For Caitlin, drug abuse began at the age of 14 when she began using benzodiazepines and smoking marijuana.Her parents responded by sending her to a therapeutic wilderness camp in Utah.
“I came home after that and it didn’t seem to work,” Caitlin said. “That’s when I really started getting into harder drugs. I started getting into meth.
“That was really my downfall.”
Caitlin says she began hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble with the law.
“I was in and out of jail and that’s just not how I was raised,” she said. “I just completely disappointed my family.”
She tried rehab in Kentucky and stopped using meth, but then went on to use the drug “off and on” for a couple years until the behavior once again escalated.
“My family wouldn’t have anything to do with me – they just cut me off,” she recalled. “I was like, ‘Gosh, dang.’ I was just in a deep, dark hole and I couldn’t get out. I was just stuck.
“I was isolated and away from the world. I didn’t want anyone to see me.”
Things went from bad to worse when Caitlin formed a new relationship.
“He was a meth cook,” she said. “And I always told myself: I could never go out in the woods and do that – that’s just risking my life. It could blow up, I could die.
“But I did. I went out there with him and I stayed on it consistently for three, four months. I got down to 96 pounds and that’s when I thought, ‘You know, I’m going to die if I don’t get help.’”
At that point, Caitlin wouldn’t look anyone in the eye. She was incredibly thin, not even able to fit into a size zero – she was down to a size 12 in girls’ clothing.
“My dad found a website and it had a phone number on it and I was like, ‘Whatever, I’ll call it.’ So I called it, and this place answered – thank God.”
Caitlin went through a fitness evaluation and couldn’t believe the poor physical condition she was in. She confided in Chelsea, one of the fitness instructors at BDR.
“And I cried, and I cried, and I cried to Chelsea like, ‘What am I going to do? I’m never going to gain the strength back to be able to get my body in shape,’” she said.
“But she’s worked with me so hard almost every day that I’ve been here. I’m back running like two miles a day. I’m doing squats and lifting dumbbells and she’s just completely helped me get my whole body back in shape – every bit of it.”
Caitlin’s family had cut off communication before she entered BDR, but those relationships are now on the mend.
“My dad is amazing,” said Caitlin. “He is my No. 1 fan. Supports me in everything I do. He has never let me down and he talks to me – we have great conversation now, as well as with my mom.
“My mom’s my best friend in the whole entire world. I’m building back those bridges day by day and it’s amazing because my family is very (group) oriented – we all do a lot of stuff together, so for me to be left out of all that and now I can be a part of it again, it feels so good.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted back.”