Drinking started as Friday night fun for Nick Alexander – something that all the lads from school did. But then it became something he did every day. Mid-week drinking after football, and the blur of university. “Times were good – from the outside,” he says. Then he was drinking to and from work, and it escalated. By his late 30s, he said: “I’d become so dependent that I didn’t know where to turn. I knew there was something wrong. I needed a certain amount of alcohol in my system just to sleep. I was lucky that I had a doctor that could stick with me, and get me on a path to counsellors and therapists.”
Fast forward to today. Nick is 45 and has been sober for four and a half years. Through his doctor, he found an education and rehab centre, and was supported by the organisation Life Ring. Park Run gave him the impetus to become active for the first time since school, and ignited a love of running that has seen him already complete 14 marathons. Nick now hosts running tours through the city of Dublin, sharing parts of the city that he discovered while out running, including the city’s vibrant street art scene. “I have a life. It just shows that it’s possible if you want to stop. I don’t think I really wanted to stop till I was lying in a hospital bed, being told I had weeks to live. Your life can be turned around, no matter how bad things seem.”
- Nick’s running tours are www.irundublincity.com and you can follow him on Instagram, Facebook or on twitter. You can learn more about Nick’s story in this RTE feature.