The following statements were made from our drug court clients.
I really appreciate group with Ms. Nan. It helps to keep me focused on my recovery. I also like the bonding with my fellow group members. Listening, sharing and commenting on each other’s issues makes it feel like family! I have learned a lot in the little time that I have been here and I know that I will learn more to make my life a successful one. The support the group gives to each other is awesome. Some days it’s hard to do because of work and family but I still look forward to coming tired or not.
Today has been a very good day. I had a very peaceful day at work and I woke up this morning and prayed for myself and others. I’m thankful that I’m in Drug Court, I’ve been sober two months today. I look forward to living a more positive healthy life. I’m really looking forward to the weekend, I plan to work out and relax.
I'm very excited about treatment-I’m still having a lot of extremes emotionally but I also have a lot of help and support with these highs and lows. I feel better about myself and have more optimism about getting a sound recovery this time. Although I have been in other programs before I have never felt this good about myself and I'm actually getting it this time. The group as a whole is awesome in the how real it is as a sounding board, honest care for one another, and the support for one another. The Counselors are really good as individuals and also combining for a very strong single front. I feel really good about the whole program and am very grateful.
I feel that my treatment has helped me in many ways since I’ve been here and I’ve gotten my family back and I have a better job. I have gain so much in this program. J just want to say thanks to everyone in this program and express how grateful I am for all of the help and to the staff for being hard on me when I am not doing what I’m supposed to do. I don’t think anything should change.
This treatment is really helping me and not just that also my family also sees a real big change in my actions and my attitude toward a lot of various situations and/or comments. I feel like I’m still in the beginning but when I meet other new comers I see how far I’ve made it and that I’m not alone with this disease. They’re others that help me to just keep pushing. Mrs. Nan is one of the most loving and considerate people because not a lot of people know where we are coming from and I know she does. I think I’ve made it a long way since stepping in this class for the first time and I know my body feels 5x better.
Getting treatment is the best thing that I could have ever done for myself. I came initially to get time off my jail sentence but after being here for 2-3 months I have understood why I needed to be here and why I was self-medicating. I was running because of fear. Fear that I would never line up to meet the expectations that people had for me specifically my Dad. I figured if I was in a haze all of the time I could use that as an excuse to never have to meet those expectations. After understanding that now I know that by being clear headed I have a ton to offer this world and I can exceed any expectations I set for myself. I can now accomplish anything I want and being sober and clean is WAY more fun.
I am from Franklin, TN. My life as a child was great and I had no problems and really nothing to worry about. I have a mother and Father that loves me unconditionally and would give me any and everything that I wanted growing up. I have a sister that was there and we are 11yrs apart. So I had an awesome family growing up for the most part. When I got to my teenage years, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I started getting into trouble at school and being disobedient as a child. When I graduated my cousin, may he rest in peace, showed me something about the “streets” that I fell in love with and that was the drug game and surviving in the streets. He taught me something that haunted me for a long time and I didn’t want to let it go. It had me until I found a new way of life and that was when I got introduce to Drug Court. Drug Court saved my life! I had caught two drug charges that almost messed up my life and I learned how to accept and believe in GOD to help me change my life. Now I’m a two count felon that has a spiritual base and the tools to stay clean and be honest. Drug Court gave me a new start in life and I so much thank the team for that!
Ok, so I believe my story will be similar to most everyone else’s… I had a childhood of abuse and neglect which resulted in resentment and disobedience. Little did I know that that would lead to disrespect and criminal activity. My childhood play activities never included being a drug addict escort on Back Page as I assume yours didn’t either, but at 40yrs old nevertheless this is where I found myself. Doing Drug Court (D.C.) was the last thing I wanted to do on Feb. 2014 and honestly I don’t really remember how it happened, due to my inebriated state. It was my intentions on that day going in front of Judge Moreland that I wanted to die but nothing I could do would fulfil my deepest heart’s desire. Once I finally got sober in D.C., almost 2 months exactly later and was given the gift to move into Phases my desire to die was quickly replaced with the desire to live. Not live “again”…but to live a life that I had never had and to have the courage to even dream about the good life. Through this program, I became unwilling to fail. Day 1 Phase 1, every participant learns to actually set up some goals to succeed, not goals to graduate D.C., because just about any good alcoholic can complete D.C. or flatten their jail sentence. However, D.C. comes to an end and sooner or later they have to let you out of the program. The goals that I set up were simple goals but I believe these goals will be the key to my success long after D.C. I’d like to share them with you now. Get a sponsor, have a schedule, work all 12 steps of AA, sponsor other women in AA and work the 12 Steps of AA, address and Seek Treatment and have my medications regulated, get custody of my son, and save my marriage of 18 years. Today I have completed them and graduated Drug Court.
I have had structure, support, accountability and a urine test randomly that has kept this manipulative mind of mine in check, so that I can’t find a way around manipulating the court system. For this reason I have been sober 422 days. Does Drug Court work? I look at the proof in the evidence. Drug Court has helped me achieve a state of sobriety that I could never comprehend in my before life of addiction.
Drug Court has been a life lesson; it has given me direction and set me on the path where I don’t have to be in the streets anymore. I’ve learned how to adapt to life without the extra curriculum activities that lead me to Drug Court. I can really respect and appreciate the system because I never thought a Judge or group of people on the drug court panel could care so much about lives. I have had a great experience and hopefully can do more with this program after I complete it.
