This year, I lost someone close to me who lost his battle with addiction. My old roommate introduced me to her then boyfriend, Nick. He was a goofy, bright presence with the most infectious laugh. When he smiled, everyone smiled. He was the type who made you feel like you’ve known him for years, even if you’re just meeting for the first time. Nick and I became really great friends, and he ended up getting me a job with the same cellular company he worked for. We worked together for 3 years before I moved to North Carolina.
Over those three years, I had gotten to see a side of Nick I didn’t know existed. I know he struggled with alcohol and pill abuse, but never knew the extent of it. He would miss shifts, or fall asleep while working. He would also steal merchandise from the store to sell or trade for drugs. I could see him falling deeper and deeper each day, but struggled so hard to help him. I didn’t know how. I would make him hang out with my then boyfriend and I all the time. We’d go to the movies, bowling, or play Mario Kart at the house. Anything to try to keep him as far away from the things causing him so much pain. When my ex and I broke up and I moved away, I found out a few days later he had been fired from the cellular store.
Over the past 4 years of living in North Carolina, I reached out to him, and we chatted back and forth a bit. He told me he actually went to treatment and was working with his sister at her wildlife rehabilitation center. He looked so much healthier and was so happy.
3 months after our last conversation, I saw him tagged in a post made by his sister. He overdosed and passed away. My soul and my heart both were crushed. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. He was so happy and proud of what he was doing with his life, and then suddenly he was gone.
Since the news of his passing, I have grieved every day. I’ve wondered what more I could have done to help him. There’s been this looming cloud over my head following me and haunting me saying you should have done this, or you could have done that. Every time I hear a song he and I loved; I cry. Uptown Girl was our song we would blare on the work speakers and dance to when we needed a pick-me-up. Every time I play or see people playing Mario Kart, my heart aches. I miss him so much.
Nick’s story is one of so many unfortunate endings to a beautiful soul. Addiction is a nasty, unforgiving disease that I wish upon no one. Not even my worst enemy. And I wish even more that no one has to experience the loss of someone dear to them to addiction.
Thank you for listening.