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Sisters of Serenity and Sobriety - Stories about Addiction

My name is Katie Maslin and I am an alcoholic and an addict. I was born in 1973 in Orlando, Fl. My parents were in traveling a rock and roll band, I used to remember seeing the Holiday Inn sign and saying “let’s go home mommy.” After releasing their first record, my parent’s band broke up and they divorced when I was 3.  My first experience with drugs was witnessing my Uncle Joe commit suicide with a shotgun while high on PCP, he was 17, I was 4. My Grandfather was an alcoholic, as was my father.
When I started school, my mother was single and working in a dress shop during the day and singing in a lounge in the evenings. I did not see much of my father during my younger years. We struggled financially. I always felt “less than” and very self conscious. I was constantly bullied during my elementary and middle school years. “Welfare princess” was my nickname. Ironically, we were never on any public assistance. We did, however, live in the “projects” for about a year. This was very embarrassing for me, as I walked to and from school. In high school, things started to get a little better for me. I met a really nice guy and we dated all the way through high school. My mother met a really nice man and finally gott married, no more living in the projects for us.  I had started to bloom by this time. I was modeling at the local department store that my mother worked at. I had some photos taken and sent them to Teen magazine for a modeling contest. I was actually a finalist and appeared in the magazine and won a small scholarship from Maybelline. I entered the local Miss America Preliminary Pageant and won (another scholarship,)! I was on my way to the Miss Georgia Pageant! Unfortunately for me an eating disorder was right there with me. Up to this point, I had not had any dealings with alcohol or drugs. I was a good student and all I wanted was to be the next Miss America. I had also been accepted to Georgia Southern University. With the scholarship money I already had and the Hope Scholarship and the Pell Grant I got, I had my education completely covered.  When I got to GA Southern, I got in the BEST Sorority and I was on top of the world until I found out that my wonderful boyfriend of 4 years had been unfaithful. I was crushed. I left GA Southern and decided to take the rest of the year off to prepare for the Miss Georgia Pageant. I went back to my job at the restaurant I had worked at in high school. It was then that I was introduced to COCAINE for the first time. I was told it would help me control my eating. That’s all I needed to hear. I started drinking at the bars with my coworkers every night after work and using powder cocaine. This is in the early 1990’s. Wow, I had finally found a diet plan that worked for me! And vodka, I felt like I was on top of the world!
I took cocaine with me to the Miss Georgia Pageant. Needless to say, I did not win.
Shortly thereafter, I met my first husband at a bar called “Murphy’s Tavern” Oh, he was a dapper man. Guess what he does for a living? He is a Master Sommelier a “wine expert.” Whoo-hoo !!! Two weekends later, we conceived our son in Donald Trump’s guest bedroom. Two weekends after that, we were married at the Lyford Cay Club in the Bahamas. Boy, he got a lot more than he bargained for. I got more than I bargained for, too.  He was very verbally abusive. After our son was born, I started using cocaine again. However, I had a hard time finding powder cocaine. I was no longer working in the same place and did not have the same connections that I once had. My husband, I will call him “Todd” was bullying me about my weight. The more he said, the more I wanted to use and drink. It was then that I was introduced to CRACK. Crack changed EVERYTHING.
I would never go back to powder cocaine again. After a few years, “Todd” got a job offer in Palm Beach at the Mar- A-Lago Club with Donald Trump. We were moving. I would have no connections at all.  What was I going to do? What if someone found out? This was the beginning of my first bottom. I went out looking, with my son in the car..I can hardly write this. I saw a prostitute walking. I gave her money, she took me to get some crack.  I was off to the races. Again, my 3 year old son is with me. It was suggested to me to leave my son with a “babysitter” for a few hours..we could go back and get him, they said. Well, after my car had been rented out and not returned, I had no idea where I was or how to get back to my son… I found out later he was taken to a convenience store and left…crying..I was “missing” for a week. I was “found” when I was arrested in a prostitution sting. My husband filed for divorce. After going into treatment, I went through supervised visitation every weekend (it was a 6 hour drive for me) for 2 years and worked though a case with family and children services. After all of this, I finally got joint custody and was getting ready to move to Palm Beach Gardens to be close to my son. I had managed to stay clean for this 2 year period of time.
During this time I met a man at our local AA meeting, I will call him “John”. He was a recent graduate of Drug Court and had 4 years clean when I met him so I felt safe in starting a relationship with him. He was a chef at a local restaurant and we immediately moved in together. I actually had a successful ebay business and was able to cover my $100 a week child support and weekly travel expenses to Palm Beach. We were doing great…until his parents passed away. He brought home some morphine that was “left over” from his father’s passing. I had always had back problems and thought, “what the heck” I have never had a problem with pain meds…Well, needless to say, by the end of the day, I had talked him into finding some powder cocaine and wine. I did not really consider it a full blown relapse since I did not use crack (LOL). A couple of weeks later, we moved to Palm Beach Gardens. Within a few months, we were both using crack again. Between the 2 of us, we were using about $1000 a day. My son was with us about half the time. We spent a lot of time in the bathroom. Around this time, I had my first seizure. We were not making enough money legally to support our habit so we started a crime ring (bad checks, fake id’s, bla, bla, bla) After a friend overdosed in our bathroom, we were evicted from our apartment. I packed up my little boy and decided to drive to my father’s in Orlando. I had not slept in 4 days. I fell asleep at the wheel and the car flipped on interstate I-95. By the GRACE OF GOD, my son and I were not hurt.  my Blazer was totaled.  I took my son back to his father. “John” and I were now on the run. It would be a long time before I would be able to see my little boy again. The police were looking for us. My seizures were happening more and more often. We were living in our Volkswagen Van with our dog and 2 cats. “John” was eventually caught. I went back to GA, went through treatment and found out there was a warrant for me as well. I served my time, paid my restitution and did my probation.
