Woman Didn’t Know About the 2008 Flood Because of Addiction

Several United Way agencies helped Cindy and she was able to overcome addiction and get her life back on track.. Watch the video for the details.

Kay Fisk:  When you’re a Mom, you’re always a Mom. No matter how old your children are, you always are a Mom.  I found  this the hard way when my daughter become addicted  to drugs.

Cindy’s Story- Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Cindy Johnson: Does everyone remember the flood of 2008?……okay well I don’t.  That is how far I was in  the addiction of the drugs and alcohol.

Kay Fisk: Cindy and I were not only mother and daughter, but we were best friends. So her addiction and her being out of my life, changed my life entirely.

Cindy:  This isn’t something that’s an easy thing to talk about, but it is what happened and it is not who I am, it’s what I did.  And I’ve realized this through getting some help through the different agencies through United Way.  I was homeless at one time.  I have been evicted from every place that I’ve lived in the last 10 years.  I’d been abused and… it was a very very sad lifestyle.  I have alienated myself from my family, and they knew something was wrong, and I was just not able to hide it from them anymore. I spent three years away from my family, with no contact whatsoever, and I called my mom after three years and I asked her for some help.  That was probably the hardest phone call that  I’ve ever made in my entire life.

Kay:  I never lost faith in the fact that I thought at some point she’d be back in our lives again.  When she did come back in our lives, and did start treatment and did begin recovery…it was something for all of us to recover from.  I found out by going to the same treatments that she went to in many cases, that it was a family illness, that it wasn’t just something that affected one person that it actually affected the whole family. And that we all needed to get well, we all needed to know how to cope with Cindy’s illness.  I found out that I had actually enabled her at different times of her addiction by continuing to give her money and listening to things that were lies that I knew where lies, and never confronting her with that.

Cindy is now in recovery and works at some of the same United Way agencies that helped her along the way.

Cindy: Well here we are at ASAC – Area Substance Abuse Council and it’s amazing because just a few short years ago I was a client here, and today I am now employed.  Come on and I’ll show you where I’m at today.  I get to say that I’m in recovery and I have been there since April 1st 2008 and I have a family back and I have a family that is much closer than it ever was.  I have a bank account today which most people think is probably just the norm, but when you don’t work you don’t need a bank account.  For 10 years, I was very very unemployable and today I have more jobs than I do time.  You know what they say about a messy cook? A messy cook is a good cook – and I was a really good cook today!

With help from the United Way Cindy is back on track and spending more time with her family.

Kay: Our relationship is stronger than ever before. We talk to each other on the telephone several times a day about absolutely nothing just as we’ve always done in the past. So I not only have my daughter back, I have my best friend back too.

Cindy: I have my life back. Today I have a life for me. And the best part about my life today is that I’m able to be of service to other people and be able to give back what has been given to me.

United Way services that helped Cindy: 211, ASAC, Abbe Center, Catherine McAuley, Goodwill, HACAP, Iowa Legal AID, NTS, Salvation Army, Waypoint, YMCA.

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United Way of East Central Iowa



Posted in Health, Video

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