By Rebecca Drew
MEET the inspirational woman who escaped a string of abusive relationships and kicked her drug and alcohol addiction through fitness after she met her husband.
Growing up, business owner Katie Schaffert (33) from Miami Beach, Florida, USA, describes herself as being a ‘rebellious wild teenager’ and lived with her mum after her parents divorced when she was just five-years-old.
At 13, she started drinking alcohol and had smoked marijuana for the first time before getting into harder drugs. Katie broke up with her first boyfriend at 19 when she started partying more and acquired a cocaine addiction which eventually led to a stint in rehab.
Clean for two years, she dated a cocaine dealer and soon sunk back into her old habits which left her depressed, leading to a prescription drug addiction, after finding the courage to leave her drug-fuelled relationship for another man who mentally and physically abused her.
“I broke up with my boyfriend when I was nineteen, I soon picked up a pretty extreme cocaine addiction that I would later go to rehab for,” explained Katie.
“I was off cocaine for a couple years until I began dating a cocaine dealer. I picked up right where I left off and soon I was doing an excessive amount of cocaine daily.
“At one point when I was a nursing assistant, I would arrive at work either still drunk or coming down off coke and sleep in the patients’ beds.
“Eventually I left the drug dealer for a guy who said he would treat me like gold. He proved to be more abusive than the drug dealer.
“I was mentally abused every day and when things got really bad they got physical.
“He would go to the psychologist with me sometimes so he could tell the doctor that I was bipolar which lead to me being medicated even more.
“At one point, I was on eight-different meds for anti-schizophrenic, anxiety, depression, sleep you name it.
“Lithium I think was the culprit for my face looking the way it does in my mugshot.”
Katie had stopped taking cocaine by the time she broke up with her abusive boyfriend but would find herself begging her doctor to prescribe her more drugs when she ran out. She was arrested and this planted the seed that she needed to change her life.
When she met her current husband, she went against doctor’s orders and went cold turkey to quit drugs for good.
“I was still a huge drinker and would still run out of Xanax before my prescription was due for a refill and I would have to call the doctor begging for more as I would begin withdrawal quickly,” she explained.
“Eventually I met my current husband and with him I was able to eventually find my peace.
“One day I decided that I was done with the meds, I called the doctor and he encouraged me to stay on, saying if I did quit I needed to quit slowly as I had been on so long that I may have seizures.
“I didn’t want to drag it out and I quit everything cold turkey, I had my husband hide the pill bottles and I began my detox.
“I still drank alcohol regularly and it wouldn’t be until I started my fitness journey that I would cut that out.”
Before her transformation, Katie was stuck in a routine of going out, smoking cannabis on her breaks and buying alcohol to drink herself to sleep with when she left work. Katie says that her life has changed beyond belief.
“My life is completely different than it ever was before, I have been able to move out of the town that only represented bad times to me,” said Katie.
“I created a business that allows me to help other women from any location in the world, I am in an amazing marriage with someone who is truly respectful and supportive.
“I feel great about myself, I know that being able to overcome what I have is unusual and I am extremely proud to be one of the few that managed to save their own life.
“If I had continued along the path I was on, no doubt I would be dead by now.
“I am beyond grateful to have a second chance at life, I feel like I have something to offer others now and that is an amazing feeling as opposed to feeling like a drain on society.
“I wake up every morning and spend thirty-minutes writing a gratitude list, I listen or watch something positive before bed every night.
“My front tooth is still chipped and I have a scar under my nose from passing out drunk on railroad tracks and I split my face open.”
Katie now works out six days a week and says that she would urge anyone else to who wants to change their life to start by changing their mindset.
“I suggest that everyone starts working on their mindset. Only put good things into your mind and avoid negativity,” she added.
“Read books that are intended to teach you something, I read a lot of self-development books and when I don’t have time to read I listen to audio books.
“YouTube is also a great resource, there are literally thousands of videos that can help you through any situation.
“Instead of listening to music, watching tv and wasting your time spend your time bettering yourself.”
If you need help with recovery, a great wellness resource is https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/resources/fitness-and-nutrition/
For more information see www.instagram.com/ktsfit/