I was born in 1982 and I was raised by my mom and grandparents. Hardly ever was my father around. I lived a very spoiled and sheltered life. My mom being a single mom worked a lot so I was always with my grandparents. I lived with them as well as my mother. I was raised Southern Baptist and was always in church. Although I was sheltered addiction was very much a part of my family. Not only was my Dad battling his addiction more so than ever when I was young, my Uncle was as well. Unfortunately, this disease took my Uncle’s life about 9 years ago. When I was 16 yrs. old I tried marijuana for the first time. I had kids at the age of 20 and 23. I was in and out of their lives up till about 15 months ago. I didn’t use drugs again until I was about 22. After a while weed wasn’t enough and I moved to cocaine, pills and meth. I had been pulled over multiple times and was charged with simple possession. Multiple times I was homeless because I stole from people in my family. I was placed on probation for theft of up to $500 and had been taken to jail. I don’t think that I passed one drug test while on probation. Finally, one night at work I was arrested for violation of probation and spent 15 days in jail. At first I chose Drug Court as a way out of jail but somewhere down the road of recovery I became willing to do what was right in my life. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Drug Court Program has taught me accountability at home and at work. I’ve always been a quitter but Drug Court has taught me that I can fight for what I believe in and have some integrity. I am proud to say that I’m almost 15months clean and couldn’t have done it without Drug Court. I was given a chance by Drug Court when no one else would.
Drug Court has been instrumental in the change, growth and process of me becoming a better human being. I’ve found out more about myself in this past year that I’ve ever known. Helping me get off drugs was only the beginning, finding a new way to live, while deeply enriching the quality of my life is where the major surprise and my infinite gratitude begins. Building a better foundation for my life started with this program. Finding new goals and achieving them, while having a positive impact on others is something I never would have imagined. If someone had told me a year ago, not only will you achieve more success in the things that you’re doing in your life, you’ll stay clean and reach others in the process, I wouldn’t have believed it! Yet, here I stand as proof to myself, that an addict, any addict can lose the desire to use and find a new way to live…the message is Hope and the promise is Freedom.
I grew up a pretty normal kid. I had two great parents that provided me with everything I needed to have a great childhood. I stayed out of trouble for the most part. I played sports in high school and had good friends. Along the way I started partying more often. I liked being “high” and eventually smoking weed became an everyday thing for me. I graduated high school and went to college. My drug use became heavier and heavier resulting in an intense opiate addiction. After college, I moved home and had a hard time holding a job due to mostly my addiction. Eventually, I started stealing to support my habit. Theft charges landed me the option to try Drug Court. I’ve had my bumps along the way but Drug Court probably saved my life. Serious consequences are the only things that got me post thinking that I couldn’t enjoy life sober. My life has come a long way in the last 17 months and I have drug court to thank for that.
I’m not going to stand up here and list all the drugs I have done. I’m not going to list all the bad things I did, in summary I drank and used drugs. I used alcohol and drugs since the age of 13; I did so up until I was 48 years old. I threw away many things, like a full ride to UT for swimming and a career in the music business. I hurt a lot of people and everyone wrote me off, except for my family. 15 months ago I was helpless. When I came into drug court I thought I was another government grant or another budget increase to them, however I was wrong. They really care about me and want the best for me and my family. Like my family they never gave up on me, especially when I gave them every reason to do just that. I would like to sincerely thank Judge Moreland, Mrs. Nan, Mr. Joe, Mrs. Anita, Mrs. Natalie and Samaritan Recovery Community. Through all of this I’ve learned to be accountable. I’ve learned to be honest, open minded, and willing. I’ve learned to be humble, grateful, faithful, and loving. I’ve learned how to be a husband, father and son. Most importantly I have learned to be the man I want to be. I would like to thank God for his love and for his will for me. I know there will be problems in my life but no matter how big they are god is bigger.
I am 35 years old. I went through a lot as an innocent child. When I started getting older I started acting out and seeking attention from anyone but mainly men. A lot of things happened during those years. I couldn't find what I wanted in men so I then turned to drugs. At the age of twelve I was drinking and smoking weed a lot... Doing these drugs I started hanging around different people as my old friends did not want to be around me anymore. I started using cocaine at the age of 18. Within two to three years I was stealing, lying and doing whatever I had to do to support my habit…I went to treatment three different times but I was just not ready. My family had been torn apart by my actions, and my grandfather had gotten sick and was not getting any better. He passed away in July of 2012 and this is when it got a lot worse. I didn't know how to deal with my feelings, and the only thing I knew to do was get high. I got high for every feeling I had: happy, sad, fun, boredom. You name it, and to me it was a reason to get high. In 2014 I started smoking crack and taking Xanax. I woke up in jail and did not remember how I got there. I had assaulted my roommate and boyfriend at the time. Of course this was the first time I had been to jail, so I wanted to get out immediately and I took probation. I could not stay clean and at this point I had started shooting dope and heroin. I violated my probation three times, and Judge Higgins said he was putting my sentence into effect.At this point I was ok with that. I had lost everything: my children, my family, myself, so I asked him if he could please let me get help during this time. I told him how desperate I was to change and how I had been homeless and I needed help. I was scared I was going to die and not be there for my kids. That's when he asked me if I had heard of Drug Court. I hadn't at that time, but I didn't care. I wanted anything different from what I had been doing, so I met with Miss Theresa. I remember she scared the crap out of me, but I was ok. I had a feeling of surrender this time and I knew that things were different. I went to RCI and loved it. I was able to get my license back and just amazing things were happening. I was able to get thru my mom being very sick without using. I started step work and was able to deal with and learn about my feelings. So I moved out in July and put myself right back in harm’s way. Even though I had done a little work and had stayed clean, I wasn't better. I put myself back around old places and friends and ended up getting high again.My point to all this is Drug Court is the best thing that ever could have happened to me. And to be honest that relapse was, too, because it made me understand that I am going to have to deal with being an addict for the rest of my life. If I want to stay clean and be here for my children I have to stay away from old places and friends…Drug Court showed me everything I had to do, and all I have to do now is apply it to my life daily. It wasn't easy at first, but wanting it and knowing in my heart that I don't want to die anymore and that I have so much to live for now, I have been able to change the way I think and feel today. Applying all of these tools that were taught to me has allowed me to change everything. I have my own house, my own car, a job I am respected at. Most important, I have found myself and have my family in my life, and that's truly a blessing.Thank you Judge Mooreland and Lyn for believing in me…and Miss Anita for teaching me these tools and helping me to realize everything doesn't have to be talked about all the time, being that I am an extrovert. I remember she told me she wanted me to get to a point where, when I talked, people listened because they know what I say is important, and I truly believe I am getting there more every day. I also want to thank Miss Theresa, Nan, and Natalie for being part of all this. To everyone on the drug court team has been there for me somehow thru this journey: I am truly grateful for that, thank you.