While I was in treatment in GA, I met my 2 husband, I will call him “Josh”, at an AA meeting. I moved in with “Josh” immediately after getting out of treatment and married him when I got out of jail. We relapsed together shortly thereafter. This was an EXTREMELY abusive marriage. The police were called often, but I always refused to press charges. I even wrote the judge and got him OUT of jail. I felt like I deserved it. During my active addiction, I have been brutally beaten, gang raped, pimped out  by my husband “Josh.” I have injured myself during seizures, I had to have 17 staples in the back of my head (from falling and hitting my head on the sink) where I lost so much blood I almost died. I have had my feet dipped in paint thinner and set on fire (so I would not leave), this resulted in 3 degree burns. I was in a wheelchair for 3 months. I was prescribed oxycodone (and became addicted.) My nose has been broken.  I finally filed for a divorce. Y feet finally healed and I was back on the street again. I grew so tired physically and emotionally of the constant turmoil of what my life had become. I entered treatment again. Upon release from what I think was about a 6 month program, I had a brief reunion with “Josh” that resulted in a pregnancy.
The Lord gave me a gift and yet another chance.  About 7 months into the pregnancy, I relapsed again with “Josh”, this time I was beaten up so badly that my jaw was fractured, after being released from the hospital I went into a safe women and children’s treatment center. I could only eat through a straw for about a month. I stayed at the center until I was ready to give birth. “Josh” was in jail and was sentenced to a year in a halfway house. My precious angel was born healthy and right on time. At my 6 week check up, I found out that I had endometriosis and PID. I had to have a complete and immediate Hysterectomy.
I started feeling strong again. I went back to school again (for the third time) I got my counseling certification as a Certified Peer Support Specialist through the State of GA Dept of Human Resources AND I got a job at the treatment center that I had been a patient at so many times..I lasted about 6 months before I relapsed. Why couldn’t I stay clean?
My little angel is about 9 months old now, I have wonderful boyfriend whom I met online at christianmingle.com (no, not at an AA meeting) I am allowed to see my older son every couple of months, supervised by his father. My son and I have a nice little apartment. There are so many triggers in the area that I live in. Every time I go to treatment, I am told “you need long term treatment AWAY from this area”. My wonderful boyfriend and I got married, I’ll call him “Steve”
“Steve” really is wonderful, no history of alcohol or drugs, a widower and he really loves me! We have been dating almost a year. One day, I have a dentist appointment. Do I tell them I am an addict? No. They prescribe codeine syrup. I drank the whole bottle in one evening. At 4:00 am, I am out looking for crack, some man is driving my car, I have a seizure, I run into a gas station to get something to drink and he drives off with my car, phone and MY DOG IN THE CAR! That morning I entered my LAST treatment center. That was October 6, 2009. (No, I never found my dog, I am just so grateful my little angel was not in the car..the car WAS found a couple of months later) At this treatment center, I found out that I had Hepatitis C (from the relapse 5 months earlier, the ONLY time I had ever used a needle) I was also told AGAIN that I needed long term treatment for my addiction and alcoholism AND the Hepatitis C.
My husband and I found a wonderful addiction specialist in upstate NY and he found a new job. Unfortunately at this point, my little boy’s father had more clean time than I did and my parents had taken temporary guardianship of him because of my relapses. I would not be allowed to take him with me. This is why I had not agreed to “go away” to long term treatment before. I did not want to leave my baby. My husband assured me that I could fly home to see him once a month. So, I did.
We moved immediately after my 30 day treatment ended, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I needed therapy terribly. I had suffered a lot of memory loss from the many head injuries that I had suffered and the seizures. I had PTSD. I did start flying back every month to see my little boy and my older sonI was treated for my Hepatitis C for a full year (ribavirin and interferon) and receive blood tests every 6 months, the virus has not shown up in any blood tests since the initial diagnosis.
After 3 years of intense therapy in New York, I moved back to GA and now live within 5 miles of my little boy who is now 5 years old. I still only have joint custody, but I pray that one day that will change. I am working on strengthening my relationship with my older son who has just turned 16.
I have started the facebook page Sisters of Serenity and Sobriety for women addicts and alcoholics in recovery, I feel like it is my mission in life to help other women recover from this disease.
Katie Maslin
Sisters of Serenity and Sobriety