KaseyAfter she was injured in a car crash, Kasey was prescribed opiates that ultimately caused her to lose her family, friends, and home. Until she found what she needed to break her addiction at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.
Kasey grew up in a suburb of Seattle in a typical middle class family. She remembers thinking she had the perfect life. “When I was younger, I was like the goodie-goodie who didn't get into trouble,” she says, “but in middle school, I just took a turn for the worse.”
When she turned 12, Kasey’s parents let her drink with them. It was how they bonded. What they didn’t realize is that she had also started smoking marijuana with her older brother.
“All through high school I smoked weed and drank,” she says. “Then when I was 18, I got in a car accident and I was in a wheelchair for several months. That's when my opioid addiction started.”
Kasey’s doctors prescribed the highly addictive pain killers and kept renewing her prescription. When she’d run out between refills, she couldn’t understand why she felt so sick.
“I didn't know I was addicted and that my body needed the drugs,” she says. “Eventually they kind of just cut me off, so I started buying from dealers and that become an everyday thing.”
At the time, Kasey had a good job and was living at home, but all the money she made went to drugs. “I had the motivation to move out,” she says, “but using was more important to me.”
Soon she was introduced to heroin and her life spiraled out of control.
She says, “I couldn’t maintain the mask that I’m okay anymore, so my parents had an intervention and I went to treatment. But about four or five months into recovery, I relapsed and started using meth.”
That’s when Kasey’s parents told her she was no longer welcome in their house. “I was homeless. I’d lost everything. I couch surfed for a while, and after that I lived in a car at the casino with a married couple. I never in a million years thought that I was going to end up homeless. It was a time of complete hopelessness.”
Kasey started to have suicidal thoughts. “I was in a place where I just felt like people would be better off without me. My family couldn’t trust me. Most of the friends I had no longer talked to me because the lifestyle I was living didn’t fit with theirs. I was alone, so I just continued to use, because that was the only thing that took away the pain that I felt.”
Someone who knew Kasey saw her and realized right away that she needed help. He took her to detox and that’s where she learned about the Mission.
“When I walked through the doors at the Mission, it was incredible,” she says. “I felt like I was home. I couldn’t imagine the kind of love that surrounded me. It didn’t feel like I was in treatment. I saw people and how they acted, just the happiness and the joy, and I was like, ‘Man, I really want that.’”
As she went through the program at the Mission, Kasey grew in ways she never had before.
“For the first time in my life, I'm comfortable in my skin,” she says. “My spirituality has grown to a point that I never thought possible. I have this confidence and this self-love through Christ that I couldn’t imagine.”
Today, Kasey says she’s found her purpose in life. “I feel like God is working in me and He's going to use me to help other people. I don't know how yet, but I finally feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.”