Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Real People Feature: Katie

Princess, Katie's teacup Chihuahua and her cat, Thea
Who are you?

I am Katie, a fun-loving, outgoing, caring, bold, intuitive, Christian girl with a heart of gold. I'll do anything for anyone.

I'm a lover of animals- totally the girl who truly believes every pet should have a loving family to be with forever. Actually, that's how I ended up with my girls, Princess and Thea.
I adore children (they ARE the future, you know). I'm creative, silly, and I speak my mind. I have an intense love of football. Here we go Steelers! I find elephants to be absolutely beautiful and fascinating.

I also have no idea what I want to be when I "grow up," and you know...I'm totally okay with that.

What is the best advice you've ever given or received and why?

I feel like every person in America has been told by their parents, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

While that's all well and good, the best advice MY mom gave me was, "Speak up. If you feel strongly about something, say so! If you don't, you'll never know what could have been."

Those words have stuck with me since the first time she spoke them, when I was 10-years-old. They have pushed me to throw my opinion out to those who would listen in my business, educational and personal life.

This advice has helped me succeed in so many different situations, and for that, I am truly grateful to my mother.

What has been the greatest challenge in your life and why?

This will be a shocker for some, but the greatest challenge I've faced is one that I will have to live with forever. My name is Katie...and I'm an addict.

At 17, I started smoking pot, first casually, then daily. When daily turned into more than once a day, I started to explore other options.

I dipped my toes into plenty of pools, but my drug of choice quickly became cocaine. For three years, all I did was smoke and snort with no one but my "drug friends" being aware. No one else suspected. No one else asked.

Of course, I partied with my "normal" friends at college drinking parties, and I would smoke a cigarette or two, but once I left, I headed out to get to the REAL parties.

At 20, I met the guy who is now my fiancé. When he figured me out- which was very quickly, actually- his condition of us dating was simple. "Get clean, or lose out on our relationship."

Thanks to him, it has been almost four years since I've touched anything other than the occasional drink. Every New Year's, I get to celebrate my sobriety and recovery.

Was it hard? HECK yeah, it was! Was it worth it? Ab-so-lutely.

What has been the greatest joy in your life and why?

My greatest joy has most definitely been watching my beautiful god-daughter grow up over the past three years. She is such a beautiful, innocent soul.

Watching the world through her eyes is so enlightening. Being such a big part of her life has made me a better person, and I can't wait to continue to watch her grow and learn.
Katie and her god-daughter, on a visit in 2011

What is one thing you have not done that you really want to do and why?

I want drop everything and just travel- first the United States, Canada and Mexico, but then on to the rest of the world.

Italy, France, England, China, India, Australia, Brazil, Africa...everywhere!

I want to learn about the cultures and embrace them while immersing myself in them. I want to meet new people, see new things...explore!
Katie and her fiance, Troy
Isn't she adorable? 

Katie's description of who she is couldn't be more spot on. I smile every time I think about the joy she emits everywhere she goes. There's a whole lotta love in her heart, and MAN, does it show.

And how brave to share her recovery story with us. Countless people are struggling to find the motivation to surmount their vices. Katie proves that love and a positive outlook can be strong enough to conquer all. 

What strategies have you found to help you overcome your hurdles in life?

And I just love Katie's mother's advice to speak up. I couldn't agree more. How is anything supposed to change if you don't say how you feel? I'm all for being honest and real.

We're sending you all the love and sunshine in the world, Katie! Thank you for sharing your courageous story with us. You're such an inspiration! Go get em', girl!

P.S. If you'd like to participate in a Real People Feature, send me a message at cally@frommyhearthtoyours.com or comment below. We'd love to hear from you.


Veritas, Pulchritudo et Amor said...

Woot woot! Katie love! :) So proud of you, my friend. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo (I know you remember!) Here's to celebration! Thanks for showcasing this lovely lady, Cally!

Unknown said...

Cally, you did a GREAT job on this! Thanks so much! And Kate...Katie Love right back atcha! I could NEVER forget Sad, Rad, and Mesh!! What great times those were...YOU, missy, have been a great inspiration to me, surprise! XOXOXO