“I was on the freeway off ramp, camped out there…”

I don’t think Kim ever really had a chance at a normal life.  You probably wouldn’t have either if your mom was an addict.  Kim’s mom was also a nurse, so drugs were all too easy to get her hands on.

“My mom was dependent on pills and was always giving me pain meds for anything,” she says, “so I became chemically dependent at a young age.  I used to party with my mom, so there were no repercussions.”  With a 25-pill-a-day habit, Kim could have overdosed and died . . . at any time.  Like I said, she never even had a chance.

When Kim reached her lowest point — when she was dumpster diving for food and living under an overpass, she turned to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission for emergency shelter and entered our Outpatient Program.  “I’m a totally different person today,” she says.  “I was on the freeway off ramp, camped out there, and the Mission kept me from living like that.  My life is just beginning, which is scary, but I have a lot of hope, instead of guilt.”

Kim is well on her way to recovery now.  She’s been clean for months, and in her own words, “My obsession for using is gone, and the anxiety is gone.”  She’s landed a job, and it’s a good one.  She can hardly wait for the day when she’ll be reunited with her one-year-old son.