Nicole shares a heartwarming anecdote from her recovery journey.
Q: What excites you the most when you get up in the morning?
A: When I get up in the morning, I thank God that I’m sober and don’t have to worry about how or when I’m going to get my next fix. Instead, I’m refreshed and optimistic about my day.
Q: What is your motto? And what about this motto appeals to you?
A: My motto is “If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still.” I know that as long as I’m trying to be a better person than I was the day before, and as long as I continue to do the next right thing, then I’m moving in the right direction.
Q: What has been the best part of recovery for you? Why?
A: The best part about my recovery is the women that I’ve met in the fellowship, who I choose to surround myself with because I know that I’m not alone.
Q: What would you say is the biggest success – professional or personal – you’ve had since leaving Mountainside?
A: Since I left Mountainside, the biggest success I’ve had so far was being able to rebuild the broken relationships that I have with my family. Although we lived under the same roof, I was so caught up in active addiction that I became a stranger to them. Repairing the bond I have with them allows me to be present in their lives today.
Q: What has been your biggest hurdle in recovery and how did you learn to overcome it?
A: The biggest hurdle in my recovery has been coming to terms with the simple fact that I can’t do this on my own. I’ve tried so many times to sponsor myself and play God and kept on failing for so long. I need God, AA, and the Steps to stay sober.
Q: What was the turning point that led you to get help?
A: The turning point in my decision to go back into treatment was being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I felt like I had no reason to live anymore and didn’t really care if I died. I hated who I had become and was desperate for a way out.
Q: If you could, what would you tell your younger self?
A: If I could tell my younger self anything, of course it would be not to pick up drugs. Besides that, I would tell myself to accept myself the way God made me. I spent too many years fighting this battle, and it took a long time to surrender. By that time, I had suffered many consequences. It’s okay to be true to yourself; God doesn’t make mistakes.
Q: What would you like people who are afraid to receive treatment to know?
A: If you’re afraid to go to treatment, just do it anyways. There is a way out. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. You owe it to yourself to at least give yourself a shot at living a happy and healthy lifestyle. I was scared too, but I was more scared to continue living how I was. If I didn’t get help, death was the only way out.
Q: What suggestions do you have for the newcomer?
A: Do 90 in 90. Get a sponsor. Work the Steps. Take a commitment: be a greeter so you get to know people and people get to know you. This all sounds cliché, but in my experience, it works. If you fall, just get back up. Just because you took longer than others doesn’t mean you failed.
Q: What is the best advice you have been given?
A: The best advice I’ve been given was “don’t sign up for college classes that start at 8 am.” I thought “early in, early out,” but that wasn’t the case. If I didn’t miss the class completely, I was either late or still asleep. Worst mistake ever! I’ll never do that again.
Q: Who — dead or alive — is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?
A: If I could invite anyone to my dinner party, it would have to be Gordon Ramsey. He’s hysterical. I would make sure that dinner is up to his standards. And I wouldn’t suggest having dinner with dead people.
Q: What’s the one thing that people would be pleasantly surprised to know about you?
A: One thing people would be surprised to know about me is that my favorite color is pink. You would never guess that by looking at me, and most people don’t believe me when I tell them. My whole bedroom is pink. I wear it well too.
Q: If you could be anything in the world, what would you like to be?
A: I’d want to be a famous comedian so I can make money doing what I love.
Q: What is one thing you cannot live without?
A: One item I can’t do without is my watch. I wear a Fitbit – not that I even workout – because it’s small and comfortable. I’m constantly checking the time, even if I don’t have anywhere to be.
Q: What is your favorite song right now?
A: My favorite song at the moment is 1-800-273-8255 by Logic. That number is actually the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. It’s a powerful song taken from the point of view of someone calling the hotline. The chorus depicts a progression from dark into light while also encouraging listeners to know that they matter and that someone cares about them and their well-being.