the beginning. Not only was I miserable, but I believed to the core of my being that I was a worthless human being, who was never going to make it. Truth be told, I found out it was I, who didn’t want to feel better about myself and my situation.

The day I met Heidi Bilonick was in a women’s group (that I would have rather not been in, but I was in rehab, so…); she was doing check-ins and when it came to me I said,

“I am Catherine and I want to die.”

I had every intention of doing my time in this treatment center, getting out and getting high again. If nothing changes, nothing changes, and I certainly did not want to change; rather I wasn’t even worth changing. The first few days seemed like ages, but days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. As the weeks turned into months, not only was I listening, but I started to hear.

Heidi helped me realize so many things. She helped me realize I had to go through my sore, in the literal and metaphysical sense, in order to soar. Like I play on words, she played on my emotions. When I began to feel those uncomfortable feelings I had been running from, there was no needle to stick in my vein to take them away, only Heidi’s shoulder to cry on. She showed me it was okay to feel, the good, the bad, and the ugly. She showed me that as one feeling enters and leaves, so does another and that is okay. This change in perspective has made the world of difference for me today.

I know where I am today is because I consciously made the decision to get better because I am worth it. I could not have done that without the help of Heidi in those first few months. Today I am over 3 years sober, and I am doing things in my life, I only dreamt of doing before. With Heidi’s life coaching and friendship, I have been able to turn dreams into reality; my story into acceptance and fuel to make it to the next level. I mean, seriously, I am accomplishing my dreams and actually happy and content with life.

I may not be where I wish to be, but I am happy with where I am at. Everything will happen in its time. I can and I will do anything I put my mind to; that belief in myself would not have been possible without the belief Heidi had in me, when I was incapable of believing in myself.

The past is etched into my skin, and the future, blank pages all around; I have the opportunity to write, and I am now willing to give myself a chance to be the ink, instead of letting those scars hold my past and future as one. I have Heidi to thank for that. I guess you could say that these unfortunate events turned out to be quite fortunate indeed.

We know there are so many more Palm Partners Alumni out there have so much beauty to share with the world, and we encourage you to contact us and be part of the message that may help countless others. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.

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