I met Sherman Stennis in January of 2014. Mr. Stennis was my first client as a Peer Recovery Coach at Home of New Vision (HNV). I noticed right away that he was on fire for recovery.
Sherman has a history of over forty years in dealing with addiction. It was blatantly obvious that he was ready to change his life style so we immediately started working a viable recovery plan. He would attend a Men’s Group here at the agency that I facilitated, and attend twelve step meetings of his choice throughout the course of the week. Sherman also had an awesome team of HNV professionals working with him which included a therapist, case manager, and other supports (the professionals here at HNV love being around him because he has a very magnetic personality and has a positive impact on everyone he comes into contact with).
During the entire time, he lived in the shelter at the Delonis Center with Continue reading →
My grandmother is 101 years old. Born in 1913, she is the rock star of 101 year olds (of course there isn’t a lot of competition.) She knows how to work hard, how to teach a lesson and how to learn one. She loves God and her church and no one was ever surer of their place in heaven. At 99 years old, she pulled up stakes, left her lifelong home and moved to Michigan without a backward glance. Her stories are rich; peppered with “little house on the prairie” tales about growing up in the rural south during the early 1900’s. One of the most extraordinary features of her extraordinary life is that she has never had a sip of alcohol. That’s because her father ran moonshine when she Continue reading →
Heroin use in our community is becoming an epidemic. Deaths from heroin overdoses are increasing to the point that even those of us who work in addiction treatment are having a hard time keeping track of how many people we are losing to overdose each week. Those who claim that there is not a heroin problem in our county are simply hiding their heads in the sand. There is overwhelming evidence that we have a profound heroin problem in our area. Pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it less true.
Nobody wants to admit that something like this could be a serious concern in our beautiful city of Ann Arbor, much less in a bucolic community like Saline. The problem is, people still think that in order to be a heroin addict you must have chosen to run with an awful crowd or have been raised by abusive parents in the inner city. The fact is: it just ain’t so! These misconceptions make it difficult to believe that the same kid that makes honor roll Continue reading →
Growing up, despite my middle class socioeconomic status, I always felt like something was missing. I would go to school every day just to be tormented and ridiculed. My classmates would say “you’re too fat”, “too ugly”, “gross”, “too tall”, “too stupid”, and the list goes on and on. As a middle school student, I contemplated suicide more than one time because I never felt like I belonged. I wanted to fit in, but always felt like a square peg in a round hole. My family was loving and supportive but I always thought that they had to be because we were related. I would think, “If I could just get one friend then I would be happy.” I found out later that these thoughts and feelings would prove false, as it was not just friendship I was looking for. Something else was missing. Continue reading →
When you think of a woman with an alcohol or drug addiction, what words come to mind? Some people, including addicts, use descriptions like: “crackhead”, “junkie”, “barmaid”, “lazy”, “useless”, and the list goes on and on. Ten times out of ten, if you asked a woman with an addiction if they were happy with what they were doing to – insert family, friend, job, etc. – their honest reply would be “no”. So why then do they allow themselves to be defined by this hurtful and hateful terminology? One word: Stigma. In society, addiction can still be seen as a moral issue or a choice that the individual is making. It is not seen as a disease that manifests itself in so many ways and across so many aspects in a person’s life. Continue reading →