Resolana: Sherri's Story
“We can’t keep what we have until we give it away. I feel most close to God when I’m helping someone.”Sherri Stidham
It took four tries for Sherri Stidham to achieve sobriety. There were two stays in the Resolana trauma and addiction treatment program at the Dallas County Jail, an additional stay at a rehabilitation facility and a final relapse that pushed her into a recovery group. Now 4 ½ years sober, Sherri is successfully employed, attending college and sponsoring others on their own journey to sobriety.
The daughter of an alcoholic who eventually died from the disease, Sherri was smoking weed and drinking from her early teens. At 19, she started using harder drugs, cocaine and ecstasy. She later moved in with a man who was a meth and heroin addict. Although she eventually pushed him out for his violent behavior, she started using meth on her own. “I began spiraling out of control,” she said. “I got to where I couldn’t stop.”
Supporting her habit led to other crimes. Her first arrest for credit card fraud was also her first introduction to Resolana, the program run by Volunteers of America Texas. “Someone told me about it and said I could read books, do art projects,” she said. “I really liked it because I am a rule follower.” This trip to the program was short-lived and she soon bonded out. But one month later, new charges sent her right back. This time she was in for a year.
“It was a transforming and healing environment for me,” Sherri said, citing the trauma that surrounds a drug-addicted lifestyle. “When I got to Resolana, I found a safe place.” All the things she heard were true. Yoga classes, art classes, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, volunteers who came in and told their stories. One in particular, Mandy, was especially impressive, letting the women know she was in AA but they were welcome to come even if alcohol was not their problem.
After getting out, she went to a court-mandated rehabilitation program but relapsed in 2017. When she finally got sober, she showed up to one of the many substance abuse groups available. “I walked in the first time and saw Mandy!” she said. “She and I are good friends to this day.”
Throughout the journey, it was what she learned in Resolana that made the difference. “So many things (program Director) Lesley Mohney taught me fundamentally changed me,” she said. “I didn’t go in with the intention to change. But the things they taught, when I was ready to change, I could pull from what I’d learned. They planted the seed; it took some watering and grew into actual knowledge I use to this day.”
A bakery worker, Sherri is four classes from an associate degree in computer science. She lives happily in an apartment with her dog and cat. And like many who have taken this journey, there’s more. “I go to my AA meetings,” she said, “and I also sponsor four women. We can’t keep what we have unless we give it away; I feel most close to God when I’m helping someone.”