- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Susanne Johnson
Amy had her first drink in high school at about age fourteen. Back then, it didn’t seem like an issue. Looking back, she can see that it was already overboard, but she didn’t realize it at the time. Cocaine came in the picture in her twenties, and a long road of suffering happened before she got clean and sober almost six years ago. Today Amy is 42 and has not only used her second chance, but put it completely into the service of others, who still suffer.
Legal troubles put Amy into prison for a 19 month duration. Before prison, she did not drink much, so she did not have to undergo a harsh detox behind bars, but the mental detox from the cocaine was still something she remembers. A couple of months before her case happened she told someone that she believed she might have a problem with substance use– she was already aware of her addiction. She lost her job during her time in jail and had a serious break with her daughters, who were very angry about the whole situation. She didn’t not see her daughters or speak to them for 22 months..
Amy finished a 500 hour rehabilitation program after her incarceration. “I finally grew up and became and adult,” she says. After returning home, she founded a non-profit with the idea in mind to help other women who are in her same situation. She runs a second-hand store that works as a vehicle for the non-profit and raises some of the money that is needed to keep the effort going. It also provides a room, serving as a women’s center and as a safe environment for women in recovery. It helps them to dress and prepare for their job hunting efforts after going through prison and initial sobriety. It helps women to get back on their feet, what ever it takes.
Today, Amy has completed an interventionist training and is now certified in recovery coaching and loves the people she comes in contact with. “Giving back keeps me sober. I have changed through my recovery and became a totally different person,” she states.
“I have no regrets.” states Amy, “God had a plan for me and where I am today.” She is excited about her relationship with her daughters today, and that it not only got restored but is now even better than before. Amy is now 42 years old and her daughters are 23 and 16. She believes that her children deserve a sober mom and she is proud that she can give that to them today.
She understands the importance of exercise in a long-term recovery and hosted a 5K with her non-profit to raise awareness and to encourage people to live healthy and active lifestyles. She mentions that she is very cautious about her lifestyle today, that she does things in moderation instead of excess and is careful about which people she spends time with. She was a people-pleaser her whole life and spent her time looking for other people’s approval. She knows today that she cannot do that anymore. She states, “I have choices today in my life and I’m healthy. I don’t need to search for approval anymore and I feel blessed to know the difference.”