My Personal Issue Goes Public

Thirty Six years ago today I married the love of my life. We had a fantastic wedding on the Queen Mary and her parents spared no expense. We even had a luau back at her house, after the reception on the fantail deck. Our first dance was to “Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain” by Willie Nelson. My groomsman and I wore our “Cowboy Boots” and represented Texas. Her Father did have to scold a few of my party, as several champagne glasses were being tossed over the side of the ship. I can’t say I blame him at all!

 

Wedding Day 36 Years Ago

Wedding Day 36 Years Ago

 

We have had a wonderful life raising three sons and living an above average lifestyle in my humble opinion. Kim was the perfect Mother and at times my “troubleshooting ability” forced us to move clear across the country with me going in advance and leaving her to take care of our three sons for months at a time. This had to have been a nightmare, having no break or personal time, but she never really complained. Deep down thought I was the luckiest man on earth to have married such a resilient lady. She has been the rock of our family!

 

We moved back and forth across the country too many times and our sons started becoming jaded and not being able to really make close friends. After we moved back to Austin in 1993 I swore I would never move the family again, even though I was asked to. I thought our sons needed roots that I really never had. My Father was a journalist and we move sometime within three months. It made me an unfriendly young man in my opinion and made me build walls, like our sons were starting to do, when I told the company “enough was enough”!

 

Kim and I at The Westerkirk House

Kim and I at The Westerkirk House

 

About 10 years back I started having major issues with my health from all the stress and heavy lifting of the convenience store industry. My first experience was a C5-C6 fusion that obviously was a result of heredity in my family, as my other two brothers have had the same surgery.  Think about how much a case of 6 gallons of water weighs, a case of beer (Especially 30/packs) and cases of any liquids like 32 oz Gatorade might weigh. Manufacturers have finally starting reducing the packaging on heavy cases of liquid. This was my first experience with pain medicine and it was actually given to me in liquid form with out a dispensing spoon or cup. I couldn’t handle how much it effected me and had to switch to pills along with sleeping sitting up for an extended period. It took a while, but I finally weaned myself.

 

In 2001 I had my first lower back surgery, a L5/S1 Laminotomy and again was given heavy painkillers and it took longer to wean myself this time, as I discovered lower back operations result in significantly more pain that spinal neck surgeries.

 

In 2003 I had a heart attack on our 25th wedding anniversary to the day. Of course they administered painkillers again. My weaning process was quick as there really wasn’t that much pain and my back was not involved. One of my arteries was ballooned and unbeknownst to me this process has a 40% failure rate within the first six months. Exactly six months later the artery collapsed again and I wound up have a second stent inserted. Of course this meant additional painkillers and an extended process to wean myself again.

 

I was not an inactive executive and felt our employees would respect me more if I helped them out. The next straw occurred four years later in 2005 after 4 years of sobriety (with the exception of the two weeks after my heart attack) was lifting a 55 pound Bag-In-The-Box for a fountain machine in a new store. I blew out another disk and had my second lower back surgery. This became a more difficult weaning process as my lower back felt like hell and my work was asking me to come back within a few weeks for half days. The drive one way was 56 miles.

 

In 2006 my ENT discovered for most of my life I had only been breathing out of one nostril and had broken my nose in my youth sports activities. I had a deviated septum that again required surgery and painkillers were administered. I had a lot of blood loss from myheart meds, but the most difficult process was the pain from the surgery and once again I had a hard time weaning myself off of the painkillers.

 

In 2007 I started having issues with my lower back again and had many steroid injection procedures to try and resolve the issue. My surgeon finally decided he needed to go back in again and perform a L4-S1 Fusion, obviously the Laminotomy in 2001 was only a temporary fix. My weaning and growing lower back pain became a nightmare and it took a very long time to wean myself from the painkillers again.

 

In 2009 I started having severe lower back pain again in the same region as the 2001 and 2007 operation. I had a series of steroid injections again that did absolutely nothing for my pain. My surgeon kept telling me it was all in my head after MRI’s, Cat Scans, etc. revealed nothing. All I knew was it hurt like hell and again was put back on painkillers to help me through the day.