I’m an addict. I came to the United States at the age of 2. Both my parents and I were living at my grandparents’ house. I remember when I had my first day of school on first grade. I cried and did not want mother to leave me alone in school, but she had to. It took a while for me to get used to the new environment. I felt lonely, scared, and did not know much English at the time. It took me about one year and a half to speak English. There are times when you’ll hear my accent when I pronounce some words. Well, luckily in elementary school, everybody in class was helpful and kind. There was one Hispanic guy that I became good friends with. During the time that I was friends with him in school, we would go to each other’s homes to play video games or watch movies. Our parents would usually take us to the park or go to family reunions together.I did really well in elementary school. But I was overweight from eating a lot. I got really depressed, couldn’t control the way I ate, was having problems at home and at school, and was losing my confidence. My grades started dropping, and my parents would worry. I wouldn’t really explain myself to them. I started lying, telling them that I didn’t have homework, that I did well on the test, and that I was doing well in school. Doing all that lying made me become manipulative and a compulsive liar. I failed every grade in middle school. I had to go to summer school to make all the classes up.By the time I got to high school in 9th grade, I started losing weight, wasn’t eating much, and started smoking weed. I was mostly a quiet guy in school: I didn’t speak much unless spoken to. In 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, I started using ecstasy, inhaling a glue called chemo, becoming a heavy pothead, and using pills and coke. I also started skipping school, getting suspended, breaking and entering houses, and stealing. I was harming my parents without caring. My parents worried all the time about where I was, why I wasn’t in school, and why I had dilated eyes and a skunky smell. All of that led me to not graduating from Antioch High School. That same year, I found a school program at Hickory Hollow Mall called the Academy. When I got there, I stopped using some drugs, but I got into K2. The Academy was much easier than high school. There weren’t many teachers or students. We did work on computers. Every time we had lunch, I would have a joint of K2 ready to smoke. A couple of us would get in a circle and pass it like a blunt. We would only take 2 or 3 hits, and it would leave us stuck and hallucinating.Luckily, I stopped smoking when I graduated on December 14, 2011. It was messing with my head and making me paranoid. Once I got done graduating from The Academy, I got into selling drugs and got addicted to cocaine. Later on, it led me into having probation. Then I violated probation and was on the run. I got caught twice with felony drug charges. My mother bailed me out all the time. I put her in a lot of stress and depression. I got a lawyer and pled guilty to 2 felonies to get into Drug Court.I put my mother thru hell, dragging her thru the things I committed. She’s been there since I started having drug problems, but I never listened to her. I was always ignoring her and mistreating her. Now, in the time that I’ve been in Drug Court, I’ve changed and showed her that I’m a better son now than I was back then, and I’ll keep bettering myself by going to meetings, talking to my sponsor, and doing step work. I want to thank Drug Court for the tools and programs they provided me, and for being a big step in my life.
I am the son of Geraldine and Tyrus, and I am an alcoholic. My family put the (fun) in dysfunctional. Growing up around drug dealers, drug users, pimps, and prostitutes made life very difficult for me. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually abused as a child. I remember always being alone in my room asking God why. Why did he put me in this family where I didn’t fit or belong?By the time I was 13, I had my first buzz from alcohol. I loved the escape from reality that it provided. I didn’t feel any pain when my brothers beat me to a pulp or any emotions when my older female cousin, who was supposedly babysitting me, would show me how to use it. I didn’t care when my dad, who divorced my mom and remarried by the time I was 2, said he was coming to get me and never showed up. The more I drank, the more I felt like I did belong in this family.By the age of 15, I was selling weed and drinking on the regular. I was also very friendly with the women, if you know what I mean. I was blessed with good book sense, making the honor roll all during high school. By this time, my two older brothers had graduated from reform school and gone in and out of prison. Watching them, I knew that jail wasn’t for me, and plus, I thought I was too smart for prison.I graduated high school and enrolled at The University of Tennessee at Martin. In college is where my drinking, drug selling, drug using, womanizing, lying, stealing, cheating, and a few other things all increased. It was also in college where I received my first DUI. A counselor suggested that I might have a problem with alcohol. I quickly denied it and went right back to doing what I was doing. I quit college my senior year and returned back home.I continued drinking heavy and using drugs for a few years. Going from job to job, not being able to keep them because of my lifestyle, I moved to Nashville. My wife—my girlfriend at the time—was raising my 2 year-old son by herself. We married the same year and I kept doing the same things that I had been doing. In the 15 years that I have lived in Nashville, I have received 3 DUIs. The 3rd DUI is why I’m here today.I would like to thank the Drug Court staff for accepting me into this program. Through this program and AA, I am learning to be a better Christian, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and person. Nan told us that we still were at the mental and emotional state of the age when we first began drinking and drugging. This program, along with AA’s 12 steps and Traditions showed me how to truthfully look at myself, and Grow the Hell Up! I was able to regain that conscious contact with God. And we courted like a couple in the 1950’s. First, I had to ask permission. So I had to admit that I was powerless. Second, we had to spend a lot of time together to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Third, I had to completely turn it over to him. And as I came to know more about him, I was able to trust His ways and His plans for the development of His character in me. Now this wasn’t an overnight event, and it took a lot of mistakes and hard work. But it has taught me how to live life, on life terms, without having to drink or drug. And I will close with a quote that might help you like it helped me. What you think of me is none of my business! Amen.
