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Many of us indulge in true-crime television and our guilty pleasure is binge-watching 48 Hours. Sadly, unsolved crime is as real as the day is long. This is the case for Kayla. She struggles with her mother’s death. She asks herself, was it an overdose? Suicide? Or foul play? This internal dialogue led one young woman to her most recent relapse. This is Kayla’s Story of Recovery.

               To rewind a bit, Kayla was extremely close to her mother. In her childhood, she says she was happy, her father was still around, and she loved spending time with her mom. At thirteen, her mother (with good intentions at first), allowed her to take pills with her as long as she was at home. “She believed a pill could fix anything,” Kayla says.

And so it begins…

               At nineteen, Kayla found her drug of choice: heroin. This new feeling was addictive, she was hooked, and she realized she had lost all control. Six years earlier, Kayla confesses, “I was gang-raped by three guys. I became a whore – I had lowered my morals and I didn’t feel worthy.” Kayla’s memories of the past came bubbling to the surface as I sat and spoke with her. She also recalls being molested at eleven and taken advantage of by another young girl. This experience left her confused, and when the opportunity presented itself, Kayla found herself in a relationship with a twenty-eight-year-old woman, and actively performing threesomes. Perhaps her drug use buried these difficult memories that no child can process alone.

               In her early twenties, Kayla spent six months in county jail and three years in prison. In the madness she describes herself as functioning in the beginning; working every day, her employer was her drug dealer, and he handed it out like candy. She says it got dark eventually. She was selfish and using her gender to get what she wanted. At twenty-four, Kayla was in jail again, but this time, she took charges for her mother. While she was serving the time, Kayla received an unforgettable phone call; her mother had passed away, ruled as an overdose. In that same week, Kayla also lost her grandmother.

               Muddling through her grief, Kayla sat in the exact spot that her mother died, and shot up. “I was out for fifteen minutes and home alone. I really believe that my mom woke me up. She’s my guardian angel.” Today, Kayla is still working through her pain, building her relationships back, trusting, and letting other people in.

A Look Upward

               After feeling like everything was being taken away from her, this young woman continues practicing daily gratitude. “I’m grateful for a second chance and I believe I’m changing my future.” Part of Kayla’s Story of Recovery is mending her relationship with her sister and is planning to continue what her mother had built and cherished.

               To the addict still suffering, Kayla says, “the more you put into your recovery, the more you’ll get out of it. Some days are harder than others, but it gets better. Just keep doing the next right thing.” A daughter should never have to bury her mother, but Kayla has. She has lived through her pain, and you can too.

I’d like to thank Kayla for sharing her story with me. Other inspiring walks in recovery can be found here. If you or someone know you know needs help please reach out.

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  1. What a gut-wrenching and raw testimony. Thank you to Kayla for being willing to share the darkness and the light of her story. Praying for her full recovery.

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