 

Finally in 2010 my surgeon discovered that I had  a bone spur growing in the vertebrae, pinching the nerve. For months they had told me it was all in my head, but actually had been the bone spur. This is a calcium growth. It was hidden, until it became large enough to see on the various medical processes. My surgeon removed one side of my hardware and told me that the fusion had taken and everything should be good. It wasn’t! It hurt like hell afterwards and to this day is a painful part of my life.

 

Kim's 59th Birthday

Kim’s 59th Birthday

 

In that rough period I have had a total 5 back surgeries, one heart attack, one nasal plasti and all required painkillers. Every time I had a procedure and as I aged it became more and more harder to wean myself from the painkillers. In reality I became an addict and have lived the last few years on and off the painkillers quite frequently. This has not been easy for Kim and she has become totally unhappy with each escapade with the painkillers and watching my withdrawal process. The eight days I went off the radar I actually was in a rehab center in Ft. Worth detoxing. There is a residual briefer weaning process that I am going through now, but I am bound and determined to stay sober and will attend my first NA meeting tonight on the evening of our 36th wedding anniversary.

 

This has taken a major toll on Kim and she felt she had no one to communicate with during this process. This led her to take actions that I did not fully comprehend or agree with. We have grown farther and farther apart and became separated at the first of June this year. We are now going to seek a divorce as a result of my addiction problem. I am devastated beyond belief but have to understand why we are doing this. I just will not be the same and my social media will be sporadic at best. I also will be moving out of the country when the divorce is finalized and I return from my trip to Japan. I pray that Kim finds happiness with the brief time she has left and I ask that all respect our privacy and give us the time and space needed to heal.

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76 responses to “My Personal Issue Goes Public”

  1. Oh Mike, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you both find peace. Keep working on yourself, because you are the only person you can control and just be your best. I hope it’s not too late for you to change your minds.

    It’s so good you have built up such an amazing community around you, so while you feel the need to withdraw right now and I understand that, please don’t isolate yourself. We all want the best for you.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kelly,
      I wish she would change her mind, but I think we have become too far apart, for that to happen. I know I will be lost without her, but thank God I have people like you that I can talk with. After I am able to get up and around I now have to decide where at 65 to relocate to in this vast world. Thank you for your thought!
      Mike

  2. Bret says:

    I know we’ve had private conversations about a lot of this stuff, Mike, but I’m so proud of you for finding the strength to address these issues publicly. You have a huge amount of support from the travel blogging community, and we all want to see you thrive. We’ll be here to help pick you up whenever you’re feeling down, and will cheer you along every step of the way as you adjust to this new transition in your life and wean yourself from your addictions. You’re a good man, and I know you’ll do great things!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Bret,
      You have been a wonderful confidant and friend over the past year, as we have grown to know each other. I am devastated, but thankful that I do have a social media group that will help me through this horrible transition. Thank you kindly for being my friend and I now have to decide where in the world to relocate to. Please stay in touch and you know I will rely on your expertise immensely! Thank you and Mary for your support during this awful phase of my life.
      Mike

  3. Joe says:

    I’m sorry, Mike.

  4. I am sorry to hear this Mike. My parents got divorced after my dad retired, and I know how difficult that was for him. He is now remarried and happier than he was before. There is light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it may appear now. I hope you find that light soon.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Ted,
      We have been friends since Toronto TBEX and I am really glad you posted this comment. At present I am totally devastated and a complete wreck. I cannot even fathom the light at the end of the tunnel, as fortunately your Dad has experienced. I am an old fashioned guy, with different values and always thought marriage was forever. I know that in time I will probably get better, but I can’t imagine I will ever forget Kim or our wonderful years together. Now I just have to get my act together and see where in the world I can relocate and survive, with only my social security income. My places are limited and that will be the most important decision going forward I think. Who knows? I value our friendship more than you know and thank you for your support!
      Mike

  5. Robert says:

    Sucks to read this. It’s a harder transition than I can ever imagine. Everything will work out at the end. It’s great you know what’s needs to change and are taking the steps to do so. Best of luck and know that the travel blogging community is here but never forget about the people physically around you that love you most. Take care and safe travels!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Robert,
      Unfortunately most of the people physically around me are our sons and direct families. They are as devastated I imagine as we are. Thanks for your comment!
      Mike

  6. CAROLYN WILSON says:

    Mike
    I, too, am devastated to learn of this. It seems you both have been through so much. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, for strength and guidance. Please take your time deciding where you will go from here, and seek help through support/information groups that share your issues or who have been there before you.
    Love ‘ya!
    Carolyn

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Carolyn,
      You are entirely correct in your statement. We have both been through so much and I am in complete and utter grief over this. I would have never guessed that the middle aged man that worked with you would wind up in life in this position.