I was born May 1st, 1970 to my parents Arnold and Katherine Elaine. I was raised in Detroit, Michigan. I attended Martin Luther King Jr. Sr. High School. After graduation from high school, I then attended Tennessee State University until 1994. After school I took up cooking, which I have done for the last 25 years. Fast forward to December 9, 2014 which was the day I began Drug Court. Since that day I have regained my license, stayed clean and sober, and become an all-around better person.
Hello everyone, I am 34 years old and it’s been a journey to get here. I’m glad to tell you that I am very happy for the first time in years. I have had a lot of regrets in my life of addiction. There were a lot of bad things that I have done. There are some people that are no longer with us and some who are still living in active addiction. There is nothing that would make me want to go to that level again. To the people closes to me, I’ve tried to show that my behavior and lifestyle. In my mind nothing ever mattered but the next drug and sometimes it took away from him for that I made him first in my everyday life. We have grown closer and have a life to live, with a hopeful future. So with that said I want to say thanks for everything and to drug court for showing me that I was the problem by as well as fixing me. Everything else would fall into place. Thank you Judge Moreland.
I was born and raised in Nashville, TN. I’m the youngest of four siblings. My parents split up after I was born. Then, I was raised by my mother and step-father. Our home was always a violent place, as my parents had their personal issues. I did okay in school and made it to the 10th grade, where I then dropped out. I moved in with one of my sisters at the age of twelve. The streets became my playground, and that’s when I started using and selling drugs. I was introduced to a new kind of crime. I had become my own man at this point, where I no longer cared about what anyone had to tell me. By the age of fifteen, I was using cocaine to stay up for days at a time. It became out of control, leaving me with a record that has followed me. In 2014, I was arrested for domestic violence, then again in 2015. I then violated my probation and went on the run for two months before I decided to turn myself in and face the consequences for my actions. After seeing that there wasn’t any way out and that I needed help, I turned to the Drug Court Program where they have programs to help troubled people like me. And I am forever thankful for it. The classes and programs have taught me how to control and manage my anger. Also, it is a much better life without drugs. Drug Court has given me the opportunity to turn my life around and to show the people that I have hurt and let down that people can change. Thanks again for giving me another opportunity at the right path that I should have been on from the start.
Hi, I'm an alcoholic and a grateful member of the Davidson County Drug Court Program.I began drinking at about age nineteen. I am the third oldest of nine children. Alcohol was a prominent guest at all family gatherings big or small; everyone drank, that's just how it was. At age sixteen an older brother gave me a few beers at a family wedding. I can remember being given milk to sober up. I also remember the family thinking that was funny; it really wasn’t. I started abusing alcohol to learn how to be an "extrovert," so I could socialize with my peers. Later I started getting panic and anxiety attacks and I self- prescribed myself alcohol to help me cope with social anxiety and stressful situations. Alcohol became one of my coping strategies.I was arrested for my first DUI days after my twenty-first birthday. I blacked out and the car went off the road causing thousands worth of damages. Luckily, I only suffer minor bruises. I stopped drinking and driving. A few years past, I got a decent job, got married and graduated from college. Then, life happened. I got divorced and a series of stressful situations started to happen. I started abusing alcohol as a way to cope. I didn’t know that alcoholism was a progressive disease, so I kept on drinking. I was arrested for my second DUI during my divorce which added more stress to the process. I swore not to drink and drive ever! But I never contemplated the thought of stop drinking or getting help. Subsequently, I was arrested four more times for DUI. My last DUI arrest was in August 5, 2014. I started IOP as a suggestion by my lawyer as a reduction to jail time. Little did I know that IOP and the Drug Court Program were going to change my life!I didn’t know that the Drug Court Program was going to be so difficult! The first few weeks were extremely difficult. Not because I had to stay sober, alcohol was the last thing in my mind, but because of all the rules and demands. Ultimately, I’ve learned that there was a reason for such a difficult program. Ultimately, the program taught me humility, acceptance, discipline, and accountability. I learned that alcoholism makes chemical and physical changes in the brain of alcoholics that completely rewires their reward systems. They get to a point where they are actually addicted to alcohol and they are powerless over their cravings for it. If the alcoholic is powerless over alcohol, how much more so am I powerless to try to control my alcoholism? I did not realize I had any control issues. I realized that it was not my job to change someone else. That acceptance alone has brought me a great deal of serenity that was never there before, but was granted to me by a power greater than myself. I just thought if everyone would do it they way I thought it should be done, when I thought they should do it, the world would be a better place! I think one of the greatest things that I have gotten out of the program is the realization that I have choices.I have to accept the things I cannot change. I have to accept that the alcoholic is powerless over the disease. But accepting it doesn't mean I have to condone it, or like it -- and I do not have to accept unacceptable behavior. I have the right to make decisions that are in my best interest - to decide not to be around alcoholic behavior and to walk away from uncomfortable situations, and to decide to no longer participate in the insanity of others. I have found the courage to make those kinds of decisions. I can make decisions that might cause me some short-term discomfort while knowing that in the long run, things will work out for the best if I continue my recovery and to try to put the AA steps to work in my life.The summer is now almost over, it is almost Labor Day and I have not had any alcohol since August 5, 2014. It was very strange at first learning new habits and new skills to deal with the alcohol and stressful situations. I attend AA meetings. I also credit my fellow members and the Program for helping me get there. For me, being in the AA community makes it easier not to drink and I am not alone as an alcoholic trying to navigate life sober. I feel better physically and mentally than I ever have. My relationships with my family and friends are better than ever. A life without alcohol is the best life. It's the one I deserve.
