When Casy and Jason had met in 1999, they were already actively using. From the start of their relationship, drugs and alcohol were a big part of their relationship.
“We were together for a year when I got pregnant with our son,” said Casy. “I thought a child would settle us down and that we’d become a white picket fence family. We both did really well while I was pregnant. I didn’t use any drugs or drink alcohol while pregnant.”
Unfortunately, they quickly got back into the cycle they were in before. When their daughter was born, they tried everything besides working the program in order to get their lives straight. Jason would try to work on Casy, and Casy would work on Jason.
Trying to find a way out, they got involved in church. But it wasn’t the answer they needed. Casy would teach Sunday School high on methadone and Jason would show up hungover from the night before.
Jason was in and out of prison several times. After going through the cycle several times, he came out of prison a changed man. But between losing the house and her grandmother passing, Casy was not ready for a change. And with heroin now in the picture, everything quickly turned into hell. The Bonnie and Clyde side of them was revealed, and they both ended up going to jail.
For some time, Casy had been telling her mom about this “healing place” place. So when she was released, her mom gave her some of her belongings and $20 and encouraged her to go.
The thought of changing overwhelmed Casy with fear. Her mother booked a hotel room, which Casy used to invite her friends to party there. Less than 12 hours out of jail, she was kicked out of the hotel and they kept her belongings. To get her things back, she desperately went to panhandle, braving the snow while wearing flip flops. At that moment, her soul had cracked. She couldn’t even get the words out, “Please help me.”
Eventually a driver for SouthLight spotted Casy and offered her a ride to The Healing Place. There, everything changed.
While in prison, Jason started receiving letters from Casy, encouraging him to go The Healing Place when he got out. She and Jason both finally had the realization that what they were doing wasn’t working. They lost their kids, their family and their house. But they feared recovery, thinking they’d change so much that they’d end up not liking each other. Their relationship was the only thing they hadn’t lost in their addiction.
Despite all the fears, Jason made up his mind that he would go too. Without a ride, Jason began walking the 50+ miles from Johnson County to Raleigh. His mom helped him find a place to stay the night before catching the bus the next day. He procrastinated the decision a couple days until his aunt, who worked as a peer mentor, told him there were no excuses worth delaying the program.
While at The Healing Place, Casy and Jason quickly started seeing their lives change — for the good. Jason signed over rights to his oldest daughter, who he hadn’t seen in 11 years. This decision tore him apart. But just weeks later, he received a letter with pictures of all three of his kids together, including her, with his grandma. His two daughters had never met before, but when he let go, so many good things started coming true.
“I love to look at all that I’ve gotten in my recovery,” said Jason. “Everything came so quickly. There has been more progress than ever before in my relationships with each of my children.”
After finishing the program, they moved to separate Oxford Houses. They both worked and Casy was able to get back her license and eventually a car. Jason formed as much as a fellowship with the guys at the Oxford House as he did with the guys at The Healing Place. They eventually saved enough money and moved back to their hometown together — Wendell.
One gift that recovery has given them is a better relationship with their families. Casy talks to all three of her siblings and both her parents regularly. And Jason’s family is seeing steady progress. In fact, they were recently invited to a birthday party for their niece — which was such a huge thing for them.
When they moved into their new home, they had a housewarming party — but they called it a house blessing. Their family and their friends in recovery met and spent time together. Both at Healing Transitions and in their community, they’re an inspiration to individuals and couples living in recovery. Recovery is possible and it delivers incredible opportunities.