I have a wonderful story I want to share with everyone

His name is Erik. He is a Bismarck native - 43 years of age. Has a beautiful 8-year-old daughter named Lila. Life is perfect, right? It is now, but there is an amazing story of love. strength and hope behind his journey, you see Erik is an addict, and always will be -I am an alcoholic, and always will be. He is an inspiration to talk to, and that's the bond we share, to help others in a fight for their lives.

November 5th, 2021

Weeks before the above date mentioned, Erik had reached rock bottom - homeless and completely helpless to the power of addiction, he made a painful decision - taking his daughter over to his ex-girlfriend's house with one intent - "Don't let her see me anymore"  Surrendering to an almost unbeatable foe had not happened yet, and he was arrested soon after on a charge of possession of drugs and a parole violation. Inside the Burleigh County jail, he met someone ( an employee of the jail ) who would help turn his life around - guiding him into the first step of getting treatment. November 5th, 2021 a special day in Erik's life  - the start of sobriety.

"Bad boys, Bad boys...."

Lila was 5 years old when she went to see her daddy in jail. Her first conversation began like this "Bad boys, Bad boys...." THEN this "Mommy says you are going to get better...DOCTOR, DOCTOR..." --the greatest motivation comes from a loved one - after 45 days in jail, Erik had a bed all ready for him at Silver Creek Recovery in Watford City. It was here that he found NA ( Narcotics Anonymous ) - it was here that he found others to talk to, to listen to, and to slowly find himself again. " I needed to get sober and figure out why I'm still using" One of the greatest gifts I've ever experienced was about to happen to Erik.

"I don't have to be ashamed anymore...."

As he faced "The biggest hurdle in his life"  - he would come to breathe and take in what is for the most part NORMAL for people - living sober. More than half of his life was spent taking care of his addiction - you just can't wake up one day and expect to live without it - most people who attempt to get sober will relapse...eventually. Some will try again, some will end up back in jail, and some will die. That's the nature of our disease. I asked Erik on the phone this morning if he remembered WHEN he first realized the "Obsession had been lifted"  - he did. "The biggest freedom you'll ever give yourself...a NEW way of life"

The rewards of sobriety are many

Today he is a full-time student at Bismarck State College - majoring in Industrial Automation - made the President honor roll his first year - with a 3.5 GPA. Erik takes part in NA Zoom meetings, in between going to school. He is enjoying the REWARDS of SOBRIETY - here is one example -from an email he received this morning from Lila's teacher:

"I just wanted to take a quick moment to let you know how much of a rock star Lila has been in school! She has been working so hard to start, complete, and persevere through tasks and has been reaching her goal week after week. I absolutely adore her incredible work ethic and kind heart. She is determined and dedicated, and I always look forward to starting my days with her. I know that her success is a reflection of all the wonderful things you do to support her, so thank you for raising such a sweetie! I am truly grateful to get to know her this year"


Erik is a shining example of HOW you can turn your life around. For those that are suffering, I truly hope you give yourself another chance. Addiction kills and will never go away, it's how you stand tall and face life that makes the journey so rewarding. Erik has a tremendous support system, he lives with his parents alongside his rock-star daughter. He will continue to give back to others, and he will never forget his past - his nightmares now are only in his sleep, and they are a constant reminder of just how we easily can fall - Thank you, Erik, you are a real inspiration.


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