Before coming to drug court I was a homeless, hopeless and war-torn individual due to my addiction to Heroin. Not only had I reached my materialistic bottom, but I had reached my spiritual bottom as well. I had no relationships in my life any longer. I had no relationship with God or my family. I literally had nobody except my drug dealer. I was sleeping at my place of work, waiting for them to close so I could sneak in and sleep in a booth. I could try to explain my mental and physical state, but words do not adequately describe the sort of despair that was in my heart. Insert Treatment court. My life forever changed on June 24th 2015. I was accepted into treatment court and all of a sudden I had something. From day 1 I had the support from the staff of treatment court and Recovery Community Inc. People who had been through the same thing as I was going through, I was not alone. Before I could blink I had a life worth living. Through my hard work and diligence and the help of Treatment court, I have now been sober for going on two years and have no intentions of looking back. I have a life which is worth living. Everything I thought I had lost; relationships with friends, family and God have now returned. I thought life had passed me by only to find out that I have so much life in front of me. While in Treatment court I moved into a beautiful home in East Nashville fully equipped with a pool and hot tub, fire-pit and movie theater. I have two jobs, one of which is at the single best restaurant in Nashville to serve tables (Ruth’s Chris steakhouse). I have traveled just about all over the country to visit family and make amends. I’ve been to concerts and sporting events. I’ve ran the music city marathon and I am the captain of my softball team (self-appointed but captain none-the-less). I even get to go see my beloved Giants at historic Wrigley field in a week. I have more friends than I can ask for, both normal and sober. I can’t go into a restaurant in East Nashville without seeing a friend. I am the GSR of my home group. The list of reasons to live seemingly goes on and on when only 15 months ago I had none. My most sincere thanks goes out to every single person who has had a hand in helping me achieve this. I will be forever indebted to Treatment Court. Thank you!!!
Hello everyone and welcome,I am a grateful recovering alcoholic. I've struggled with the disease of alcoholism, and I thought I could control it as well as trying to control other's ways of thinking and acting! I was an emotional stuffer and I used alcohol as my way to cope with my feelings, especially during my mom's last two episodes of being really sick as well as at times when I was overwhelmed with achieving work quotas, disagreements with my ex husband and teenager son, and helping everyone else fix their problems and not my own!By the grace of God and my attorney, thankfully Judge Moreland gave me an alternative when I needed it most!! He allowed me to start my journey to recovery in Drug Court in July 2015. Judge Moreland, I will never forget how I drew a blank when you asked me, "What are the two rules for Drug Court?" Be honest and stay clean!I am most grateful to the Drug Court staff, especially Anita, Joe and Candis, with whom have I participated mostly in their classes. They have given me an abundance of tools and knowledge that I will take with me the rest of my life. I have gone from a person looking for help, to a convener, and now to a woman with a message of hope to someone else out there suffering.I came to realize early on in Drug Court that I had to make some changes immediately! I realized I was at stake of losing my spouse and family! The old saying "I am just one drink away" is a good reminder!Fast forward. Today, I do what it takes to stay sober, one day at a time! I communicate with my two sponsors weekly. I continuously apply the Twelve Steps, read the Big Book, attend home group and various AA meetings weekly, chair meetings when I can, reach out to someone new at the meetings who is suffering, pray, meditate and say the Serenity Prayer a lot! Furthermore, I do service work at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital. Most importantly, I am more spiritually connected with God. I am always re-reading the first 3 Steps, especially Step 2 where it states, "A power greater than myself to restore my to sanity".I believe God puts certain situations and people in our lives for a specific reason. I am so glad God placed Drug Court in my path. The people I have met, the awesome relationships formed and the emotional insight I have gained from this program have been life changing for me. I feel more grounded and capable of facing life's challenges as well as family matters confidently. I feel I have reconnected to my myself, son, husband, father and God especially.I want to say a special thank you to my awesome husband Rick, to whom I am so grateful for all his loving, caring and prayerful support during my time in Drug Court. My father has been an amazing spiritual influence to me. My sponsors Leigh Ann and Linda have been amazing AA role models and proven to me the program works if you work it on a daily basis! They have helped me to identify character defects I did not know I had! They tell me like it is and get right to the point honestly. They are always there for me when I need to open up and talk about how to best handle a challenging situation. It's amazing how our loved ones, our true blue sober friends in the program and sponsors can see the change in us when we choose to stay sober. God has blessed me in so many ways with my continued sobriety and for that I am forever grateful!Thank you again Judge Moreland and all members of Drug Court staff!
