After battling crack cocaine and alcohol addictions for 34 years, Katherine grew tired of fighting and knew she needed help. “I walked into the doors of Adult & Teen Challenge on May 19 of 2021,” Katherine, 60, said. “I was so tired and I believe that if I didn’t walk in the doors on my own, asking for help, I probably would have died.”
She grew up in church and knew an organization that was Christ-centered was what she needed to help her get well. “That was my only hope,” Katherine said. “God was my only hope.” As she nears the end of the program at Esther House, everything’s changed. “I have joy today,” Katherine said. But it took a lot of work. “I had to go inside of me,” she said. “The person that I was, I was addicted not only to drugs, but I was a thief, I was a liar. I was a manipulator and everything went hand in hand for me.”
She had to search her heart, and change her mindset.
Katherine grew up in an abusive family. Her father abused her mother and when she was 12, Katherine was abused by her uncle. “I picked up my first drink at the age of 12,” she said. Katherine grew up in Youngstown, but moved around from place to place, trying to get away from her problems and herself.
For Katherine to be successful at Esther House, she needed to change her behaviors, her way of thinking, talking and acting. It wasn’t an easy transition and Katherine encountered some bumps along the way, even losing privileges at the center at one point. She had to dig into the word of God, sit by herself, search her soul and realize that she needed to make the changes within.
Katherine surrendered and asked God for help in about her fourth month in the program. “I had to transform my thinking into God’s words,” she said. Katherine worked with HOPE Counseling & Addiction Services and learned a lot about overcoming her addictions and returning to the woman that she used to be. Her family relationships have been restored too. “First thing when I went in, my son told me, ‘Mom, I’m proud of you,’” Katherine said.
Before she got help, Katherine said she had to be watched whenever she went to her children’s homes. They loved her but were wary. Now they visit on family day, go on family outings when Katherine has a pass and she and her son are making plans for Katherine to secure her own place when she graduates in May. “I just thank God for my pastor,” she said. “I thank God for putting me around people that care about me.” Now Katherine wants to help other women who are like her: abused and addicted. “I want to bring in God’s lost sheep,” Katherine said.