Episode 9: Sheri Barker and James Skelton
Updated: Jul 19, 2018
Tonight on episode 9 of NCRaw we welcome guests Sheri Barker and James Skelton on the show to discuss boundaries and healthy roles in a loved one’s recovery!
Sheri Barker: "On January 30, 2017 my daughter Beth died from using heroin laced with fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. She was 28 years old. During the years that she was struggling with addiction and mental health issues, I rarely had the opportunity to talk with other mothers going through the same thing. I found on-line groups to be overwhelming and ineffective, and I had a difficult time finding structured support for myself as the parent of an addict. Beth’s disease brought problems and challenges into my life that sent me searching for answers that were never easy to find or process, but it also brought opportunities for growth and understanding. I am still seeking answers and working towards growth, and in the time since she died I have become even more aware of the lack of community support groups for people who love someone with an addiction. I realized I was waiting for someone else to fix a problem instead of doing something about it myself, so with encouragement from some friends in the recovery community I started Mother to Mother, a support group that meets weekly to offer mothers of addicts a chance to share with other mothers engaged in the daily struggles that arise from loving a child who has an addiction. I am mostly self-taught on the issues of addiction and mental illness, but I hold an associates degree from AB Tech, and too many hours in coursework towards an unfinished degree in Sociology at UNCA. I work as an executive assistant, but I am mostly an artist, an author, an adventurer, and spiritual explorer. "
James Skelton: "I am a person in long-term recovery, which means to me that I haven't had to use drugs or alcohol for almost 9 years. I had tried to maintain sobriety for 12 years prior to getting clean at age 30 in Houston TX. I got sober in a halfway house, working the AA program and now for the last three years have practiced both AA and the Refuge Recovery program. I became a substance abuse counselor seven years ago. I worked with teens and their families in an outpatient setting. We did all sorts of amazing and fun things to keep recovery exciting for the teens. We would go on three week long wilderness trips with the kids, including hiking and rafting. On the trail I realized that I wanted to be in wilderness therapy, and got an opportunity in WNC to fulfill this dream. Now I have worked in wilderness therapy for three years, gone back to college and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Psychology. I currently am a second year graduate student working on a Masters in Social Work."
Tune in for a live sneak peek at 7pm tonight!