Karah Battled Addiction, Depression on Path to Sobriety
Looking at Karah today, you wouldn’t realize she’s had to fight so hard for what she has.
With two amazing kids, a full-time job and stable housing, she is in a good place. And thus, so is her family.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Karah, 43, has spent years battling a mighty foe — her addiction, and all the troubles that come with it. Having also struggled with depression and anxiety since age 13, sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly when things started going downhill.
Her path to sobriety, as is often the case, has been filled with ups and downs. And like so many who struggle with addiction, it took a tragedy for her to finally give in to the help of others.
For Karah, that was a true turning point. Accepting help. Acknowledging such as a strength and not a weakness. Leaning on others.
Not just superficially, but actually surrendering herself to the process. And knowing she was worthwhile of that effort.
Today, she shares her story so that others can also find that path toward a better life.
She is eager to connect others to the resources at Human Support Services (HSS), because she knows how much the organization helped her when she was in the trenches of addiction.
“Let people help you and do the work . . . then things can get better,” she says. “HSS has been amazing to me and I am truly blessed.”
A Roller Coaster
Karah’s HSS story starts in 2012, when she struggled with an abusive relationship, lost her home and her job, and ended up in an inpatient
treatment facility for mental health issues.
Karah wanted to do better for herself. So upon completing the program, she connected with an outpatient counselor at HSS. She started going to school again and got her own apartment.
But her enemy — addiction — wasn’t going to let her win that easily.
Karah was a social drinker, and it wasn’t long before that led to experimenting with cocaine and marijuana. She saw it as recreational use —
not really a problem.
Then in 2014, Karah received a DUI.
Karah began substance use disorder groups at HSS. That helped. She was sober and on the right path again, completing her DUI classes and going six months without a car.
But the roller coaster ride wasn’t over yet.
Karah relapsed a year later. This time, it was cocaine and meth.
She used meth as a way to keep up with everything in her life. Her job, her kids — the best parts of her life, but also the people and things that caused her worry and anxiety.
She didn’t see her meth use as an addiction, or something that was causing her problems. At first, using meth made her feel like she was on top of the world, invincible. When she was on it, she felt like she could do anything.
But eventually, the drugs caught up with Karah, as they always do. No longer could she do anything, because everything was gone.
She was unable to maintain her job and her life was no longer hers. At that point, she realized she was addicted to meth.
It took tragedy for her to fully commit herself to accepting help from others.
When her best friend died due to a heroin overdose, Karah knew she HAD to stop using. She was determined: Dying was not going to be the end of her story, too.
In early 2018, her mom and sister helped her check in to an inpatient drug rehab facility in California. Upon completing the program, Karah came back to the area and was committed to making a major change in her life for herself and her kids.
She completed an outpatient program locally then connected again with HSS, which provided substance use disorder groups, counseling to support her mental health, and provided a safe place for her to live with her children through its supportive housing program.
Finally, things were starting to get better. Karah had found a better path forward, and it was because she had accepted that she didn’t have to fight her battle on her own. Others wanted to help. She deserved their help. And together sounded so much better than alone — or worse, dead.
A Brighter Future
Now, Karah says, “I will share my story to help others.”
“My best friend died because he didn’t get help,” she notes.
Her goal is simple: show others that there is help out there, and it can work if you allow it to.
Karah is committed to living a drug-free lifestyle and says she could not be in the place she is now without HSS. She is working full-time in a dental office, is searching for a home of her own and enjoys spending time with her two children.
Karah’s journey can teach us so much. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and never give up. Everyone’s path is different. And even if you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying.
Karah urges anyone dealing with substance use or mental health issues to reach out because it could mean the difference between life and death. She also wants to share her story to remind everyone that you never know what someone else is going through.
If you or a loved one are experiencing substance use or mental health concerns please call HSS at 618-939-4444.
*Note: Some details and names have been changed to protect the identity of the clients.