I have another success story of an incredibly strong woman who faced the path to recovery and made it through.
I had the honor of meeting this woman through our connection and involvement with Bellis, a non-profit organization providing support for people who have experienced all facets of adoption.
Cassidy Stumm overcame an addiction to alcohol that began in high school as a sophomore, where she recalls drinking at parties and with friends until hitting the blackout stage. Although she only “partied” on weekends here and there throughout high school, college is when her drinking hit the level of heavy.
“I specifically remember a Sunday morning in April 2017," she said. "I had gone out the night prior and was still slightly drunk, full of anxiety, and feeling like crap.
My apartment buzzer started going off, and I panicked. Unexpected visitors always terrified me because of my history of probation or cops coming to my door to either take me to jail for failing my breathalyzer or my friend calling an officer to do a welfare check because she thought something was terribly wrong since I hadn’t answered my phone in a few hours. (I had just passed out drunk and was totally fine).
After a few knocks, I finally heard my mom’s voice 'Cass ...Cass … are you in there?’ I was extremely confused. Why was my mom here? I opened the door and to see my mom, dad, stepmom and stepdad all at the door. Surprise! This is your own intervention.”
While sobriety sounded like a good idea, it also sounded incredibly boring, and she wasn’t convinced it was for her.
Cassidy did not immediately quit drinking after the family intervention, but on June 4, 2017, after learning she was pregnant, Cassidy put the bottle down for good. With the support of family and friends, she completed inpatient treatment.
Cassidy went on to work at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. For her, it was a huge dream to get back into the treatment field where she herself found sobriety. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming, knowing she is working in the recovery field, supporting and helping those who need it most.
While she started in admissions, she recently stepped down to an on-call position because another calling pulled her in a different direction.
Where does her heart and work lie presently? In teaching yoga and group fitness full time. Personally, I have experienced two one-hour sessions, and although my body may disagree, my head says Cassidy’s pull to this field is where she belongs.
“I cannot believe the opportunities that have arisen now that I am not spending my days drunk, hungover or seeking more alcohol," she said. "My energy is unstoppable, and I just feel good. I would not be where I am today if I was still drinking.”
Working hard, achieving her dreams, and sharing her story consumes her waking moments now, but for those who are struggling, she has this advice: “Give yourself some grace. Take deep breaths. Round up your support crew. And take it one day at a time. You will trip, and you may panic some days, but have trust.
"You cannot predict the future, and there is no sense in worrying about it constantly. Stay in the present. You will have hard days, and sometimes you just need to get through the hour or even a minute.
"But, you can do it! You are enough, and in the end, ALL of it was absolutely worth it.”