Mindy’s journey from addiction to finding sobriety through God.
For many years, Mindy lived a life of drug and alcohol addiction, which kept her far from God and prevented her from being the mother her children deserved…until she found the Christian Enhancement Program at Volunteers of America. Here is her story:
Mindy raced home from middle school eager to tell her parents the good news: she had been elected president of her class! However, when Mindy arrived at her house, she saw a moving truck in the driveway. With no prior notice or opportunity for goodbyes, Mindy and her mother left West Virginia and moved to Wyoming. Her parents told her they were divorcing. 14-year-old Mindy was torn from the life she’d always known, and she felt broken and alone.
Lost and overwhelmed, Mindy responded with rebellion. Her new friends introduced her to the party scene, which started her 15-year journey with addiction. She flew under the radar, getting straight As in school while hiding her drug and alcohol use.
Her home life grew more difficult, and Mindy wanted to escape. Mindy moved out and got her own place at the age of 16. She was still in school, working full-time, and paying her own rent. She felt happier living on her own, but continued using drugs and alcohol to numb her trauma and fit in with her “friends”.
She graduated high school and had her first daughter. When her daughter was four, they moved to Laramie, Wyoming and Mindy started college, hoping to build a more promising future for her and her daughter. She was going to school, raising her daughter on her own, and working as a bartender.
She felt as though she was doing everything right… but she was still actively using drugs and alcohol. Mindy was able to camouflage her addiction with her job as a bartender – drinking often, doing cocaine on the weekends, and smoking marijuana before class.
“I was getting into messy situations because of my lust for cocaine”, Mindy stated.
Amidst her addiction and being a single mother, Mindy worked hard to complete her undergraduate degree and begin law school. After successfully graduating law school, she landed a job as a lawyer and dove headfirst into a promising career.
She felt like nothing could stop her, until it did. Her drug use escalated to regularly using meth. She explained, “Meth was a better high for a cheaper price, so cocaine and marijuana were no longer necessary for me.”
Mindy’s life crumbled – her license to practice law was suspended, she obtained criminal charges, lost custody of her youngest child, and her home was foreclosed.
“I felt like I lost everything that mattered to me” she stated, “and I knew it was because of my addiction.”
In hopes of putting the pieces of her life back together, Mindy occasionally attended AA meetings, but with no accountability. She even attempted treatment, hoping that something would ignite her recovery, but nothing was working.
One day, Mindy and her eldest daughter got into a physical altercation with one another, and this is when she knew she needed help. She prayed to God for guidance. The very next day her daughter drove her to treatment at Volunteers of America.
During the first few weeks of treatment, Mindy struggled to take accountability for her actions and questioned if she could continue. Mindy was mad at God and hesitant to start the Christian Enhancement Program, until one night she had an awakening during a conversation with one of her Group Leaders. In this moment, she prayed to God for forgiveness and guidance. This is when she decided to begin her journey in the Christian Enhancement Program.
“This is truly when my life began. I started working the program like my life depended on it – because it did”, she stated.
During her time in the program, Mindy attended Bible studies, absorbed information from daily classes, and wrote in her journal. She finally felt connected to God again, and was ready to take on her life clean and sober through the tools she learned during her time in the Christian Enhancement Program.
“I saw myself changing. I felt it in my heart for the first time since my addiction started” she explained, “I hadn’t liked myself in a long time, and I was finally starting to.”
Mindy let God back into her heart and took her sobriety seriously. Her walk with Christ during her time at VOA transformed her life. She felt like she was finally becoming the woman that God wanted her to be.
She stated, “I’m not running the show anymore, I’m letting God run the show.”
She successfully graduated from treatment and celebrates five years of sobriety this month, April 2023. Mindy is now the President of Recover Wyoming in Cheyenne, helping guide others on their path to clean and sober living.
She is also working as a lawyer again, which she questioned if she would ever be able to do. In fact, she is working alongside the very attorney that prosecuted her while she was using drugs and alcohol. She explains, “God has guided me in every step of my recovery, and He led me to the opportunity to practice law again.”
Her life has truly come full circle because of the support and guidance that she received at VOA.
“I felt lost for so many years. Now I am empowered. The world has opened its doors to me, it’s so full of opportunities” Mindy expressed, “VOA will always have such a special place in my heart because it forced me to take a look at myself and helped me find my way back to God.”