If you have been to the Hall recently you have probably met Karen, or at least you may have noticed her mentoring new residents. As the Hall Supervisor, she teaches life skills through community service. New residents learn food prep, organize clothing donations, and help keep the Hall neat and clean. A mother of three daughters, Karen knows the value of hard work. Her constant encouragement is an inspiration for those who are just beginning their sobriety journey.
Nearly every member of Karen’s biological family suffers from addiction. Because of the dysfunction in her family when she was young, Karen and her siblings were separated at an early age. She became a ward of the state at the age of 9. A series of foster homes became reality until she aged out of the system. In 2003 she lost her younger brother to a heroin overdose.
Temptation was always near and drinking became a way of life. One of her foster parents smoked weed regularly. Karen took her first drink at age 12. She attempted to take her own life at 15. Fortunately she was not successful. At 16 she took a job as a server in a bar. Karen drank her alcohol straight from the bottle which accelerated the addiction and caused lingering health problems. She lost her apartment and was homeless for a time.
After the birth of her first daughter, Karen decided to further her education and earned an Associate’s Degree in criminal justice. She considered becoming a police officer and even passed a law enforcement exam. And while she was able to care for her daughters, the drinking did not stop.
Finally Karen broke the chain of addiction, abuse and neglect in her family. Her recovery journey began during detoxification. In her words she was “stuck on stupid” and prayed that God would deliver her. She credits God with helping her win battles every day. And she credits Bobbi Jo Mama Judi for their incredible faith and inspiration as role models. Her journey continues and in April Karen will celebrate 3 years of sobriety.