Thursday, October 27, 2005


Cindy Found “A Way Out”

My name is Cindy and I have a twelve year old daughter and a five year old daughter. I was born in Corinth, Mississippi where as a child I was active in church and was a Girl Scout.

My family of origin was dysfunctional and unstable with my parents arguing and fighting a lot. Sometimes I would be afraid to get out of bed. When I was in the third grade we moved from Corinth to Memphis. It was just a couple of years later that my parents divorced.

When I was thirteen, I began experimenting with drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, and sex. I had a steady boyfriend and we went to concerts and parties where we partied hard with our other friends. In my search for my own identity, I tried it all. I was; “prep”, a “punk rocker” and a “metal head” and I could never seem to figure out where I fit.

When I turned eighteen, I moved out of my mother’s home and moved in with a guy, who I met to purchase a joint. I had known him for one whole day. He eventually introduced me to hard drugs. At this point, I didn’t stay high all the time, but I did my share of partying hard.

After living together for two years we got married and shortly thereafter moved to Florida. I started topless dancing in Florida to pay our bills until I got pregnant with my oldest daughter. By the time she was born, I had all I could take of the drugs and my husband. I wanted a better life for my daughter.

I moved back to Memphis and lived with my mother and filed for a divorce. This was a relatively good period for me as I didn’t do any drugs and I managed to get my GED and start college. My baby and I moved into our own apartment where we lived for two years and then I purchased my first home.

About three months after purchasing my home, I discovered that I was pregnant and my boyfriend moved in with me. I actually contemplated abortion, but somehow the Lord kept me from doing that. My boyfriend and I had job changes, my relationships and habits continued to change and I relapsed losing everything.

With basically just the clothes on my back, my children and I moved in with my mother. Shortly after moving in with her she took custody of my children. Between binges, I would try to get well. I prayed for God to take it away or let it take me. I didn’t have the guts to kill myself. I tried a couple of different long-term hospitalizations and out patient facilities, but within a few months after discharge I would end up using again. I would tell my mother I was going to an AA Meeting and go buy crack. I left my children frequently with my mother and I would stay gone for days and eventually months. I ultimately got into prostitution and I lost all hope for recovery. I was just wandering around, dead on my feet, mostly unconscious of the world around me. I really wanted to die!
I was arrested in Arkansas for drug paraphernalia. While I was incarcerated, my mother called Citizens for Community Values of Memphis and spoke with Carol Wiley, Director of the “A Way Out” Program. Carol came with my mother to the jail in West Memphis, AR and interviewed me to see if I was serious enough about my recovery to enter the AWO Program. This was the first time I had ever heard of this program, but I was ready to make some drastic changes in my life.

This decision didn’t come easy. It took my being arrested and getting so sick while in jail that I had to be moved to solitary confinement. While in solitary, I picked up the AA Blue Book and the Bible. It was here I began to pray and write letters to try and make amends with all of my family.

Carol deemed that I was a good candidate for “A Way Out” but that I also needed to be in a residential program. She referred me to a program that AWO partners with and I lived there for almost two years, working both programs. During this two year period, I have managed to get my life back on track.

“A Way Out” has provided me with a mentor, individual counseling with a professional counselor, parenting classes, financial management classes, Bible classes, and many other Biblically based recovery classes on boundaries, self-esteem, and other addiction related issues. I have truly matured and grown in faith in God and in myself.

AWO has met many practical needs for me and my children like clothes, groceries and gas. I have been given an automobile which was donated to me through AWO. I have not had to worry about anything, but working on my recovery and becoming a better mom.

As for being a better mom, I went through months of custody battles over my oldest daughter and finally God made provisions which enabled me to regain custody. CCV’s “A Way Out” Program made this possible by providing me the legal representation I needed to get my child back. They paid every dime. I now have full custody of both my children and I love spending time with them and being a mother. My family has been restored.

My mentor, counselor and Carol have been and are still being a blessing to me. That talks to me and offer godly advice, which wasn’t always what I wanted to hear, but they always have the right answers.

I graduated from the residential program in March of 2005 and moved into a house in May. Everything in my home was provided to me through the generosity of donors of both the programs. I am still active in the transitional phase of CCV’s “A Way Out” Program and attend weekly Growth Group with them and I am beginning to lead the group some of the time. AWO is still helping me financially on an as needed basis, giving me time to adjust to being on my own and to reach a salary level that will enable me to be totally independent. I am active in my church and I am still growing as a woman, a mother, an employee, and a citizen. I have seen God work miracles in my life, too many to mention.

I know I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the love, support and acceptance that I received in CCV’s “A Way Out” Program. I thank God everyday for what He has done in my life and my children’s lives.

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