I was born in a small town in East Tennessee to an amazing and loving family. My parents however were on 15 and 17 years old when they had me. They did choose to get married before I was born but were divorced by the time I was one year old. My very early childhood was wonderful due to the fact that I was around both sides of my family all the time and grandparents helped raise me. Things changed by the time I turned four years old because my mom decided to go to college at MTSU, and she and I moved to Murfreesboro away from everyone else in my family. My mother did the best she could but did not really understand what being a parent was because she was still growing up herself. This would cause me to be on my own a lot of the time or be over at friends’ houses with their parents quite often. This would continue to be my life until I was 12. When I started middle school I immediately began hanging around the wrong crowd, which was easy to do because I did pretty much anything that I wanted. This is around the time that I smoked pot and drank alcohol for the first time and it was very easy to continue to do it because the parents of the friends that I hung around would provide everything. The only thing that kept me halfway normal was the fact that I actively played baseball. By the time I was in high school things really got out of hand, and I began selling drugs because I realized it was an easy way to make money and so-called friends. When I was 15 years old, I ended up meeting a 21 year old girl through my dealer and began dating her. Within just a couple of weeks she introduced me to some dealers from Florida and we were making weekly trips to get ecstasy and weed to bring back to TN and sell. I was so engulfed in this lifestyle that I convinced my mom to enroll me in home school so that I could focus on my drug dealing, and I also quite playing baseball. This was the way I lived for around a year and then I was selling out of a hotel in Murfreesboro when I got ran in on by task force. They found what I had on me and then went to my house and found my safe. In total they found over 400 ecstasy pills and 2 pounds of pot. I was held in JDC for a while and when I went to court my mother told the judge that she did not want me to live with her anymore, so the judge told me that I could either stay in JDC until I was 18 or go live with my dad. At this point I hardly knew my dad and told the judge I would just stay locked up. However this did not work. Within a couple of weeks I found myself in the car with my dad on the way to East Tennessee. Even though I was very upset about the situation because I left everything I knew and did not know my dad at all, it was best for me because I was on very intensive probation which kept me halfway straight and I began playing baseball again. Aside from having to live with a dad, stepmom, and two half-sisters that I did not even know my life was getting back to normal. During my senior year of high school I was given a full scholarship to play baseball at MTSU, which could not have been better in my eyes because I was getting to go back to Murfreesboro. Surprisingly enough I was able to stay focused on school and baseball and did not get back in contact with the people from my past. During my sophomore year I hurt my elbow pitching and had to have surgery. This is when my life got completely turned upside down. After my surgery I was sent to a pain clinic and was prescribed strong opiates. I fell completely in love with them and it seemed like nothing else mattered to me except the pills. I ended up leaving college and moving back to East Tennessee. I quickly realized that I was not the only one going to pain clinics there. It seemed like everyone I knew was getting ‘scripts. There were literally pills everywhere and everyone wanted them. I began a vicious circle of selling and taking my medication and then also buying from other people when I was out. During this time I also converted from snorting to shooting because it was getting so hard to get high. I guess you could say I was somewhat of what people call a functioning addict because I was always able to work during my addiction and even went to school and received my LPN license. This was the way my life went for quite some time. I never had serious criminal charges at this point either, which was a miracle. I could not count how many times I got arrested for possession but most of the time I would go to court it would get dropped because I would show I had a prescription even when it was not my ow medication that I was caught with. During my time as a nurse I overdosed two times and was life flighted to UT. The third time I was actually in my car parked at the nursing home I was working at. I was passed out in my car with a bunch of pills and syringes. They broke the window out of my car to get me out, and once again I was life flighted to UT. I ended up losing my nursing license for this one though because I was clocked in when I went to my car, and I was charged with neglect by the board of nursing. When I came to in the hospital, I was talking to the doctor and he told me that once I got cleared and evaluated that I could call a ride because the police left no paperwork to hold me. This was obviously a mistake and I knew it so I did not go home. Within 24 hours I had numerous family members calling me telling me the police had come to their house looking for me. I ended up staying on the run for a little over a month until I finally had enough and turned myself in. I received two 6 month sentences to run consecutively. I was only in jail for two months when I was approved to go to an 8 month-long term treatment in Iowa. I was there 7 and a half months when I got caught messing with a female that was in the program and was sent back to Tennessee to complete my sentence. I was in jail for another 3 months when my lawyer convinced the courts to allow me to go to another treatment center that was only for men. I ended up going to Miracle Lake in East Tennessee, which was also an amazing experience. When I left there I was on top of the world and just wanted to get my life up and going again. I was so excited for a new start. Within three weeks I was going to culinary school and was living in Nashville. Things were going great school-wise, but financially I was struggling. Somehow I got myself to believe that I could go back to the pain clinic to get pills and just sell them and not take them. Well when I got them in my hand everything changed and I began using again. I still managed to graduate culinary school with honors somehow, even in my addiction, and continued to work, but my addiction took a horrible turn. I discovered heroin and found that it was much stronger and cheaper. This is the point that I lost complete control of everything. Every aspect of my life suffered even more than it did in the past. I lost my family, numerous jobs and was doing things I never thought I would do in order to get my fix. The last week that I was using I was adding large doses of xanax to my normal heroin use. I ended up getting caught using at work in my car again and was fired. Within just a few hours I was woken up a police officer banging on my window in Madison. I was caught with heroin, xanax, and syringes. This was my journey into Drug Court, the day that would change my life forever. When I first took Drug Court I honestly did it to just get out of jail, but somewhere along the line it changed my life. I have been in other treatment programs before, but they have all taken me out of the world and put me in a safe haven. When I would get out, I would be put back into the real world again and not know how to cope. With drug court I have been able to learn how to manage my addiction as well as learn how to live life as a functioning member of society. After so many years fighting this addiction, I have finally realized that this addiction is something that can’t be fixed overnight—or ever really, for that matter—because it has to be worked on daily. The second we tell ourselves we have it beat is the minute it takes over again. I am finally at the point in my life to where I have accepted the fact that my addiction is a part of me, but I do not have to let it control me and I’m willing to do whatever it take to continue on this path of sobriety. It’s finally about doing it for myself and along with that I will be doing it for everyone else too. During Drug Court God has blessed me in so many different ways and the blessings just keep on coming. I know in my heart that if I was still going down the wrong path that my life and everyone around me would have nothing but pain and suffering and that these blessings are coming my way because I am living the way I am supposed to. It’s almost as if my life has started over and I have not just a new beginning but a completely new way of thinking and looking at things, and I am not willing to ever give this up. Thank you Jesus and thank you Drug Court!
