From a well-respected, affluent family in Kinston, Kathy has suffered from the relentless disease of addiction since high school. What began as social drinking spiraled into a dependency on hard drugs through a career in pharmaceutical sales.

Success in her career wasn’t enough to fill the void drugs superficially filled. Her relationships became severed, she lost her job, and spiraled into the darkness of addiction. Amidst the chaos, Kathy’s 15 year-old son and his close friend had a traumatic, life-altering car accident. Her son suffered an aneurysm and was in a coma for months. Kathy coped with the fear of losing her son and friend by turning to pills, heroin, and fentanyl, diving deeper into a world that seemed inescapable. 

Kathy’s family knew she was in trouble and attempted to intervene. Kathy admits, “Asking for help was not an option for me. I was always telling myself, ‘Tomorrow I’ll stop, tomorrow things will be different.’”

She continues, “I was detrimental to my family. Nothing could have saved me no matter what they said to me,” she acknowledged. “You know, when you’re a slave to a master, you have to go.” Kathy was in desperate need of a refuge.

Getting arrested was a wake-up call. Her dad’s words remain with her today, “You’re going to go to prison and you won’t be out before me or your mom pass away.”

Kathy detoxed in jail, which was excruciating, but it was the beginning of her healing. Her third request for early release was met with one condition: she must go to Healing Transitions and enter the long-term recovery program. Skepticism and fear loomed large as she walked inside our open doors and realized HT was also a refuge for people experiencing homelessness. 

“I called my dad and asked him if he knew this place was a shelter. I told him he needed to come and get me, and my dad absolutely refused. And that was the best thing he could have done for me: entitlement has always been one of my issues. This was the first time in my life I really had to pay the consequences for my actions.”

Despite her fear, what Kathy found within the walls of Healing Transitions was a glimmer of hope that would eventually light her way toward recovery. With the support of mentors like Tracy Hines and a community that genuinely cared, she began to rebuild her life from the ground up. 

Kathy is proud to share where she is now. “I’ve been sober for three years. I have not had one return to use. And that’s a huge deal for me because (at one point) I was doing three grams of fentanyl a day.”

Today, Kathy counts her life as a miracle – and when you experience a miracle, you want to share it without shame. Because of her recovery, Kathy wakes up every day with an overwhelming sense of purpose to show up for her family and for other women experiencing the bondage of addiction. Thankfully, her son made a full recovery and recently had his first child. When Kathy isn’t with her grandbaby, she’s likely leading the Planning Room at the women’s campus, paying it forward and helping women in need. “I feel like there’s absolutely nothing that I cannot accomplish.”