Cyndi's Story

‘Giving Extra’ By Helping Others Heal: Cyndi’s Recovery Story

Cyndi was 18 years into her recovery journey when she relapsed. She had a beautiful home, a teenage son and had built a wonderful life for herself.

“Your addiction is always doing push-ups, even when you’re not using,” she said.

Today, Cyndi is our Intake Supervisor at The GateHouse. But, before working with us, she was a client in our Residential Extended Care program. She’s one of the many members of our team who has seen the recovery journey from both sides and knows exactly where our clients are when they take that first step into treatment and towards recovery.

Her journey to get here, however, has been anything but easy.

From Relapse to Rehab to The GateHouse

After her relapse, Cyndi went from living in her suburban home to the streets of Philadelphia. She was victimized and experienced unimaginable traumas. Miraculously, she made it back alive.

At that point, she went in and out of multiple detox programs but couldn’t get clean. After trying over and over again, she knew she needed more support.

Cyndi set out to get clean for good and enrolled herself into an addiction rehabilitation program. At the end of the program, she knew she couldn’t go back home.

“There’s no shame like the shame of using after you’ve gotten clean,” she said. “I was so broken. I broke my parent’s and my son’s hearts in unthinkable ways.”

After leaving rehab, Cyndi knew she couldn’t go home and, needing longer-term support, she made the decision to apply to the Residential Extended Care program at The Gatehouse.

“When I found out I was accepted to the treatment program at The GateHouse, I gave my parents power-of-attorney and they sold my home,” she said. “I owned that home for 20 years, but when I left for treatment, I knew I could never go back.”

The GateHouse Gave Cyndi the Time She Needed to Heal

Cyndi describes her time at The GateHouse as both challenging and healing.

“Being at The GateHouse gave me time to heal,” she said. “It wasn’t easy. But, it forced me to take responsibility for my life. I also met some incredibly strong and supportive people, including two of my now-coworkers, Kristi and Kendrick. The three of us went through treatment together and provided a support system for one another.”

Cyndi said her counselor at The GateHouse was wonderful, as well.

“She was patient, understanding and she listened,” Cyndi said. “At that point, my son wasn’t speaking to me. I was still broken in so many ways. It was in her office one day that I called my son and he picked up. He spoke to me. I just collapsed in tears and she stayed with me through it.”

After her time in The GateHouse’s Residential Extended Care program, she transitioned to an intensive outpatient treatment program. She found a job, moved into an apartment, and began to rebuild her life.

“After treatment at The GateHouse, I went from owning a 4-bedroom home to living in a small apartment and riding the bus to work,” Cyndi said. “It was humbling. And, it ultimately saved me.”

Cyndi’s Recovery Journey Brought Her Back to The GateHouse – this Time, to Help Others Heal.

Today, Cyndi oversees all Residential Extended Care and GateHouse Transitional Living intakes. She makes sure that the right candidates are placed in the right level of care for that individual.

“I know how much courage it takes to live in Residential Extend Care and transitional living – how much courage it takes to commit to getting clean,” she said. “I want to make sure I’m placing our clients into the right treatment and living environments and giving them the best chance to be successful.”

Getting clean takes everything you have, Cyndi said.

“When I first speak with a potential client, I do something called ‘motivational interviewing,’” she said. “I talk to them to see how stable they are and gauge their willingness to put in the work that recovery takes. Are they willing to ride the bus every day? Are they willing to share their emotional pains? Are they willing to start over?”

Most of the time, when people relapse after a long period of being clean, it’s very difficult for them to return to recovery, much less treatment.

“I like to think I inspire people like me to find the courage they need to come back to life and live again.”

Our incredibly strong team at The GateHouse gives everything they have to support our mission and put our clients on a path toward lifelong recovery.

During this year’s Extraordinary Give, please join us in ‘Giving Extra’ to our community members as they embark on their journey to recovery and to living healthy, purposeful lives.

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