Strength comes in all shapes and sizes. Strength can be found in everyone. And no one knows that better the Seneca-Cayuga’s own, Cynthia Lynn.  

Ms. Lynn has navigated herself through rougher seas than most people may ever experience. Her journey is one of courage, resilience, and hope. And one that serves as an inspiration, especially to those dealing with addiction, either themselves or with a family member.  

If she didn’t have the courage to tell her story, you may be able to tell that Cynthia herself struggled with addiction. That she went through years of pain, fear, and psychological imprisonment. Because these days, she carries herself with confidence, strength, and pride in who she is.  

Cynthia made the decision to free herself from addiction back in 2017. “I had just lost everything. I almost lost my life,” she said during an interview. “I had experienced so many close encounters with death, and seen some very bad things in life that enough was enough.” 

That’s when she decided to quit cold turkey, a true testament to her strength. Of course, she didn’t do it alone. Ms. Lynn credits support from her family, her faith in God, SNC, and a non-profit called “Peace at Home” as major factors in her recovery.  

Slowly but surely, she began to pick up the pieces. She started in a shelter with her kids. Within three month, and with help from others, they had their own place. She was fortunate to experience the greatest side of humanity—kindness—after experiencing the worst. She was able to rebuild a beautiful life. 

Since overcoming her addiction, Cynthia has focused on raising her family as a single mother, and getting her social sciences degree in Youth/Family Services and Business Administration. She is aiming to graduate in December of 2023. After that, her goal is to focus on women and children that are involved in domestic violence and human trafficking. Ideally, she would love to work with SCN or another native tribe.  

Her desire to work with the Tribe stems from her pride in being Seneca Cayuga. It’s something she also tries to instill in her five children. “I’ve always taught my kids about our heritage,” she said. “I take them to Pow-Wows. We went to the Christmas Carnival. It was amazing. It was so nice to finally put faces to names.”  

But more importantly, she wants to teach her children who they really are. She wants to help keep tribal heritage alive. If we don’t “they’re going to lose out on some much. They’re not going to know the stories that come through the bloodline. Who was who. The Tribal Heroes.”   

Whether she knows it or not, Cynthia is now one of those heroes. Her story is not just about overcoming addiction. It’s about the human spirit’s incredible capacity for resilience, and the power of faith and determination to transform lives. A reminder that no matter how dark things may seem, there is always a way forward if we are willing to keep fighting.  

As she puts it, “It’s never too late to change your life. Don’t ever doubt yourself, or how strong you can be. One flicker of faith can move mountains… I used to cry because it hurt to talk about it. And now I cry because I’m happy I overcame it. They’re tears of joy. It feels good to tell my story.” 

Well, to Cynthia we say: It feels just as good to hear it.

For those struggling with addiction, help is available:

SCN Substance Abuse Program (SAP)  

Peace at home

SAMHSA’S National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357