The Kirkwood Call

Senior Profile: Anna Honningfort

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Senior Profile: Anna Honningfort

photo by Adeline Bray

photo by Adeline Bray

photo by Adeline Bray

Kate Hennessey, sports writer

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Every time Anna Honigfort sits through addiction documentaries in health class, they hit her in a way most other students cannot understand. When Anna first stepped into KHS, she never imagined what the next four years would consist of. Her year-long journey of overcoming addiction was filled of many ups and downs, from losing friends and failing classes to strengthening relationships and becoming clean and sober.

During her sophomore year, Anna met people who drank and smoked marijuana. Soon, she went from drinking and smoking with those friends to failing all her classes. Eventually, she was caught in KHS bathrooms smoking and was punished with a 10-day suspension. Her suspension opened her eyes to the fact that she had an addiction.

“I never wanted to be a part of [doing drugs], and then I met people [who were],” Anna said.

“I was so scared [when I got caught]. I couldn’t believe it was happening. It felt like it was a dream.””

— Anna Honningfort

Noelle Ruiz, senior, has been friends with Anna since they met in a toddler church group. They grew up together through elementary, middle and high school. They work together and even live across the street from one another. Noelle said she felt her and Anna’s friendship straining around sophomore year, and that she was losing her best friend to drugs.

“It all happened so fast,” Noelle said. “When she got suspended from school, I didn’t know how to help her. I stayed by her side as best as I could, but it was a scary time for everyone because we didn’t know what was happening. I’ve never had to deal with that before and [neither had Anna].”

KHS requires students to be sent to rehab if they have been caught with drugs. However, Anna said rehab was not helpful, so she and her mom found a group session of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). In these sessions, members first share what they struggled with throughout the week and then learn healthy methods to cope with their struggles.

“In the beginning, I really didn’t want to be there and I hated it,” Anna said. “I thought it was stupid and I didn’t think it was going to help me at all.”

However, throughout the months she attended, Anna would come to enjoy the DBT sessions as she was taught methods to deal with urges to smoke, rather than just giving her medicine. DBT also helped her communicate with her parents about how she was feeling, which she had struggled with in the past.

“After I went there I was able to tell people how I was feeling,” Anna said. “[DBT] made [me] feel proud that I was answering all the questions [asked in sessions] and I knew I [was] accomplishing something.”

According to Ceci Bodet, KHS support counselor, one in five people will suffer from addiction, no matter their upbringing or financial situation. Bodet is currently working to bring more awareness and conversations about drug overdose to KHS.

“We’ve lost eight current KHS kids or alumni to overdose, so with each new death, more people are affected,” Bodet said. “The trend is going to continue, so we’re going to continue to lose more kids. [And as those affected by overdose goes up], the more likely there is to be some big changes. Until it affects you personally, there’s lots of other things going on in your life to worry about it.”

Anna also struggled with depression through her addiction. She has a semi-colon tattooed on her right wrist to commemorate a widespread movement that encourages those who struggle with mental health to strive for a happier future. Anna said her addictions had a direct effect on her depression.
“When I started smoking weed, all of my depressions seemed to go away,” Anna said. “All my problems floated out the window. DBT helped [me]. [I learned to talk] through all [my] problems instead of using substances. Don’t end your sentence; don’t end your story.”

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