Growing up, Nicole wasn’t raised in the kind of stigmatized environment that is stereotypically associated with addicts. She was a straight-A student and was featured in the front pages of the New Jersey Herald for writing an essay about her family being her anti-drug. Eventually separation/loss of those close to her made Nicole seek out where the in crowd was. That crowd was around alcohol and drugs. Already using drugs and alcohol for nine years, it was an unfortunate death that led Nicole’s addiction to take a plunge down to a place where she would drink nonstop until she blacked out.
Nicole’s abandonment issues continued to surface. Working at a liquor store, she stole alcohol to fuel her addiction. She went from one guy to the next all the while her boyfriend in recovery was in jail. She justified all of her troubles by blaming everyone else but herself. She remembers the weekend where she had her boyfriend back in her life and how she just wanted to stay in her little world of drinking. Even though she blamed her troubles on everyone but herself, those who knew her wanted her to get the help that she needed. Nicole eventually realized that she was done and that if she was going to die from her addiction, she was going to at least die fighting. Her mother gave her the option of going to rehab or attending a meeting. Nicole chose the latter.
From those meetings, Nicole came to the realization that she always wanted to keep one person with her at all times that made her feel comfortable and finally she was surrounded by people that got her. They could just look at her and they knew. For her it was so nice to feel that welcoming feeling and not have to say a word.
Nicole describes her life in sobriety as one big rollercoaster. She works in the recovery field and is very active within the community. She’s seen the highest of highs (giving birth to a son who she regards as the greatest person in her life) to the lowest of lows (being brought back to life from cardiac arrest). She’s been through hell and back but she’s survived because of her fighting spirit.
Today Nicole is a 26-year old single mom with a pacemaker defibrillator. This road of recovery has been a painful process but she wouldn’t change her life even if you paid her.