The Deadliest Disease

By Nick Mcglashan

A lifestyle of the Bering Sea Crabber is a dream for many, but a reality for few. Hard work and fast money make this a lucrative industry enviable for the hopeful masses.

The ruthless, persistent, yet beautiful Mother Nature is our greatest adversary. She hits us with winds exceeding 60 miles per hour, bites us with temperatures that dip below -30 degrees, and relentlessly threatens us with waves taller than a three story building. With an injury rate over 90%, it's one of the most dangerous working environments on the planet. It's no wonder why there is only 350 people in the world who can claim this as a career.

My life went from Bering Sea badass to full blown junkie very rapidly. Hidden from me was that passion I had for life. Taken from me was my ability to live. I was at war with my addiction and it was winning.

To say I was lost would be an understatement. I was broken and soulless. I was living without any hope of happiness. All I wanted was to stay loaded. Every bit of happiness stripped away by a powerful, cunning, and baffling disease.

I was three overdoses into my addiction and a heavy alcoholic. My addict self was killing me and I was struggling to die.

When I ceased to be an active addict I was drinking half a gallon of vodka, shooting two grams of heroin, and one gram of meth every day. My mind, body, and spirit were so diseased, I welcomed my own death, I was ready to die. A lot of addicts justify their drug of choice.

The alcoholic says "at least I'm not an addict".

The meth addict says "at least I'm not on heroin".

The heroin addict says "at least I'm not a tweeker".

I was a real bad example of all three.

Why did I get this sudden urge to become clean? Why do I continue to stay sober? I feel as if a higher power reached down and saved my life, plucking me from a certain death during a raging storm.

It was November 8th, 2016 I reached out via text and three words saved my life, "I NEED HELP".

On November 11th at 11:11 pm I walked through the doors of a treatment facility; scariest thing I've ever done, (but) also the best thing I've ever done. I was broken, hopeless, without love, strength, or honesty, all of which my disease had hidden from me.

I was amazed by the acceptance and comfort which was so openly and willingly given. I needed to be surrounded by one hundred addicts like myself to get the tools I needed to learn to live without the use of drugs or alcohol. I was exactly where I needed to be.

How do I stay sober? What keeps me clean? I surround myself with like-minded people, I live my program to the best of my ability every day, I have a sponsor, I share, and I go to meetings. The greatest thing about my recovery is that I can change someone's life just by talking about my addiction and recovery. Being sober used to feel uncomfortable, it felt weird. I had been loaded for so long, sober scared me. I live a life that inspires. I don't live a life to inspire anymore.

As I thrive in my recovery my world begins to make sense. Everything begins to become clear. All those silly suggestions in the big book began to change my life. Slowly I began to notice the changes in my thoughts and heart. Living my program isn't only about not using anymore, it's about being happy, feeling love, loving, being at peace with myself, and being a better man than I was yesterday. Not using has become a by-product of my new life that I'm building on that solid rock bottom I was at less than six months ago. When I look at my life and feel at peace with the changes I've made, that's recovery.


Nick Mcglashan is a cast member on The Deadliest Catch