When I was younger, I had a very good household, and my parents took great care of me. I was in a private school until I went to high school. By that time, I had started drinking and smoking. My parents were getting a divorce, and I was confused and wanted something different in my life. At least this is what I thought. I was arrested multiple times my freshman year after I had made new friends. My Xanax addiction was taking flight fast. I was dabbling in everything, but Xanax was what really got to me. It changed my thinking, and my anxiety and stress were gone. I went to Cumberland Heights and Second Nature wilderness program when I was 16. I was on state probation as a minor when I was back, but I got through it while I still used and was only sober while I detoxed for an upcoming drug test. After I was done with probation, I was back using all my previous substances. I dropped out of school on my 18th birthday, and my substance abuse went out of control again. Ecstasy, Xanax, and LSD were regulars in my daily life. The ecstasy killed my serotonin and I became very depressed for the first time. The Xanax was not helping with my depression, but only making it worse. I started drinking and using downers which caused me to get a DUI last year. I went to Cumberland Heights again, but I returned to the same old habits. A month later, I got in a wreck after being up for a few days. I was in a blackout; I barely remember anything. My attorney suggested Drug Court and told me that it would help me out with my addiction and keep me accountable. This has been the best thing that could happen for me. I'm very excited to continue my work here after probation. I now have over 13 months clean. Thanks to everybody on the Drug Court Treatment Team that has helped me out.
Hi, I am a recovering Alcoholic.My journey in drug court began August 5th, 2015. I am excited about graduation and look forward to my future. I have done the work and learned a lot about myself during the last 13 months. The toughest part of my journey is knowing that I hurt my family, friends, and myself. Respect of self has always been important to me, but along the way I had even lost sight of that. Today I can say that I can hold my head up and be proud of where and who I am.Anita Wilson and Shirley Marks profoundly changed my way of thinking. They had their work cut out for them with all the 'why's?' Ms. Shirley would say, "Acceptance, Shannon, sometimes you have to sit still to see what needs to be done." I read page 417 daily to remind me to see what was happening instead of trying to fix what doesn't need fixing. For those who have endured the changes over the last year thank you for your patience. Ms. Anita reminded me weekly about keeping balance in my life. If I was to have a healthy recovery, I couldn't just work on the physical: I would have to take care of my emotional and spiritual growth as well to keep the balance. For me this was a huge struggle. I wanted to fix everything right now. I believe I am practicing both balance and acceptance today thank you so much!Joe had to reinforce "keep it simple, stop complicating things." I really enjoyed his class.Ms. Nann thank you for helping me to follow Joe's instructions and helping me when I was still overthinking my assignments.My sponsor Michelle reminds me to set limits, and saying that 'No' is one way not to be overwhelmed and taking time for myself is not selfish—in fact it makes a better me. Not having to be in control of everything at all times is truly a time saver for me now. There are so many tools to learn I couldn't possibly list them all. I'm just extremely grateful to have the willingness and the opportunity to learn them.I am happy that God intervened when he did, so I've had have the chance to make amends to all those I have harmed in my addiction.I know that if I ever need help in the future I only need to look up and ask! I have a strong healthy relationship with God, family, and myself, and I am very grateful! Because of the opportunity given me I have the chance to love myself and my beautiful children Blake, Ryan, Erin, Jon, and grandson JC. Your support has been monumental. A special Thanks to Lynn for loving me for who I am, not judging me for what I did. I love you all.Hope to see you all in the rooms.Thank You Judge Moreland for believing in change.
I grew up in a small town in Birmingham, AL. Although my mom died when I was 4 years old by her husband because of jealousy, I spent my entire life under the care of my father. Although I loved him dearly and still do to this day, he smoked marijuana and crack and drank alcohol on a daily basis. While in school, I stole weed from my father and sold it at school for candy and money. Because of my lifestyle, I started accumulating criminal charges at the age of 15. I didn’t like smoking weed so I just took pills and drank alcohol. I was taken away from my father when I was 13, and at the age of 14 I was placed in state custody. I was sexually harassed in a place where I was supposed to be safe and cared for. At the age of 17, I met and fell in love with a guy in the Mexican mafia. I started driving cocaine and people from the Mexican border. At this point, I fell in love with the easy money and was unable to get back on the right path. I was able to support my crack and alcohol habit and still have plenty of money left over.We got caught up and the love of my life was deported back to Mexico. My dad was sentenced to life without parole. I fell into a deep depression and attempted to commit suicide. Thanks to God, I was unsuccessful, and I continued to do drugs until the age of 22 when I decided to move to TN to start over. I stayed clean from crack—but not alcohol—until my dad’s passing, and I went downhill from there. I went through 4 counties, having at least 4 charges in each. I bonded out and got caught up, served four months in jail before being released to Drug Court. With the help of Julia Armstrong, Joe, Valerie, and Chip, I was able to work through my depression, character defects, and past issues. I realized that alcohol and drugs led me to my madness, and today I am grateful that I can live a happy life, alcohol and drug free.
