From College Athlete to Junkie to Grateful Visual Artist

I am a 31 year old, white, young professional living in northern RI. I would also like to add former College athlete, artist, Miss Rhode Island Pageant contestant and I’ve been struggling with alcohol and drug addiction for the past decade. My last “incident” was behind the wheel on a major highway where my one and only overdose almost cost me my life (and thankfully no one else’s). The first thing I remember saying after being brought back to life was, “You should have left me there.” Since then, I now have a a year and a half of clean living and that self-destructive mindset has become unfamiliar and uncharacteristic.

Because of my addiction, I inadvertently (but obviously) took a very long hiatus from a passion I once had and a skill I studied in my higher education: Art. In all forms. With sobriety, painting has become a daily routine and crucial to my recovery. I believe it is one of many components I needed in order to change my life (Shout out to my lovely mum and old man – the biggest component and best support system a woman could ask for). I’ve since shared my work on a few different social media platforms and the support has been unreal.

I would never wish this upon my worst enemy, but I am very thankful for the life I have now. Being cured will never be something I profess, but I do consider myself to be in “remission” with a life-long journey ahead. I know I am one of the lucky ones and in an unfathomable way… heroin saved my life.

I am sharing my story here and other platforms to shed some hope on anyone seeking- parents, a friend or someone who is barely hanging on. Thanks for reading and be kind always.

Contributor: Katie

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