Sheila Brown attended our three-day non-residential program in Winchester, Kentucky, in the summer of 2018 after hearing about it through a friend and fellow drug court alum. Determined to make her recovery from opiate addiction last, Sheila was looking for all the tools she could find to help her maintain her sobriety and keep her on a positive trajectory. After the three-day program, she went on to attend the two-week residential program that fall.
Sheila was a trained cosmetologist when she came through NOSW, but her heart wasn’t really in the work. After losing her licensing permit during her days as an addict, she needed to retake the exam to be able to work professionally as a cosmetologist again. But she no longer found the work rewarding, so summoning the energy to retake and pass a licensing exam was harder each day. Attending the three-day program and working with our staff, Sheila realized her calling was in peer support for those suffering from addiction. So she set out on a new path and now has her “dream job” working to help others overcome their struggles.
Sheila is a project coordinator with Achieving Recovery Together in Winchester. She works with women recovering from substance use disorder and draws on her own experiences to navigate the highs and lows of this work. Some days are tough, but she finds the work fulfilling. “I love my girls,” she says.
She earned a recovery coach certificate and has been accepted to college. She’s not sure what she wants to study, but is leaning toward counseling. She has her own home where her grandchildren often visit, and she’s grateful to her family for supporting her in her ongoing recovery. She says at this point in her life, she’s an open book and that feels good.
“I’ve never been so happy and content with myself,” Sheila says. “I’ve never been so peaceful in my life.”