There is an old saying that is represented in this picture. It is believed that a red sky at night brings a sailor delight. To me, this is a representation of the determination of the tranquility of the sea based on myth. I made this picture as a gift and already allowed the intended person to see it. However, I think he was unaware of what I was going to do along with it.
You all more than likely know that I have been an avid supporter of those who are making strides in sending the message of hope in recovery, especially in being those faces of addiction. Not only are we facing addiction and sharing our stories of recovery but we are also establishing an outreach of astronomic lengths.
The boys at Deadliest Catch have brought us a new member to our team. We now have Nick McGlashan, who is an Alaskan Native recovering from addiction to heroin, meth, and alcohol, who supports this revolution of change that allows us to see not only the people in our community who are healing but it has also opened the format for us to share how real our problem is in this country.
You see, Nick recently celebrated his first year clean and sober. I could not be more proud to know him! In saying so, a lot of people ask how in the world I make contact with certain people and want to know how I find them. Trust me, it’s not witchcraft. I do not profit from writing articles on anyone. I reach out to others because that it was my recovery is all about doing.
During all of my time of being clean, I wasn’t always able to share the same ideas and the same values in a traditional sense, as I meandered through my own recovery. I had to set out on a self-exploratory session, allowing me to completely analyzing everything that has went on in my own life in order to understand myself. At times, I’ve experienced moments that felt destructive to my mental health. But with time I have learned all of those moments have been necessary for my own healing.
I’ve learned that the first step in recovery is ridding your body of the addictive grasp. Many believe this is all it takes to recover. Unfortunately, there is so much more that has to be done as well. In order to find the root cause of our addictions we have to confront ourselves – I had a LOT to confront. The pain I carried for so many years came with a lot of emotional baggage and remorse. I don’t suggest doing this process without counseling or someone to help get you through it. I consider myself to be mentally strong but what I have confronted has shown me the limits that I needed to push myself through to discover my feelings and the reasons for them.
This also opened up a new sense of insecurities in doing so, but it is from meeting and getting to know people like Nick, that take those voices that still haunt me by telling me that I am worthless, this is pointless, and I am just a lost cause, to rise above to a point of understanding. On my bad days, I hear those people around me, who have been here like I have for such a long time, telling me to keep going. It’s the community I have around me that helps me make it through on those days.
Our battles don’t stop just because we have doubts. Losing more people in this fight is gut-wrenching. I know I don’t speak for only myself in saying that each loss makes me more determined to keep going. On my bad days, I could easily stop everything and all that I’ve worked towards and just say forget it to all of it. But even then I know that silencing myself helps no one, especially me. Giving up makes us ask, ‘but what if?’ Personally, I am tired of the ‘what if’s’ in my own life. I know that I am more than someone else’s negative opinions and I know I am better than what I tell myself I am on my bad days.
There comes a point when we all learn to react on our instincts. I have countless moments where I find myself reaching out to others through no rhyme or reason. The irony is in how many of those people I just somehow knew to reach out to at that specific point in time. Each and every person I’ve connected with I have established a bond. These bonds are not based on some kind of requirement of duty, but are done out of sincere concern for each one. It is sometimes those things as small as saying, ‘hey, I’m here,’ that help the most. Being in recovery, I know what it means to have someone to listen, and I also know what it means to have someone extend themselves out of kindness.
This world is ripe with stigma and opinions, but I know that we can overcome our obstacles. No one has ever said that recovery is easy – that’s because it isn’t. In my reaching out to Nick, I explained why I admire him so much. I see someone who has the career that he does who has also suffered with addiction. Addiction is also a mental illness that is completely determined by the way our brain’s receptors respond to certain things. I know too well that if our minds are already considered an enemy to ourselves the damage they can cause us. With Nick’s being on the open sea, I admire the courage and strength he has shown after having so much time to think and imagine about while he drifted.
I know all too well the way our minds can feel overbearing at times. I also know that they can act as a guide for us in the days throughout our recovery. Nick embraces his recovery and shares his experience as a young man who struggles daily but is blessed with the strength to move towards a brighter day. He has a new outlook on life. With all this being said, I wish Nick the best! I also hope for great seasons ahead that will keep bringing those shelled creatures to my dinner table!
For those unfamiliar with Nick’s story, you can read about some of it here: