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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Life Align Recovery in Muskegon - Meet Nick Scharlow


Being an observer is part of what we do as a media company.  We try to keep an eye on what's happening around town and we try to keep an eye on people who are doing remarkable things to help others.  Some are able to do a little something to be a part of it all, and others can go all in.  It's in the collective contributions of us all that we build strength in community and to highlight people who are willing to make a difference, well....that's kind of what this blog is all about.

Meet Nick Scharlow.  Nick is a Muskegon local who had a "wild streak".  Well, some might define it as a wild streak, addiction usually starts off as a good time, this I am more than well aware of, but in the end, if addiction is truly the issue....it's slavery.  Addiction isn't so much about the substance as it is the necessity to self medicate for an underlying problem.  The soothing of the inner pain, or even physical pain leads to someone seeking relief.  Once found, that interruption in agony and the temporary "fix" offers the false reality that it's ok, and that if you just have more, you will be too.  It's a long and dark tunnel that some can never escape.  Others who do....well, that's where we pick up Nick's story.

After a run in with the law, Nick was sent to treatment in Ann Arbor.  It worked, for a while, but like many others, there was a slip.  A return to treatment was necessary where in the stay a little more clarity came about and some of the comfort of the recovery community in Ann Arbor was missing when Nick came back to Muskegon, so....the old saying comes in to be.  "If it's going to be, it's up to me."  Nick decided that Muskegon could use a much more active and engaged recovery community, so he started one.

This isn't to say that the traditional AA stuff and 12 step programs are not paramount.  There are simple basic elements there that are undeniable.  However, the idea Nick is bringing is along with the support and stability, how about some activity?  Maybe some sober outings?  How about community based work projects to keep people occupied?  A drop in center on Merriam Street, centrally located between Muskegon Heights, Norton Shores and close enough to Muskegon to bring people in.  Holistic healing approaches.  It's a peer to peer non profit working all pathways to recovery.  It's a chance for those who are struggling to find a new way away from the chains that hold them.

There is a Grand Opening event coming up.  It will be on June 24th at their location.  The address is 3375 Merriam.  Some free food on hand and a chance to meet those who are working to make it all a reality.  Nick Scharlow and I did get a chance to share stories of recovery as well as his new organization.  Take a listen. 

The story of any addict. While all unique, none are all that different.  It's the idea that somehow, we're 6 feet tall and bullet proof and that life on life's terms can be handled by grit, booze (or a drug) and denial of a problem.  When I sobered up, my counselor told me that "We're all bozo's on the same bus".  Yes, it was a lighter moment in our work, but it's the reality.  We're all more the same than we are different and it takes more than one to make it on the other side of an addiction.  Learn more about Life Align of Muskegon by stopping by their open house on June 24th or visit them online.  You can click on the photo below to follow Life Align on Facebook too!