TNTOGETHER
ENDING THE OPIOID CRISIS

Lifeline Peer Project Coordinator Shares Her Story

Nov 12,2018

My name is Dianne Sherrod and I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I took my first drink at age 13 and my first drug at age 30.
What is my life like today? Today I get to help people just like me. People who struggle with drug addiction. People who have lost their freedom because of bad choices they made while impaired. People who have lost children and families because they made promises they could not keep. People who trusted their doctor and didn't know about the dangers of continued opiate abuse. People who are baffled and confused because their loved one can't stop using. People who felt unworthy because they tried and tried but just could not stop. People who have felt fierce judgment from their stigmatized, uneducated and uninformed neighbors. People just like me.

I spend my days sharing my experiences with others. I listen to their struggles and I get to say, "I know exactly how you feel because I have been where you are and I know a way out." Working for the Lifeline Peer Project is the greatest job in the world. I get to offer hope to inmates who are incarcerated and need treatment. Often times, I suggest other alternatives to sitting in jail like the Day Reporting Center or Recovery Court. I get to see the joy in the hearts of their families when they are finally reunited clean and sober. I meet new people everyday raising awareness and educating them on the stigmas associated with substance use disorder. I offer resources and solutions to loved ones who might be suffering. But the best part of my job is that I get to remind people that they are good moms, dads, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters and most importantly...They are WORTHY OF ALL GOOD THINGS!

I’ve been clean and sober since September 9, 2003 by the favor and grace of a merciful God and a 12-step program. On that day I was ordered to treatment by a very frustrated judge who had seen my face one time too many. I weighed 75 pounds and near death. I regained a relationship with God that slowly recreated and restored every meaningful relationship in my life; most importantly, the relationship with my son whom I left when he was 10 years old. I now have 5 beautiful granddaughters that spend every weekend with their Dede and they have never seen me impaired. I was lucky enough to live in a city that provided 12-step meetings daily. Unfortunately, that is not always the case for people who live in rural areas and small towns. I’m pretty sure I would have been dead in a short time if it hadn’t been for that judge who ordered me to treatment and later, 12-step meetings.

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