- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Susanne Johnson
If you grow up as a child of two alcoholic parents, you have seen a lot and struggled a great deal in life. Nicole’s mother died from alcoholism at the young age of 41. Her father has been in multiple treatment programs and has not made it into a successful recovery yet. Nicole has a tolerable relationship with her father today, but not to the point that she sees him often. Today, Nicole has two children, and they have seen their grandfather only once so far in their young lives.
Nicole never drank. She knew about the alcoholism of her parents since she was about eight years of age and this experience scared her away from doing any drugs or drinking excessively. Once in a while, she does have a beer with her husband, but drinking has, fortunately, never become problematic for her.
In 2007, Nicole she started to run for exercise purposes. As a young child, she enjoyed dancing and was a gymnast—she has always been very interested in sports and athletics. Running helps her clear her mind and feel better about life. She came to the Heroes in Recovery 6K run in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, because she believes that breaking the stigma around substance use disorders as a great cause.
Because of her family history, Nicole plans to watch her two sons very closely. She is often afraid that they might pick up the addiction tendencies that run in the family. When she was young, she faced embarrassment and misunderstanding about the drinking issues that her parents faced. She understands the stigma that surrounds substance use disorder and all of those who are impacted by this disorder. More than once, she heard people talking about her and her parents. She recalls overhearing discussions about her parent’s drinking. It was a problem for her at that time, but today she has no problem to be open about how she grew up. She feels that nobody should have to hide. People of all backgrounds are affected by substance use problems, and nobody should be denied the help they need or be too afraid to ask for it.
Nicole loves her father a great deal and she prays that he will find the help he needs to overcome the urge to drink. She hopes that he will find recovery from the disease. She would love to have a closer relationship with him and have a sober grandfather for her children.