Meet Cassie Jones

Meet Cassie Jones, Operations Manager of Ethan Health North in Burlington. With a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling and a 2nd Masters Degree in Christian Studies, she has dedicated her career and her life to helping and loving those who are unable to help and love themselves until they are capable of doing so.

Here is her story:

As a 16-year-old I experienced what it was like to drink until I couldn’t feel anything; I liked that…a lot! I had endured a lot to that point that I did not want to feel. I had been molested, I had experienced alcoholism at a level that I now know is exceptional; however, at that time I thought it was normal. What I did not know and understand was that because my family was so good at drinking, this was also going to make me good at drinking. As I finished high school, I entered a relationship that was the perfect definition of unhealthy. A partner who was addicted to drugs, sold drugs, and enjoyed introducing me to them as well.

Nothing about the relationship was good. I moved in with him and his family as I graduated high school, and started the insanity of what would consume my life for many years to come. I drank, he used; sometimes I used with him, when he was willing to share. Things started to get scary; more and more people were showing up at our home; illegal things were done to get “medicine” that wasn’t needed. I started drinking out of fear. One night at a party, that relationship fell apart as he was arrested after taking a gun and threatening everyone there. I was hidden in a closet at the party because I was underage. After the police left, I walked straight into another broken relationship.

I felt like I had nowhere to go, and was looking for another person to save me. I left that party the next morning with the man that would later be my husband; the relationship that made me the sickest of all. At 19 I was married to a man that was 10 years older than me, enjoyed control, and had the exact opposite interest for his life as I had for mine. So, to cope with that I started to drink more, at that point I felt like I had nothing left to lose.

Abuse became a normal part of my life; physical, emotional, and sexual…but I was still married, so I kept my head down, my mouth shut, and continued to drink to deal with my past and my present. I knew no other way! A couple times I tried to leave; the police came to the house while I was locked in the walk-in closet, but somehow, they always left, and I was always left with my own thoughts, feelings and a bottle; at least the bottle made it all go away eventually. One time when there was an argument there was a gun involved that gun got placed behind my back and was accidentally fired. The shot went through a wall on my side of the bed and for a long time I fell asleep staring at a hole in the wall wondering if I would ever escape the insanity my life had become.

When I turned 21 years old, I did the only thing that seemed logical for me, I became a bartender. This allowed me to do exactly what I wanted. I went to work, I drank; I got off work, went to another bar, continued to drink, ended up on a friend’s couch, and most nights never even made it to my own home. I became reckless and began drinking at work and driving home. This was what I thought life would be like for me. Then I got pregnant; I stopped EVERYTHING! The minute I discovered I was pregnant I never took another drink. Until I gave birth! After that I went back to bartending and it took about 4 days of being back to work before, I was back to drinking. It was amazing to me then and again today as I write this how easy it was for me to walk back into that environment and pick back up where I left off.

I looked into this child’s eyes and I wanted nothing more than for her to be the very thing that saved my life, but there was too much pain in my heart. I continued to find my peace in the bottle…but there was no peace there, only continued chaos.

When that beautiful little girl was 6 months old an old friend called and asked me if I wanted to get together; I explained to him what was going on in my life and he promised me he would help me get out. God started to show up in my life from that very second. My husband was called away to work in a different state and I moved out of the home that we lived in together and started staying with my mom, who helped me with my daughter while I was at work and this friend let me stay with him any other time I could. This gave me the opportunity for the first time to file for divorce without fear. That’s exactly what I did!

My friend slowly started introducing me to a world of recovery, something that I didn’t even understand, I had never met anybody who was truly in recovery, so I wasn’t sure what that looked like for someone who really wanted to get sober. He started showing me. He took me to church and started showing me a different way of living. Inevitably, I drank, and my friend told me that this was my only chance at a life with him and the opportunity to have what he had. He explained to me that this opportunity in my life was not a revolving door and once he was gone, there was no second chances. When I showed back up at his house, I fell into his front door and that’s the beginning of the rest of my life.

February 28, 2009 was the first day of my life of sobriety. I have just over 10 years of sobriety; in that time, I have experienced good, bad, extremely hard, and everything in between. I have become closer to God; and spent most of my time trying to figure out how to be the most effective in helping people learn how to help themselves. So often we live in a world where people have been beat down and no longer believe in themselves, I want to love on people until they learn how to love themselves again. My mission is not just to help the addicted, but to show people how to love.