GNA Success Stories – Nicole Kinney

Get to know Nicole Kinney and her inspiring story

“I grew up in a low-income household. My mother worked and my father drank. I was usually left to my own devices. In high school, I got heavily into drugs and alcohol. By seventeen, I was addicted to and helping to manufacture methamphetamine. By twenty, I was shooting heroin and smoking crack daily. I lost myself. I always wanted great things, but didn’t know how to achieve them. I didn’t think I could. It wasn’t till I was broke, homeless, and dopesick at 22-years-old that I went to rehab. Fast forward to now: I broke the stigma. I haven’t put a drink or drug into my body since Aug, 31st. 2016. I have a daughter who is the light of my life. My mother is proud of me and no longer worrying about my well-being. I went to trade school and got my CNA. At 27, I bought my first home all by myself. I’m living proof that recovery is possible. That the children of addicts and alcoholics aren’t destined for doom. We do recover.

Being in recovery, I am constantly in service. I try my best to be available to the addict still suffering. Also, as a CNA, I am a full-time caregiver to 18 elderly people with dementia. Now, as hard as those days are, no matter how many times I get hit, having a family member cry tears and hug me with so much gratitude and saying “thank you” is enough to let me know I’m doing something right.

I’d like people to know it gets better. Just hold on for another day. I promise things will get better.”

Nicole Kinney, 2012
Certified Nursing Assistant