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Sparks of Hope - Abbigail's Story

Sparks of Hope

Dear Friend,

I'm living the American Dream every day! I have a safe home, a job I really love, and a stable loving relationship. I'm one of the lucky ones and I know it. I am truly, truly blessed.

Nineteen years ago it was hard to believe this life could be mine. I was a single mom making minimum wage. I was struggling to keep it together when everything came crashing down ...

It started with my family who did drugs - smoked pot, took pills, snorted coke - and taught me how to do it. I started using pot and alcohol in grammar school. Somehow I got good grades and graduated high school.

I finished a community college degree but couldn't plan what came next. I married a violent, manipulative man who introduced me to meth because it was a cheap high.

I cleaned up when I had a miscarriage and then got pregnant again right away. I wanted badly to be a good mom. Against the odds, I never picked up meth again. But, I was back to smoking pot by the time my daughter was two.

Before my daughter turned three I escaped her father and took her with me. I got a job in a daycare so I could make a little money. I got a tiny apartment. But I didn't get totally clean. I felt overwhelmed and every day I slipped deeper and deeper into a black hole.

On my daughter's third birthday I started to lose touch with reality and a few days later I ended up in the hospital ... First in the Crisis Center and then committed by the Mental Health Board to the Regional Center.

I was diagnosed with severe depression and atypical psychosis. I was diagnosed with a dual disorder due to my long history of drug use.

After four long months I was to be released. It was just a few weeks before Christmas. I had a little spark of hope that I could start fresh and make things better for my daughter.

But, the world loomed pretty scary. I knew I was going to need help to make it out there. Some things had to change. And they did.

The hospital social worker made a referral. I went to CenterPointe ...

I started working with an outpatient counselor to unpack years of childhood trauma and an abusive marriage. I went to group therapy too.

CenterPointe taught me I was clean even if I took my meds. So I didn't give up the medication I needed even in the face of pressure.

I kept working with CenterPointe staff.

I kept a job. I kept an apartment. CenterPointe made a referral to a parenting class and I kept going. Child Protective Services decided I could keep my daughter and they could close my case.

It wasn't easy. CenterPointe kept me grounded and kept feeding my spark of hope. I started believing I could be more than my past.

Eventually, CenterPointe connected me with Vocational Rehabilitation. I went back to college where I found a future for myself. I found the American Dream in a career in non-profits.

That's my story in a nutshell. Do you want an even shorter version? I went to CenterPointe.

Every day people are coming to CenterPointe with a little spark of hope. Some have such a tiny spark it takes years before it burns bright enough to stay lit on its own.

I can tell you, CenterPointe staff makes the commitment to helping them. As long as it takes. Even if they give up, leave and come back. They need help from you too.

With help from people like you CenterPointe can offer real solutions and real caring: treatment, rehabilitation, case management and housing. Your help provides a comprehensive solution to homelessness, mental illness and addition.

Did I tell you I never had to pay for my services at CenterPointe? What a blessing that was for me. What a blessing it is to the people CenterPointe serves today!

Please share your blessings by making a generous holiday gift to CenterPointe.

You should know CenterPointe receives funding from government grants, state and federal programs. You need to know, these programs can't keep up with the real costs of the quality solutions CenterPointe provides. Your gift is important in meeting the gap.

Between now and the end of the year is our most important time for fundraising. Please make your gift today and help feed the sparks of hope.

Sincerely,

Abbigail Swatsworth
CenterPointe Director of Development

P.S. More than 500 people are working for a better life today as you read this. I make a personal gift every month to help them. Please consider joining our monthly gift club - The Champions Circle - when you make your gift.