HOLLAND — The whole lot appeared thrilling for Ashley Overbeek.
She was top-of-the-line basketball and soccer gamers within the state. Her future couldn’t have appeared a lot brighter.
However that’s what everybody else noticed on the surface.
On the within, Overbeek had suffered sexual abuse, was battling a number of psychological heath points — bipolar, borderline character dysfunction, obsessive compulsive dysfunction and extreme nervousness — and turning to medication and alcohol to flee each layer of her scenario.
It was an incredible load on a young person and spiraled into uncontrollable addictions, resulting in overdoses, suicide makes an attempt and a grip on her life that she couldn’t overcome.
“I lastly bought there. There are solely 3 ways out of dependancy, dying, establishments or getting clear,” Overbeek mentioned. “I checked out my decisions. I bought fairly near going to jail a number of instances. I didn’t need to die — for some time, I did as a result of I used to be in such a darkish place I felt like the one means out was dying.”
Overbeek spoke out throughout Psychological Well being Consciousness Month, hoping her story can assist others out of comparable conditions — or, hopefully, assist others keep away from the darkish street she was on.
“I don’t need the identical factor to occur to anybody else,” she mentioned. “It simply takes getting curious one time and also you blink, and you might be doing it day by day.”
As an alternative of taking part in elite faculty basketball, the all-state performer at Hamilton, was getting excessive and hating herself for it.
The extra her psychological well being points affected her, the extra she turned to substances, a circle she simply couldn’t break.
One in six youngsters offers with some type of psychological well being concern. The typical delay between onset of psychological sickness signs and remedy is 11 years, in line with mentalhealthfirstaid.org. Two-thirds of teenagers with addictions have handled some type of psychological well being points, in line with childmind.org.
However Overbeek sees individuals not speaking about it till issues are too far down the darkish street.
“Everyone seems to be so ashamed to speak about it and also you don’t should be ashamed to speak about it,” Overbeek mentioned. “It’s actual. It’s a actual concern and should you convey it to gentle, different individuals can assist you. You communicate up about it, you may assist somebody – together with your self.”
It began after psychological well being points, together with post-traumatic stress dysfunction from being abused by an prolonged member of the family.
“In highschool, I began playing around with tablets and alcohol,” she mentioned. “I had loads of darkish days in highschool, the PTSD was so dangerous and different psychological well being points, that I couldn’t go to sleep till 4-5 within the morning, then I needed to stand up at 7 to go to highschool. It confused me out to the purpose that my senior 12 months, that I couldn’t have two full days in class with out coping with a difficulty. My junior and senior years have been fairly darkish, and I don’t actually bear in mind it.”
One way or the other, she was in a position to grow to be an all-state basketball participant, changing into Hamilton’s all-time scoring chief.
Presents started to pour in for basketball scholarships, but it surely was one thing Overbeek couldn’t cope with on prime of the whole lot she was going via.
It might solely worsen.
‘Definition of madness’
Overbeek prevented faculty, as a substitute began working, however addition was too robust of an adversary.
“Issues bought actually dangerous,” she mentioned. “I met some mates that weren’t one of the best influences. I began smoking weed day by day, together with the tablets. Then I began experimenting with different issues like cocaine, acid and Xanax. I used to be utilizing each single day.”
Habit’s grip tightened with each use.
“After two years, I used to be utilizing closely day by day till I blacked out,” Overbeek mentioned. “I wasn’t speaking to my household on the time. Then the psychological well being points grew to become worse. I had 4 suicide makes an attempt that landed me within the hospital from overdoses on tablets. I went into the hospital 11 instances inside two years.
“I had a very dangerous overdose in Detroit. My coronary heart stopped and so they needed to convey me again to life. I lastly was in a position to admit I had an issue.”
“I used to be in rehab in Florida, then one other that centered on psychological well being. I got here again and began utilizing once more instantly. Then I went to California for an additional rehab. I left and bought picked up on the airport and was excessive within the airport parking zone already.”
Habit’s grip simply wouldn’t let go.
“I simply bought introduced again to life and I went again to it. It was insane,” she mentioned. “That’s the definition of madness. I performed that sport of rehabbing and getting excessive.”
After her sixth rehab stint, Overbeek lastly was in a position to shake the drug use. However one other battle was about to start.
From medication to alcohol
As Overbeek slowly pulled out of the grips of drug dependancy, she nonetheless struggled with psychological well being points and located it laborious to manage.
