Although Cydney is unable to write and send me her blog posts (due to rules about communicating on social media while in her rehab program), we have decided we will keep this going per our conversations. I’ll be writing it, but it will be subjects Cydney has decided she thinks are important to share. So, how did her first 45 days go?
She was ready to do this. She had completely made up her mind it was time to get sober and change her life as is apparent in her previous writings to me and posted here and on her facebook page….she was ready to fight. She still is, but it hasn’t been easy.
No longer is she trying to trick the system, looking for way to control her drug use and keep her self submersed in the lurid lifestyle of the streets and addiction….however, the new behaviors she once knew but lost, haven’t come back to her as easily as she would have liked.
The house she lives in is a beautiful old Spanish style Santa Barbara abode. Three stories mark the front house which has an office a large combined living/dinning space complete with a large fireplace. A spacious kitchen literally straight out of an era long gone by, yet very functional. The back house is separated from the front house with a wonderful patio/courtyard filled with mature landscaping of beautiful flowers and comforting shade trees. The back house has a TV room and an art room as well as an office for computer/vocational training. There is also a room for prayer, bible study and daily devotionals. Although the religious aspect may not be my cup of tea or even really hers, a spiritual disconnection to a higher power is one of the things almost all addicts experience and reconnecting is integral to(and herself) recovery. So, the religious aspect of this program….or any… is invaluable.
Sounds like a beautiful place to land yourself when looking for an option for recovery, right? A block from walkable State street and a mile from the beach? Great! Even if she really can’t partake in these sights as of yet, what a fabulous place to live, regardless of if it’s because you are fighting for your sobriety. What’s the problem you ask? Well, of course it’s been with acclimating herself to living by normal societal rules, i.e waking up in the morning, getting dressed and starting her day as well as being respectful of others (and herself) by not using vulgar and/or offensive language such as the F word….her favorite and mine! Very difficult! In fact so difficult Cydney found herself facing removal from the program at her 30 day mark. They were willing to work with her, giving her two weeks extended probation to make it work. Her father and I were in a panic that we had to mask. When we asked her “where will you go if you are exited?” she reminded us it would be back to jail….for three years as the Drug court judge had ordered if she were to exit this program early. Ugh!
So, we held our breath, bought her an alarm clock and said multiple prayers for her. Although we see a huge difference in our daughter there is no way she could come home. First, there’s nothing here for her where we live but trouble and second, she has a long, long road to go before she is living outside of a program. This one year will barely be enough for her to move to the next phase of her recovery and living in sobriety. So, we prayed as this program was the best hope we’d had in years….and Cydney completely agreed. She said there was no way she’d let her self ruin this. She was no longer willing to let life dictate her and then blame it on everyone else. She was taking responsibility for her actions (the only thing she has control over) and make it through, and make it she did!
I can’t tell you how proud we are of her. I know, how far the standard has fallen for what we find pride in with her accomplishments. But seriously you have no idea what a huge accomplishment it is that she is now up everyday as she should be, showered and dressed ready for the day, putting forth a full day of productivity. As apposed to the dark of night she lived in for so many years…literally up all night and sleeping 13 hours a day (when she slept). Talking to her is so much more pleasant when she is forced to use her vocabulary (which has always been quite extensive) instead of filling in her thoughts with experlatives that lessen the impact of the words and ideas she is trying to convey. I’d dare say it’s a miracle in our eyes, as we were sure we had completely lost her to the life she had been living. With just these two items under control, we see a very bright future. She’s there, completely present in her life! The best result of these accomplishments is she is proud of herself. That, is priceless.
So what does someone like Cydney do when her mind is her own again and she is faced with a problem that needs solving? One that not only effects her life, but those around her she has come to care about? She comes up with a solution. That’s the Cydney we know and just what she has done.
The food budget, you can imagine, is low. To feed the 12 girls in the program they buy inexpensive food which is high in preservatives and low in nutritional value. Frozen food and quick, easy meals are the staples, not fruits and vegetables. This isn’t the program’s fault as they do what they can with the funding they have. However, everyone knows the healthier the body the healthier the mind and the better for recovery and sobriety. I gave Cydney a Better Homes and Garden book of gardening herbs and vegetables in her Easter basket and a light bulb went off. Cydney asked for permission to build planter boxes and grow their own produce and berries! She asked her dad and I to foot the bill! Fortunately a few in my community have responded to this idea and are willing to help out and this weekend we will be headed to her program and helping the girls erect there own vertical palette garden! Way to go Cyd! So very proud….again! Life is all about finding solutions and doing for yourself. The girls aren’t expecting a hand out, they are taking the initiative to grow the food themselves in an effort to better their own lives! WOW! That’s huge on so may levels, not to mention the skills they’ll all cultivate in growing this garden. Kudo’s to them. My husband and I will help any of this type of initiative these girls show. I feel a little bad, because I never thought to reach out to community programs like these before my child was part of one. I should have. But, coulda, shoulda, woulda….I’m doing it now.
The next year holds a lot in store for both Cydney and us as a family. Next week the four of us (my son included) will spend 2 hours together for Mother’s Day. The first in many years passed. I can’t wait to tell you how that goes.
The message Cydney hoped to convey here would be that anything is possible when you take responsibility and control of your actions. It is only yourself who holds you back. I like that message as I think it may resonate with anyone who is reading this. Stay tuned as we have so much more to share and as always, thank you for your support of Cydney and our family!
**ONE A SIDE NOTE. WE HAVE RECEIVED REQUESTS FOR CYDNEY AND I TO VISIT SCHOOLS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. SHE WON’T BE ABLE TO DO THAT UNTIL DECEMBER UNLESS IT’S IN THE SANTA BARABARA AREA. I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WILL WORK BUT WE ARE TAKING REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION ON US COMING TO SPEAK. FROM THERE WE WILL WORK WITH ANYONE WANTING US TO COME AND SHARE OUR STORY AND MAKE ARRANGEMENTS AND RESERVE DATES, STARTING IN DECEMBER OF 2017. PLEASE GO TO CYDNY’S SITE TO CONTACT US AND WE CAN BEGIN THE PROCESS TO WORK IT OUT**