According to the National Drug Use and Health Survey, 45 percent of people struggling with addiction have a co-occurring mental disorder.

There are many avenues to recovery. And for 29-year-old Kelly Yantzer, her approach is more holistic, but getting there wasn’t easy.

Yantzer says, “I fought very hard. I would drink on my lunch break during class. I have not eaten.
I have people around me who tell me that they have noticed changes in school. But I could have cared less about it. I just wanted to die. “

As a child, she had an unstable life that passed between parents after they separated. She felt like she didn’t fit anywhere and was obsessed with the way she looked.

Yantzer says, “I wanted to hate myself. I was obsessed with magazines and women in society, famous women who are thin. I’ve written hate journals of myself. I would try to make myself hate myself in order to get thinner. ”

She had an eating disorder by the age of 12, drinking by the age of 14, and soon Kelly says that her eating disorder resulted in full binging and flushing.

Says Yantzer, “The high I could get by binging and flushing is like no other drug I’ve ever taken to myself because I’m in control of how much I eat and can get rid of it when I don’t gain weight . “

After she passed out and had an endoscopy for a neck injury, she went to treatment for her eating disorder. But after hitting one thing, she clung to something else to numb the pain.

Lance Zimmer, Yantzer’s friend, says, “She got a DUI and got into a pretty bad accident. I thought it wasn’t a good thing. She could have died from it. “

Angie Bjerklie, Yantzer’s mother, says, “It’s been really, really hard to watch her all these years. You just want to take it from your kids and you know that they will get rid of this pain. I would have taken everything for her. ”

After many sobering attempts, DUIs and jail sentences, Kelly says she knew something had to change before she lost it all. So she made a conscious choice to take responsibility for her life. And to be there for your son.

Zimmer says: “Your attitude towards life is just a lot better. Your attitude isn’t that bad in itself. “

Her mother adds, “It’s like a breath of fresh air. There have been many times that I’ve literally just wanted to shake her to get her to where she is today. “

Yantzer shares: “What kept me sober this time felt so different. I don’t have an anklet on. I have a reason to live “

She has been sober since March 9th this year and is going to school to become a holistic health advisor so she can help others.

You can find more Road to Recovery stories here.

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