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Sometimes really good people lose their way. That’s what happened to Nick. 

Life growing up in San Jose, California was comfy. His father was successful, his parents were supportive, his relationship with his siblings was loving. He worked hard in school and at sports in order to make his parents proud, and then he moved to Santa Barbara to go to college. 

Partying days

Partying started, and so did experimentation with drugs and alcohol. 

“I was experimenting with just about everything,” he shared.

His desire to make his parents proud faded. His desire to feel good took over. Every day! And that’s when the vicious cycle began. 

Drug use led to his body breaking down and grand mal seizures, which spiked his anxiety. To ease the anxiety, he experimented with Xanax, a popular benzodiazepine that makes a person feel calm and relaxed. Experimentation led to addiction, which led to more seizures and anxiety, which led to more Xanax.  

He dropped out of college after two years and found a job working for Apple as an IT guy. 

“I can’t even tell you how many sick days I took at Apple. They were sick days I shouldn’t have taken…I felt like shit because of what I was doing to myself.” 


COVID hit and he lost his IT job in the spring of 2020. He moved back home where he isolated himself, staying in his room, mostly, and then going out to party. 

“If isolation tempers the strong, it is the stumbling block of the uncertain.”

Paul Cezanne (French artist and Post-Impressionist painter)

His parents respectfully gave him his space as a young adult but eventually recognized that he was in bad shape, so he entered rehab. 

“I found myself waking up in hospital beds,” he shared.

He got sober, came out of rehab, stayed sober for about a month, and then went back to using. The reality was unsettling: What do you do if rehab isn’t working? 

Through some online research, Nick’s father found Aaron and Ultimate Sober Living. 

Ultimate Sober Living (USL)

Nick moved from California to Nebraska and into the USL home in January 2020. He was guest #1. 

He spent months complying with the structured programming—every day is planned for betterment. He dropped body fat and picked up muscle weight, he received messages every Saturday, he participated in a variety of holistic therapies, he relaxed, he explored nature, he ate very well, and he volunteered throughout the community. Ultimately, he rewired, excited to create a new life of sobriety.

Today, Nick is a financial services trainee, training to be a stockbroker. He has specific recovery goals, which he’s still pursuing; he maintains the programming he learned at USL, and he’s physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. He has great hope and excitement for the future. 

“I’m having a lot of fun watching myself grow and be better. I’m addicted to that,” he shared with a laugh. “I used to hate thinking about the future…now I’m excited about it. Each day is better than the last.”