Her finest good friend overdosed and died.
She then turned to alcohol.
“I began consuming as a result of I wanted one thing. I began consuming actually closely. Get up — drink. Go to mattress — drink,” she mentioned. “I began consuming the minute I wakened. I used to be again dwelling with my household at this level. My mother bought me to confess I had an issue and took me to the hospital. I got here again with a algorithm from my mother and father. They have been answerable for my medicine. I couldn’t depart or have anybody over and somebody needed to watch me always.
“It labored. That was Oct. 13, 2018, and I’ve been sober ever since.”
Serving to fingers
Overbeek mentioned she didn’t need to cease getting excessive as a result of she loved it.
Making it tougher through the darkish days was the group she surrounded herself with.
She was not speaking to her household and was hanging round different addicts.
These mixtures made it extraordinarily troublesome for her to confess to herself that she had an issue.
It began with pushing individuals away.
“Nov. 7 of her junior 12 months, it got here out about her abuse. We didn’t actually know what was occurring,” mom Leane Overbeek mentioned. “Then we really feel responsible wanting again as a result of we should always have seen the indicators. We now have individuals say that on a regular basis to us, asking how might we not know. Freshman 12 months of highschool, we tried to speak to her about issues after she threatened suicide in class, and that was a nightmare. Sophomore 12 months, I had CPS referred to as on me. CPS discovered it was false. Her senior 12 months, I had somebody inform me I ought to kill myself as a result of I wasn’t value something as a father or mother. I had a nervous breakdown after that each one occurred.”
Leane mentioned she felt helpless and alone attempting to do what was finest for Ashley.
“Rehab isn’t a remedy. It’s a instrument that helps them. But when they don’t seem to be prepared to get that assist, it’s not going to matter. Every time, she introduced extra again from there. I would like mother and father to know you need to assist. Persons are beginning to notice that these things is going on. I needed to undergo it alone, however you don’t should,” Leane mentioned.
Slowly the bridge was constructed from either side.
Overbeek was dwelling with roommates and bought kicked out due to utilizing. She went to stay along with her grandparents.
“They have been very affected person and understanding and we had an ideal relationship,” she mentioned. “However I nonetheless wasn’t speaking to my mother. We had loads of points going again to highschool.”
No household holidays, no household dinners. Nothing.
“I believed that we have been past restore,” Leane mentioned.
However she ultimately moved again in along with her mother and father.
Overbeek was nonetheless consuming on the time till her mother and father confronted her about it.
“Transferring again with my mother and father saved my life,” she mentioned. “It wasn’t simple. It was horrible for some time. I used to be so pissed off they’d a babysitter come and sit with me through the day. I used to be 23. It was so embarrassing. I felt like I didn’t want a babysitter — however I did. I actually, actually did. It saved my life.”
Whereas she was reconciling along with her mother and father, one other key issue was put into place.
“I discovered God,” she mentioned. “I had a second within the hospital after they have been doing a church service on a Sunday. I felt this sense, this calming feeling that I had by no means felt earlier than letting me know issues have been going to be OK. My mother and I bought baptized collectively.”
Overbeek started to go to church reconcile along with her household and frequent Alcoholics Nameless conferences. “I needed to construct relationships once more. All of these mates I believed I had, left and I needed to begin over,” she mentioned. “I misplaced all of my mates.”
In the meantime, her boyfriend, Austin, who was additionally an addict, bought sober with Overbeek.
“He has been an enormous piece as a result of he noticed me at my darkest, and now right here,” she mentioned. “My household has simply been an enormous assist.”
“By the grace of God, we’ve got gotten via this,” Leane mentioned. “Don’t hand over in your youngsters and don’t hand over on your self.”
What might have been
After a dominating profession in two sports activities in highschool, the longer term in athletics was vibrant.
Overbeek might’ve performed basketball or soccer at a high-level faculty — or each sports activities.
However her profession ended up being the primary casualty of addition.
“I do know what I missed. I give it some thought on a regular basis. It breaks my coronary heart. I watch loads of sports activities, and know I might have performed that,” Overbeek mentioned. “I take into consideration the place I might have been. I might have been on a crew with focus and making mates for all times with a school scene. I simply have a lot remorse that it eats me up.”
Overbeek doesn’t need anybody else to undergo a scenario like hers. A very powerful factor is talking up.
“It’s OK to have psychological well being points, and should you communicate out, individuals can assist you,” she mentioned. “That took me a very long time.”