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Miracle Creates Miracle for Herself, Others Struggling with Addiction

Local NA meetings create support for sobriety



Cleaver Guest Writer

HARRISON – One cannot prepare and serve food without a dollop of heart and a pinch of soul blended into the mixture. Sherry McClellan of Sheri’s Diner has been serving the Harrison community for roughly a quarter century and is indeed overflowing in heart and soul for her family and community.

For the past two and a half years McClellan has been graciously opening her doors to offer meetings and support for individuals in recovery. The Monday meetings started out to support her daughter, Tracy Miracle, through her recovery journey, and have grown into something much larger in scale than anticipated.

With a last name that found its way rather accurately to her, Miracle opened up about her journey through addiction and recovery that ultimately led her to an incredible pathway of hope and purpose.

“I struggled with addiction for the last 15 years,” Miracle said. “This last rehab is when I finally decided after being there for a couple weeks that I wanted to be clean.”

Miracle recounted how her mindset shifted and determination set in.

“When I first came into the program, I’d seen one of my friends I was in addiction with, and she had a year clean already, And she was bad off into it. And I was like man, if she can do it, I can do this,” Miracle said, noting a powerful moment of inspiration along her road to recovery.

“But it’s not about that you can do it,” she said. “Anybody can do it. You just have to want to do it. That mindset in your head has to be that you want to be clean. Not that you can be clean. You have to be invested for yourself. And it’s only about yourself. You can’t do it for your kids. You can’t do it for the courts and stay clean. You can for a minute – it happens, I did it – but you’re not going to stay clean the rest of your life for that. You’re going to stay clean for the rest of your life because you made up your mind that you want to change your life and you want to be different, and you don’t wanna live that life anymore.”

Miracle was no longer on her recovery journey to please others; she was finally fully in it as an investment into herself. Yet when she came out of rehab, she found the accessibility of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings to be a challenge.

“My first meeting I ever went to was an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. I struggled with feeling accepted because I was a drug addict, not an alcoholic. But there were no NA meetings around here, so I had to go to a meeting – I needed a meeting – to stay clean. So, I tried to be with the AA group. But it never really felt like home. That’s when I was like yeah, I really need to start my own meetings. I needed somewhere where I could find unity, to feel good, and like a group.”

With Gladwin, Midland or Bay City being the closest meeting locations Miracle could find at the time, she boldly took matters into her own hands. She courageously began hosting her own meetings, allowing herself more convenient access to the necessary support and resources needed to maintain her sobriety. With the diner being closed on Mondays, McClellan graciously offered it up as a location for Miracle’s NA meetings.

“At first it was just four people here supporting me in my meetings – people who worked at the restaurant who were just supporting me. Now we usually have 15 or more people at the noon meetings. Sometimes 25-30 people at the 7 p.m. meetings. People come from all over, even from Marion and Cadillac. We had around 56 people here for Christmas,” Miracle said, accounting the overwhelming growth.

And while this endeavor began as an investment for herself, Miracle has always held great passion for helping people.

“I went to school to be a medical assistant, and am certified through the state, but I have felonies so I can’t use that as a job,” she said. “So, I figured, I told my mom I am going to save lives anyway. I am going to save lives this way. I can still save a life regardless, whether it’s through the medical field or helping somebody in the way I know how to get out of this crazy stuff. And even if I can just help one person, that makes me feel good. Plant that seed, and it really does grow flowers. And it’s really cool. I love being in recovery and I love helping people in recovery. I have always loved helping people. I used to work in home healthcare. But it’s a little different helping people save their life through this.”

As Miracle recounted what are likely only a few heavy moments from her past, she explained that these experiences are what ultimately led her to where she is now – for her to have been able build what she has going now within the Harrison community and find her true calling in life.

“It took me five times to come back, and I am part of that 2% that made it through IV use and methamphetamine. They say 2% of people make it out of that addiction. And here I am almost three years later, clean, and trying to show other people how to do it too. During my addiction I just felt worthless and like I couldn’t do anything for the world. But now I am showing that I can – that I can help people get through their addiction, and it feels really good. It feels really good to be able to give back what they need from me. To be able to have the experience, strength, and hope to show them that it’s possible to get through this.”

Miracle is currently going to school for drug and alcohol counseling and is just a couple classes away from receiving her recovery coaching certificate through Peer 360 Recovery Alliance.

“So, I could go work for the courts if that’s what I decide to do,” she said. “I kind of just like what I do here for my people, and this. I started this out, it was small and it’s getting big. It feels really good to be able to give back to my community all that I took from it. I was bad out there for a while and I didn’t do a lot of good things. But now I know that what I am doing is right and every step that I make is the next right thing. And it just seems to work out for me – ever since I decided I was going to get clean things just like kind of fell into place.”

Miracle is committed to herself, as well as to her services through the NA meetings she hosts. She is there for the community of people she is helping guide, and when speaking to her she absolutely exudes passion for the work she is doing.

“Even when I was in the hospital in February after my surgery, I was on FaceTime with them with a tube down my nose making sure they had a meeting. I ran my meetings from my phone while I was in the hospital. That’s how dedicated I am with this stuff, you know, I really am. It takes love and compassion from someone. You’ve gotta have that person there that actually cares about these people, you know what I’m saying, and you have to sometimes drop what you’re doing to be there for them because they need you. That’s why they’re calling. It’s hard enough for a person like that to even call.”

Miracle hosts meetings at noon and 7 p.m. every Monday at Sheri’s Diner. She often cooks or brings in food for those coming to the meetings. At the 7 p.m. meetings on the last Monday of each month she hosts either a movie or game night following the meeting, providing popcorn, food and prizes that she provides for the group herself.

“It’s not about the money though, I’m doing this because I want people to come out and I want them to know there is another life to live out there.”

In the past year she has also opened meetings at the Harrison District Library that are held at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, except for the first Wednesday of each month. She modestly shared how well the meetings have been received within the community and remains grateful she has been able to provide direct access to meetings for those in need right here in Harrison.

“We love you until you can love yourself, that’s just kind of our motto,” she noted with heart and a humble smile.

Miracle expresses her gratitude for her mother in her journey and notes she does not know where she would be today without her unwavering love and support.

“My mom is the most amazing person for supporting her community,” at this time McClellan waved her hand in protest, but Miracle continued. “No, for real, Mom. You’re a good person for supporting your community and the people out here that need these meetings, because not everyone does that, Mom. It takes special people.”

Miracle was poignant that McClellan does this on a day in which the diner could be open and making money.

“I’m proud to be able to do it,” McClellan said. “I’ve always been a caring person, so I was like you know, whatever, let’s get this done. And there’s a need out here. They’ve come miles, many of them have, and I’m very, very proud of them.

“And very proud to be a part of that,” McClellan conceded, her heart spilling over as she looked over to her daughter. “She’s got a wonderful group coming and I’m proud of each and every one of them, and I’m proud of my daughter because, you know, I didn’t help her do any of this. I’ve seen Tracy start so many things so many times and never finish any of them. But she’s even got people coming that the courts have recognized her and said, ‘you’ve got to go meet Tracy.’ You know, that is huge.”

Miracle’s road has been one of ardor and tribulation, yet through it all she has become a guiding light for herself as well as for many others in the community. It takes a special soul to build their light into bridges of hope, and even at times, that monumental miracle for others.


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