Eric G. – 2015 Talks About Surrender
When I walked through the door at Nick’s Place, I knew I couldn’t go back home, but I knew that I wasn’t going to stay there long. I was 25 years old. A year of people telling me how to live my life? That was out of the question. I had done things with my life. I had been successful. All I needed was a place to recharge from using, then I’d be on my way.
That was until it hit me that after 25 years the only thing I had been successful in was using. Nick’s Place was the first place where I didn’t feel judged for being an addict. The house felt more like a family than a halfway house. There was a balance of good times and not so good times. But that is the disease of addiction. Nick’s Place pushed me to become the best person I could be in 365 short days. They believed in me until I could believe in myself. The staff still gives me guidance and checks in on me since I have moved out. I am grateful for the staff, the house, Rhea, and Barry. They saved my life.
Austin H. – 2014
My experience at Nick’s Place has been life changing. When I left Father Martin’s I thought that I was going to yet another halfway house just like the rest. This house has been anything but that. From the tender care of the staff, to the life long memories that are born within its walls, this house is nothing like any other recovery house I’ve attended. The most essential component in my opinion is the alumni’s continued involvement. They have and do give me hope that we, as young adult men, can live full, vibrant, and meaningful lives.
My life has done a complete 180 since I walked into the doors of Nick’s Place. I came in a scared, lonely, hopeless 20 year old boy. Now, I’m leaving a hopeful, grateful, debt free, employable, loving, CLEAN, 21 year old man. I cannot thank the staff and volunteers enough for everything they have done and continue to do for me and the other guys in the house. I am blessed to have had the experience of staying at Nick’s for the entire year. Guys have come and went. Some on good terms, others not so much. Regardless, I have learned something from each and every one of them. This house will always have a special place in my heart. My hope is that Nick’s stays open for many more years so other young man can experience the miracle I have through choosing to come here.
Nick S. – March 13, 2014
The truly unique experience of Nick’s Place was an amazing time for me. From the bad times and punishments to the great friends and life lessons, I wouldn’t change anything. Today I am truly grateful for Nick’s Place and everything they did and still do for me.
During my stay I had my times of frustration and disappointment. At first I didn’t like the rules and guidelines until I talked to alumni and my sponsor. They pointed out to me that I signed up for it and that my way clearly wasn’t working. They couldn’t have been more right. In the months that I was a resident I became close friends with the guys I lived with. This was great for me because I had no real friendships for the five years before. Not everyone that I lived with is still clean today and some of them I don’t know where they went. It’s something that will always happen and it was hard to deal with knowing that I may never see a friend that I got close with ever again.
Getting and staying clean was all I wanted back in January of 2013. Later I started to want more out of life, like the relationships with my new friends, family, and the staff of Nick’s Place. When I was using I was always scared about making any trips because I couldn’t go without using. I got to go on a few trips while I was a resident of Nick’s Place. The annual NA convention in Ocean City that Nick’s Place pays for and sends all the residents to was an experience I will never forget. Also the paintballing trip and rope swing at Beaver Dam Swim Club were a lot of fun with alumni and other NA members.
At the age of 23 and upon arrival in Beltsville I had no idea how to live life successfully. Nick’s Place taught me many things like making my bed, doing laundry, and cleaning up the house. All things I still do today (most of the time). I’ve learned a lot of lessons as well, such as being honest, accountable, reliable, trustworthy, and open minded, which the staff practice as well. Also, on my own I probably wouldn’t have gone to meetings every day, found a sponsor, or worked steps.
Today I still talk to the owners, Rhea and Barry, who are more than willing to help me and talk to me anytime I need to. Recently I have become a buddy to help one of the new members of the house get used to the changes, to have someone to talk to, and to introduce them to others. I’m grateful that I have been asked to be a buddy and it has helped me to remember what it was like for me so I can see the changes and progression in my own life. I just want to say thanks to Nick’s Place and the staff for helping me make my recovery program strong and giving me the tools needed to finally live a great life.
Alumni Baz F. Shares His Experience Of Living at and Leaving Nick’s Place in 2010
For me it is bittersweet to be leaving Nick’s Place.I’ve learned so much about life in such little time. I was so unsure of myself and had no clue what was in store for me. I didn’t know I would meet so many great people that were going to steer me on the right path. Since coming to Nick’s Place it is my first time not getting high since I was a kid. Nick’s Place, I believe, was key in showing me how to have fun in recovery. I’m more happy now then I’ve been for a long time. Again, a key factor in this I believe is Nick’s Place. Without Rhea and Barry on my butt would never have come as far as I have and for that I will be forever grateful.
Two of the greatest people I believe I’ve ever had the pleasure to have here at Nick’s Place. It’s been a great journey; so many great memories. But now moving out has come and I must take the tools I’ve learned here and apply them. I’m so blessed to have obtained the knowledge I have in the past year. This is definitely not a bad thing. I have done what I set out to do and that was learn how to live life. Now that I’ve somewhat done that (lol); now I’m ready to grow more; take on life. I’ll always keep my recovery first because without it, I’ll lose everything I’ve worked for. I must continue to take suggestions and know that I don’t have all the answers. It is up to me.