      I am old, as you well know and starting over doesn’t even seem possible. I am not sure my back will ever get correct! I am going to attend NA meetings when I am able and try very hard to get away from the pills.

      The only issue is I am not entirely sure my back can stand being off of them. My pain is always intense and I am trying to lose weight. Down 40 pounds and hoping for another 20. I am trying to see if this help the strain on my back, but I fear I will be in permanent misery the rest of my life. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.
      Mike

  7. Mike–So sorry to hear this. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot–physically and emotionally. It’s understandable that you took a break recently and will be away from social media, etc. for a while. I know it’s really difficult and painful right now, but it will be a little easier later. I’ve been in situations where it felt like it would never get better, but it did. It just took a lot of time.

    This summer, while in Colombia, I met a social worker who appeared at just the right time (I was going through something). He reminded me of the Serenity Prayer, which I’d heard before but never taken seriously. Something about it this time around resonated. Every time that certain situation bothered me, I thought of it–read through it slowly–and started to feel better. I know that it’s part of 12-step programs, so hopefully, it will provide some solace and peace to you.

    Also, I know we haven’t met, but I feel like I know you somehow. I’m here for you if you need me (as I’m sure many people are). You can always write me privately on FB if you’d like.

    Hugs,

    Lisa

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Lisa,
      First of all I do know the serenity prayer and I am sure we will say it tonight at my first NA meeting. It is odd that we have become such good friends on social media. I also feel like I know you well and I think we are kindred spirits.

      I am so lucky to have such a large support group and know that one day the solace and peace you mention will come. Its just going to take to damn long for an A personality like me! Thanks for your comment and for your kind thoughts and friendship! Much appreciated young lady!
      Mike

  8. kay doughety says:

    I am so sorry to hear this Mike. You’ve had a tough time of it. Your love for Kim and your sons has always come through loud and clear so this is heartbreaking. Please be sure you’re getting counseling. If Kim isn’t willing to join you, then go for and by yourself. And if you don’t like the first person you go to keep trying until you find one who can help. I went through a very difficult time about 20 years ago after the end of a relationship and a death in the family. A good counselor not only helped me through that but set me on a much better path in terms of how I lived my life. 65 is not old – it can’t be if I’m 61! I’m sure you’re flooded with grief and unable to imagine your future so I won’t say it will be easy, because it won’t be. But it’s doable and you are clearly a resourceful man with many friends and loving children so you will get through this in your way and on your schedule. Remember to be kind to yourself as you go through this process. Don’t look too far ahead – it’s overwhelming – take it by the hour. Sending lots of positive energy your way! Kay

  9. I am so sorry for the hardship you and your family are going through. Stay strong.

  10. Mike I knew there were issues, but I hoped you and Kim could have worked through them together. Even in your pain, you seem very respectful of Kim and I hope she is being able to do the same for you. I was married at 21 for less than 2 years, no kids, no money. It was easy to close the door on that one, but your and Kim’s lives will be enmeshed forever because you share the same kids and maybe grand kids.Maybe some day you can win her back, but to do so, you need to be accepting of your self and a friend of yourself first (as odd as that sounds). Spend time now figuring out where you are emotionally, financially, job wise, support system wise. Then, determine where you want to be in those areas—in 6 months, a year, 5 years. Then you have to figure out how to come up with action steps to get to where you want to be. (BTW, I’m terrible at taking my own good advice, so don’t beat yourself up if it’s not a straight line to wellness and happiness. If one of your action steps is to find somewhere to live as an expat, there are lots of social media groups covering that subject. I’m a hopeless romantic, so I’m hoping for you and Kim to get back together, but even if you leave that door in your heart and brain open—you need to be building around the window, so you can close it if it rains. I’m getting metaphorical way above my pay grade here, so I leave the psychobabble to others. We’ll still look for you on social media and you can feel free to email me if you need a virtual friend. I cant check my FB private messages on my phone, so you can use sfluhresq AT gmail dot com,2B6N2B6N .

