My name is Kathrine, but you can call me Katy for short. I’m 17 years old and I spent 73 days at Inspirations for Youth and Families teen rehab. They helped me to completely turn my life around, but let me start at the beginning.

I was born in New Jersey to two happily married parents and three siblings. It was a wonderful, loving home until my parents decided to get a divorce. I was only four years old. My parents split up and my mother became a lesbian. My three siblings and I moved out of the house with my dad and moved into the house my mother shared with her new partner. I lived with them for 15 years.

When I was only five, I started therapy because I was having serious symptoms of depression. I could never find a therapist that worked for me though. A few years passed with lots of therapy and I started school.

When I was only nine years old, my best friend’s brother began sexually assaulting me. This went on for two years. It was very traumatic for me, but I didn’t tell anyone until one day my other friend pulled me aside and told me he was doing the same thing to her. We sat our mothers down together and told them what had been going on. The police came and talked to him, but not much happened because he was underage.

Around the same time I started to self harm because I hated myself and I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I was that girl who hid behind big sweatshirts and covered my face with my hair. I had so much self-hatred. By the time I was 13 I was placed in a residential facility for people who self harm in Chicago, but the program did nothing for me. I was more depressed there than I was out in the “real” world. It was horrific.

School was never easy for me. I was in a very wealthy school for smart kids, yet I didn’t feel good enough. I was pushed to do well but it was really hard for me. I don’t think my mother ever understood how hard it really was. I would call my dad every night for years to ask him for help with my homework because I was scared to ask my mother. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my mother but it was a different relationship with her than it was with my dad.

After my treatment for self harm, my mother didn’t want me living with her anymore so I lived with my father and grandmother for six months until the school year was over. After, I moved to Florida with my father. Coming to Florida was a huge adjustment for me. It was very hard at first, but I had to make it work. I started school and did everything I had to do to make decent grades.

Junior year is when everything started going downhill. I self harmed almost every day, I developed an eating disorder, and I started using drugs. It was ironic because growing up I always swore that I would never use drugs! Well, never say never. I started skipping school every day. When I occasionally showed up, I never went to classes. Instead, I was getting high in the bathrooms and calling my drug dealers for more. I started stealing a lot of money from my dad. Every day I would take more and more cash, and he wouldn’t know.

The only person I was really close to was my best friend Brandon. I loved him with all my heart. We spent every day with each other and even though we did a lot bad things together, the good things outweighed them. Brandon is still in my life today, but we’re distant because he broke my heart and started using cocaine. We have so many memories together doing some crazy things, but one day I decided to grow up and separate from him. I didn’t want to do it, but I felt like I needed to do it. After Brandon and I stopped being friends, my using got much worse and so did my stealing.

On September 1st 2013, I decided I needed help. I went to my dad and told him I was using and he was completely shocked because he didn’t have a clue about it. He was angry and told me if I needed help I could get it myself. So that’s what I did. I called Inspirations for Youth and Families teen rehab and signed myself up. I spent my time there with a bunch of other addicts and although it was really hard, it was all worth it in the end. I went through withdrawals, drama, stress, panic attacks, self harm, and missing my dad but I’m so glad today I went through with it.

While I was there I had some slips up, but I was okay. I came home on November 12, 2013. I haven’t relapsed and my clean date today remains September 1, 2013. I couldn’t be happier! I’ve been back to school dealing with my many triggers. However, I use what I learned at Inspirations to say no and to deal with pressure without using drugs. Inspirations for Youth and Families teen rehab saved my life and it wouldn’t have happened without my therapists by my side. I love Inspirations. My life now is better than I ever expected and I can’t wait to see what my future holds.