Alumni Jon F. Shares His 2009-2010 Experience
I lived at Nick’s Place from November of 2008 to December of 2009. In October of 2008 I hit what I feel was a spiritual bottom. I completely despised the person I was and had no willingness or desire to change. I was pretty much forced to go to a treatment center because of the trouble I got myself into looking for another high. After I completed treatment I decided to attend Nick’s Place. In my mind I was planning to stay 6 months at the most, but as the months started passing something clicked in my mind that Nick’s Place was exactly where I was supposed to be. I ended up staying there for about 13 months. The Nick’s Place program has turned my life around 180 degrees. They taught me how to take care of myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Nick’s Place helped me build a strong foundation in order for me to do the next right thing on a consistent basis. I celebrated a year clean in October of 2009, which is a miracle that I never thought would be possible. By taking this process one day at a time I’ve been able to stay clean, make some amazing friends, and learn to love the person I am today. One thing that I never imagined I could do was go to college. Nick’s Place helped me through the process of trying to get into school, and in January I will be attending the University of Maryland for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Today I am currently residing at an Oxford House down the street from Nick’s Place, and work as a foreman for a local Landscape and Design Company.. I am forever grateful for Nick’s Place and everyone involved with the house. I truly believe I would not be where I am today without their love and guidance.
From Pat S. About Her Son John S. Written In Spring 2006
“My son, John, had been a resident of Nick’s Place since March, 2005. He has recently moved to an Oxford House, which is an unsupervised recovery house. I believe that much of the recent success that John has attained is greatly due to the year that he spent at Nick’s Place. Previously, John had frequent relapses, and spent time in jail. However, during his year at Nick’s Place, he was able to secure and maintain full time employment, become involved in NA., open a bank account, and with the help of his father, purchase a car. As the parent of a recovering addict, it is so difficult to be objective about our child’s recovery, and what is best for him or her. I am so grateful to Nick’s Place for providing John with the supervision, structure, and support, which has assisted him in developing the self-confidence, self-respect, and determination which helped him begin to have faith in his own direction. John is now trustworthy, and we are so happy to welcome back our son in participating in our family activities.”
Another Parent’s Opinion From Spring of 2003
“Nick’s Place was a true haven of the peace, love, caring, understanding and sense of family hat John definitely needed during his beginning recovery. .There were so many positive elements about Nick’s Place that he benefited from during his stay.” For example, “your monthly house meetings on budgeting, goal setting and accomplishments, acquiring self esteem and relapse avoidance helped provide the self-confidence, self-determination and knowledge for the young men to begin to have faith in their own direction.”
A Brother’s Thanks Spring 2010
“I want to thank you and everyone at Nick’s Place for all that you have been and done for my brother over the past 8 months. While none of us can tell what the future holds, I really believe that you all had a big influence on Bubba during a very crucial time for him and for that I am very grateful. Please keep me on your mailing list for your news letter as my wife and I would like to keep Nick’s Place in our plans for yearly giving. The work that you do and the place you provide for young men like my brother is nothing short of priceless.”
Alumni Jason S. Shares His Experience Written in the Winter of 2006
“I’ve been at Nick’s Place for 10 months. I’ve been to about five out-patient and three inpatient rehabs since I was 16 and I always blew off going into a sober transitional house and went back home and would end up doing the same things. This time, after rehab, I didn’t want to go to Nick’s Place at first, but I had no place to go. And, now I don’t know where I’d be without it. Since I have been here, I found greater friendships than I could have ever imagined. I’ve learned how to save money, be responsible, and follow through with long-term goals and be able to stay clean and have real hope. My life has turned completely around from where I was this time last year, hopeless, homeless and couldn’t go a day without using drugs. I could never repay what Nick’s Place has given to me. They’ve given me a life today. I will never forget it and I will do anything I can to help whoever comes here after me.”
Phil W. Expresses His Thoughts in the Spring of 2007
“After four months of treatment I took the suggestion to go to a sober living house. I left for Nick’s Place on July 12, 2006 once again alone and afraid of the unknown. At Nick’s I met Rhea and Barry McVicker and they told me to relax, keep taking suggestions and to stay in the moment. Trying my best to do all three, I got a job and began to go to 12–step meetings. Very slowly I gained confidence in my new way of life. At Nick’s Place, I am surrounded by people who love me and care for my well being. Through building trust and friendships, I began to take on simple tasks like doing laundry, doing the dishes, and asking for help without being struck with overwhelming anxiety. Nick’s Place taught me how to humble myself and crawl before I tried to walk”
Alumni Tony W. Writes of His Gratitude in Spring of 2008
“After becoming aware of the severity of this life -threatening disease I had attained the willingness to turn my life around. I did not enter Nick’s Place brimming with hope. In fact, I thought my life was over. Always the dramatic one, I did not realize that this was going to be the best thing that could have happened to me. I had the knowledge of the disease and had taken an honest look at what my life using was like, however, I had no idea how to live sober. Nick’s Place provided me with a loving environment of young adults just like me, who were trying to progress in their lives. The program allowed me to see what a true friend actually looks like. Other than the relationships I made there, the program requires you to find a full time job. While using, I could not even hold down a temporary job. Now after completing the Nick’s Place program I was fully-employed for a substantial period of time and now have a reliable reference from someone other than friends or family, truly a miracle.”
From Andrew M. in the Fall of 2008
“Thinking back to those first couple of days and weeks at Nick’s I can’t believe the changes that have taken place. That very first day I can remember being so scared of using I didn’t want to leave the house; even after 3 rehabs and all the pain that brought me to Nick’s I could not believe there was a better way of life As time went on I began to see some hope. I began building relationships with the other guys in the house and people in the rooms of NA (Narcotics Anonymous). These relationships are still in my life today. They helped me build the confidence in myself and this program that helped me get a job and for the first time in my life completely support myself find a sponsor and begin to grow. Now I can’t begin to imagine where my life would be without Nick’s Place.”