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Suzanne.
      I am humbled by your thoughts and concerns. I cannot in all honesty dispute anything you said. I too am a hopeless romantic and sent Kim 36 red roses today, one for each year of our marriage.

      It’s funny, but everyone keeps telling me to learn to love myself before I can get past this. I am not entirely sure I comprehend this philosophy and will need help understanding the concept.

      I value our friendship and have the utmost respect for you and your husband. I can never forget Kim, nor will I ever stop trying to win her back. She is the one true love of my life. I will be lost without her but will have to realize how to move on.

      I am retired and only have my social security check to live on, which obligates me to move abroad as you can understand. Currently I am leaning to SE Asia as our oldest son lives in Japan and it is fairly cheap to fly back and forth.

      I appreciate your comments and thoughts and wish you well “young lady”!
      Mike

  11. Mike, I don’t have a lot of experience or pearls of wisdom for things like this but I can say that I will have you in my prayers. May God give you the strength you need to make it through this. I am here if you ever need someone to liste.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Will,
      My friend my student and my brother. I can never repay the bond of friendship we have formed and appreciate your thought more than you will ever know! Muchas gracias mi amigo!
      Mike

  12. Oh Mike, I am so sorry to read this. Firstly I am, as I am sure are many touched that you cared to share this news. It’s so personal and so raw it would have been easy to say nothing. I wish you the very best, and will pray that you continue to find the strength to stay sober. I also send my regards to Kim. Although her mind is made up, that can not have been easy for her, or your children. Sending you much love.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      SJ,
      Thank you so much for your continued support and thoughts. It was not easy to share, but is a part of the healing process I believe. Hope you are enjoying Croatia. You will have to tell me about the cost of living there. Thanks.
      Mike

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      SJ,
      Sorry my web site had a virus that I had to get repaired. I appreciate your kind words and I appreciate your comments so much! Totally appreciated!
      Mike

  13. Earl Gallaway says:

    Crap! Crap! Crap! Max and I are so saddened hearing this. Meeting the two of you in Cuenca was one of the highlights of our first trip there. If either of you need to ‘download’ or just to ramble, feel free to email me either on my ivan052/yahoo or my FB accounts…neither will hear about the other’s comments, that’s personal and private. I am glad you are taking steps to improve your ‘self’ and I hope Kim seeks guidance for her sake as well. Life happens, and then we get in the way. BTW, Max likes the beard, too. Oh, Double Crap!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Earl,
      It has literally devastated me, but I will work through my issues. I can only hope that somewhere down the line we can get back together and begin anew. Thank you for your thoughts and thank Max for my beard compliment. Love you both!
      Mike

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Earl,
      Not sure if you got my response on the web page, but I appreciate your thoughts.
      Mike

  14. Hi Mike,

    My heart is sadden by your situation. I will keep you and your loved ones in my prayers during this difficult time.

    Lots of Hugs,

    Ruthie

  15. I am saddened by your heart wrenching post –
    But, by going public I want to congratulate you on crossing the biggest and most difficult bridge that will take you into your future successfully – That took guts, strength and honesty.
    And well done for focussing and committing to your future by taking the positive actions you have so far, to get your life back on track – With that attitude you’ll be amazed at what will cross your path and take you forward on, no doubt, unimagined trajectories –
    I look forward to crossing paths with you on one of those trajectories… somewhere in the world

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Linda,
      I appreciate your kind words and thoughts, as I transition into a new life. Going public is kind of the first step I am told, in admitting and repairing my failure.

      I too look forward to crossing paths with you and sharing tales of our travel escapades. I am appreciative of the depth of your comment and have taken your words to heart. I will repair myself and move on! Thank you kindly!
      Mike

  16. Derek Freal says:

    Stay strong Mike and give me a shout if you ever want to chat or I can help in any way. Best wishes my good buddy and fellow Texan, stay strong. Just think of that gorgeous seaside paradise that is waiting for you after all this.

