Feb. 16, 2009 marks a turning point in the life of Alcona resident Nicholas Goodman.
That’s when he broke a cycle of drug addiction, criminal activity, and mental illness, and started a transformative journey to become an addiction counsellor, loving father, traveller, and author of Walk in Beauty.
Walk in Beauty traces Nicholas's first five years of sobriety — a journey of strength, courage, and healing.
“I was caught in a downward spiral that was leading toward an early death. Yet, something inside of me still yearned for life. And it was this small flicker of light that led me through the darkness,” Goodman told InnisfilToday.
Goodman said the contrast between his past disrupted life, tangled with multiple times in jail and hospitalized, is inconceivable.
“Chaos gave way to peace, illness transformed into health, and inebriation replaced with clear-minded sobriety," he says.
In Walk in Beauty, Goodman describes priceless moments in his journey, such as his pilgrimage through the highlands of Iceland or when he took his daughter Mikki on a trip through the remote regions of Greece.
Goodman, also a therapist and hospice worker, wrote Walk in Beauty in March 2020, when COVID-19 shut everything down, and he saw the addictions and mental illness crisis reaching an all-time high.
“I yearned to share my story, but above all I had the teachings to offer that could help others find and maintain their own sobriety. I’ve been given a profound gift, and I must return it to others," he says.
Goodman believes his personal story introduces readers to those teachings, and a new approach to treating addictions, that they otherwise would not discover.
“I’ve travelled the world, met incredible people, and studied diverse subjects. But most importantly, I’ve ventured into my own soul, and brought back the lessons that I’ve gleaned from my own experience.”
He acknowledges most people who try to overcome their addictions sadly never will, as he mourns friends and clients he has lost along the way. But at the same time, he hopes Walk in Beauty will grant readers the tools to unlock their wisdom and apply it to their lives.
After 13 years of sobriety and a decade of working in the addictions field, Goodman noted that there are many pathways to sobriety besides the common treatment methods in place.
“One of the greatest follies made in treating addictions with conventional methods is the belief that the counsellor's way is the best or only way," he says.
He said he had numerous clients who turned off from conventional methods of treatment after having had other addicts or healthcare practitioners force their beliefs onto them.
“It is a tragedy when counsellors or sponsors deter people from exploring alternative treatment options due to their own limiting beliefs,” said Goodman.
Like every individual, he says, every addiction is unique and determined by countless contributing factors, which makes limiting people’s exposure to other possibilities a mistake.
“Sobriety is a creative endeavour, and someone struggling with addictions should have endless opportunity to explore, and implement the things that are congruent to them.”
Nick stressed the importance of providing as many resources as possible to address the current addictions crises and the dire state of people's mental health.
“Walk in Beauty provides readers with an opportunity to explore beyond the twelve-step program and routine treatment methods that most addicts have exhausted," he says.