“Everyone needs the help of another in some form. We are all in this together.” –our nephew Nick
When our brother David and his wife were expecting their first child, my husband had an idea for the baby’s name: “If it’s a boy, you should name it Harley. Then, it would be ‘Harley, David’s son.’”
It was a boy, but they didn’t name him Harley. They named him Nicholas, after our paternal grandfather. In time, just as our grandpa was, he became known as Nick.
To help them feel less isolated, I often remind my patients that everyone struggles with something. Some people’s struggles are visible and obvious, as many of theirs are. Some people struggle and suffer quietly, invisibly. Some people’s struggles seem cruel and insurmountable, but with God’s grace and our hard work, we can come away with wisdom from those struggles we stared down and survived.
There is a unique kind of struggle that, while it is endured by many people worldwide, we never thought our nephew Nick would have to face it. It was invisible for a long time to most people. It was not obvious. Now, however, he is one of the lucky ones who stared it down. He is surviving, and thriving.
Nick was not “the type.” Nick was always mild-mannered, polite, gracious, pious, respectful and measured his responses—verbally and to life—carefully. He was not “the type” to become an alcoholic.
But while he was in college, alcohol became his demon.
He was not the partying type in college. He was studious, worked hard to earn money throughout his college years, and was serious about pursuing his degree in meteorology. He was always interested in the weather, perhaps his pilot father fostered that. I remember him as a kid informing us of the weather conditions, how storms may be building, and wowing us with weather terminology.
Somehow along the way, he found alcohol to be an escape from stress. Then, it began to control his life. Then, it was his life. It then became a threat to life as he knew it, and possibly to life itself. It was time for help, and he finally realized it.
I wanted to tell his story in a mix of his Facebook posts that he has posted throughout his journey. He tells his story and spares no details that, no matter how raw, may help someone else on their path to recovery. I wanted our readers to know of his strength, so I began to cobble a few of them together. I wanted you to get to know this amazing young man and how he faced his demons, because he simply wants to use his struggles to help others.
Then, he decided to create his own blog, and his words and message are the real deal—so much more cohesive than what I could have put together. His maiden post was last week, on the second annual anniversary of his sobriety. The years count, but before that, he counted months, weeks and days. Perhaps for a while, even the hours.
Something tells me he may still count the days, and he provided this number for me today: 735 days.
As of this post date—September 29th, 2019, Nick has been sober for 735 days, and he wants anyone he may be able to help to know how he survived with his strong Catholic faith in God, his family, friends and finding himself again. He wants to help anyone struggling who may benefit from his victory over his struggles.
Wisdom generally comes with age. Because as we age, we have more experiences that give us the opportunity to learn about life the hard way. Nick is not old; he actually celebrates his 27th birthday this week. If, however, wisdom is gained from those experiences that try one’s soul, then it is safe to say that Nick is a wise old young man.
Please click on the title in red at the end of this post, and the link to his blog will appear. Providing your email at the end will alert you to future posts—you won’t want to miss his wisdom and inspiration that is yet to come in his words. If you are reading this through Facebook, please consider reposting this blog. It may reach even one person who needs to hear his words.
If you, or anyone you care about struggles with alcohol, there is help available. There his hope. If the struggles involve other demons besides alcohol, there is help available, too. Please reach out for yourself, or for your loved one. There can be joy again, but the work must be done.
Just as Nick said, we’re all in this together, and everyone needs help in some form.
Please let Nick’s story be an inspiration for your journey, no matter what your struggles are.
Nick with Kota, one of the many friends that helped him through.
September 24th is a special day for me. This year it is my two years straight without drinking any alcohol. This journey that I have been on has been full of learning, victories, struggles, insight, friendships and growth in my relationship with God. I am so very thankful that God has brought me to this place of freedom and joy. The last five years were very challenging years for me. My addiction to alcohol progressed very much in those first few years… (CLICK TO CONTINUE READING)