My time with Drug Court began with a long history of trying to be a functioning addict. Things progressed over the years from smoking weed every now and then to all the time, then to taking pills all the time, and that got to the point where I needed them just to function. The pills got to where they weren’t doing what I wanted anymore, and I was on the verge of looking for something else to comfort my feelings. So I am very grateful for my arrest because it was a blessing in disguise. I was placed on probation in 2014 and ignored my responsibilities, which were obvious signs that this was the time to clean up my life. I continued down path of destruction and dove further into my addiction. I don’t think I passed a single drug test while I was on regular probation, and I though that was okay because I had a prescription. At the time, I didn’t think that I was an addict. But as time went on, I found more and more reasons to go to the doctor because I had to feed my addiction.After violating my probation about three or four times, I came to the glorious revelation that I was going to go to rehab. That’ll keep me out of jail. Well, after five days there, I bolted. I couldn’t handle it. Everything started to become very real and all the emotions and feelings I had were overwhelming. When I called my P.O. to tell her that I had left rehab, she told me I had violated my parole yet again. So off to jail I went. I came out and was signed into Drug Court, which was a very scary thing for me after all the horror stories I heard in jail. But Julia picked me up, brought me back to Phases, introduced me around, and made me feel very welcome. Everything with Drug Court was very overwhelming in the beginning—with having to be in a halfway house away from everything I knew, having to make meetings every day, starting classes at IOP, having to find a sponsor, and finding a real job. I thought I was being dropped into hell. I thought I was going to lose my mind. But after a few months, things started to fall together and my eyes really began to open. I guess you can say that I got the cloud out of my head.I started working through some of my issues with my sponsor and at IOP with Ms. Anita, and I’m sure she can tell you it wasn’t easy to get me to open up sometimes. But after a while, it got easier and easier to talk about things, and then it got to a point where I looked forward to going. I started to enjoy my meetings and all the stories people had gone through and where they were now. It really became something to strive for: to be clean and sober like the people I saw with years behind them.In my experience with Drug Court, I have had nothing but good things happen to me. I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am today. I have a good job, I now have a car, I have repaired relationships and trust with family and friends (something I thought I would never get back), and most of all, I get to be the mother my kids deserve to have. It was Drug Court that gave me another chance at life. I am now over a year clean and am so grateful for this program.
On July 3, 2015 I was arrested for what was my 4th DUI as an adult. I'm 26 years old, and have technically had 5 DUIs in my lifetime. To be blunt, I've known I was an addict and alcoholic for almost a half of my life. Knowing that fact and even going to treatment and 12 step programs has not worked for me yet. I grew up in an excellent family near Franklin, TN. I wanted for nothing, and was encouraged and nurtured in my home.My father passed away when I was ten years old. I found drugs and alcohol not much later. I originally thought I was having a good time. In fact, even after four arrests as a juvenile, I still just thought I was trying to have a good time. I knew college was a bad idea, so I joined the Army to try and learn to drink like a man. Eventually, tax free liquor and cheap fake weed led to my discharge for not being fit to be a soldier anymore. As obvious as it was I still found a way to justify my actions and blame my situation on the actions of others.Not long after my discharge I was in over my head with drugs and alcohol. I found that I’d passed any boundary I set if I could change the way I felt. Getting drunk and high was my solution to life in a world where I was absolutely powerless. Liquor, weed, coke, meth, molly, acid, and any other designer drugs I could manage to find spending every night like it was my last party led me to some serious repercussions for my actions with my first 2 DUIs only being about a month apart, maybe less. My probation officer, like the military’s therapist before him, pled for me to go to these meetings and just give them a chance, but I thought anything like giving inebriation up for good was just a quitter’s mentality. I could find a way to do it right. So began a few months of failing all kinds of drug and alcohol tests until my PO just couldn’t look the other way anymore.I went to New Life Lodge (now Mirror Lake) way out in Burns, TN. I was studious and paid attention to all the recovering techs and all the advice they gave for a serious attempt at sobriety. This gave me an average knowledge of the twelve steps and how they can be done. After treatment I found a sponsor and went to a halfway house in Dickson, TN. It turns out I was not ready to do what I needed to do to use the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship to my advantage. My first night back out drinking I got a DUI, then came almost a year on the run. All my alcohol and drug use got worse and never better. I dabbled in IV use, and ended up having to beg my mother to come back and face my legal trouble with her help.This time I tried to try working the program, I worked again up to the fourth step, and then due to not having drug tests I gave the greenery program a work. Again, it wasn’t long before it all went to hell. I was full of what AA call incomprehensible demoralization. I contemplated suicide a few times. I couldn’t comprehend my life with or without alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, I was still working, just got a license back, and had just enough for drugs and alcohol that I thought I could manage that way of life till death.I’m very grateful I was pulled over that night. I’ve disliked much of the footwork I had to do for drug court, but am very grateful for what it has done for me. I also thank the ReEntry program for being so strict, because it taught me acceptance almost as much as watching the Titans. I did almost everything that was asked of me to the best of my ability over the past year. I’m in a healthy relationship with someone not addicted to anything, I have a great physical job that I love, and I can afford to spend time for myself without worrying whether or not the mental obsession will come to take a drink or not.But, I caution people who expect everyone and everything to owe them something because they’re FINALLY doing the right thing. Drug Court is a time to find a clean and sober way to live life and actually participate in it, but the recovery is literally the entire reason for the program. It is possible to trudge through holding on until graduation then go right back where we came from. I implore all of you to take suggestions and be open minded and willing to put forth some effort in to this program and the twelve step program of your choosing. And, most of all be honest with yourself. If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol (which really are the same thing) you will die from this disease, and Here is a whole group of people who want nothing more than to see us excel in life and recover.