  17. CC says:

    It takes a lot of courage to put your story in print for the world to see. Sometimes just the act of putting yourself out there and sharing your struggle will help you hold yourself accountable. Not to mention the number of people who will read your story and seek help because of it. Addiction is a terrible disease and one that attacks without prejudice.

    As a person who was once married to a man with a terrible addiction problem and all its resulting issues, I wish you the best and hope that you continue to attend NA wherever you are/go (And find a good sponsor!)–because wherever you go, there you are. And I would recommend that your wife find a good Al-anon Program (for her own recovery). You are a brave man to do what you are doing; and it was also brave of your wife to finally choose her own path (even if you may not see it that way right now). The hardest single thing a person can do is choose to leave the one who has the addiction in favor self-preservation, and believe me, that is what it is. Years later, my ex and I are on great terms and he is sober–If that is any consolation. My best wishes to you on your journey. I encourage you to continue to visualize the person you want to become every day; and to find ways to deal with your pain that do not involve the pain killers you have become addicted to–There are many unorthodox pain management methods out there and I hope you will continue to seek until you find the one(s) that work for you…Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, Prolotherapy, Acupuncture, Reiki, Meditation, etc. Sending you love and light and prayers.

  18. I am so very sorry to know about this praying for you divorce is a difficult thing to go though and more when you have an illness. Big hug my friend.

  19. Mike,

    Kudos to you for putting this out here, I know it wasn’t easy. I’m proud of you for the steps you’ve taken to “right the wrongs” and while it seems too late, I hope that maybe things may change down the line. I am far too familiar with addiction as well — from the spouse side of things. My ex-husband was a closet alcoholic who did a hell of a job keeping it from me and it destroyed me. He turned abusive and that is when I walked.

    I worked litigation related to auto and homeowner accidents for 12 years and what I saw with painkiller addiction is far too common, perhaps more common than you realize. The pain from failed back surgeries or repetitive injuries are devastating and it’s not uncommon to find yourself addicted to painkillers because the pain is really just that bad. The weaning process is hard and you have a long road ahead, but know you have friends and we will always be there, even if it’s just a quick virtual hug. Right now, try to focus on the immediate — getting through the rough part of weaning yourself off the painkillers. I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to focus on your fears about the pain you are going to face in your back.

    If there is anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Erin,
      I appreciate your kind words and comments and thank you for your continued support. Thank God I was never abusive!
      Mike

  20. wow, what courage to write and share…. staybrave sir. And staybrave as you enter the next phase of your life….all the best to you, your ex-wife, and family. if you need help or to talk, feel free to drop me a line.

    stay brave, Craig

  21. By sharing, I believe you will help others in similar situations. However, there are always two in a marriage; don’t take all the blame Mike. You have taken steps to rid yourself of the addiction; you have helped raise three fine sons and provided for your family — go easy on yourself. You’re a good person. I wish you all the very best.

  22. Bob R says:

    Echoing the rest – I can’t imagine how difficult it was to write and share this, nor can I relate to the path that has led to here. But I appreciate very much and am inspired by the strength it has taken to do so. Stay well.

  23. Frank says:

    Hi Mike,
    I don’t know you much. But I read this post and was really saddened by all you’ve been through. I wish you the best both with your health and with Kim.
    Frank (bbqboy)

  24. Linda Bibb says:

    Oh, Mike, I am so sorry to hear of this. I know how much Kim means to you. I can’t help but imagine that you are in a deep, dark place at the moment, as are your children. But please try to be kind to yourself. You continue to fight, continue to love, and continue to hope.

    Kudos to you for this post. Your transparency is remarkable. Sure, it will keep you accountable and explain why you may not always be online, but more than that, you have exposed a widespread problem. (You’ve also exposed how caring and supportive the travel blogging community can be!)

    Although we didn’t spend tons of time together while you were in Cuenca, both Dan and I have come to care about you and consider you a friend. If you need something (or nothing at all, ha!), we are here for you. Neither of us has had to endure chronic pain, but we have both survived divorce and have watched a son defeat addiction.

    In the meantime, while things may sometimes seem hopeless I hope you can keep two things in mind: nothing is impossible and nothing ever stays the same.

    Hugs to you, amigo. I am sending up prayers for you and your whole family.

  25. Mike, I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles. All the best to you as you continue your rehab and recovery. I know it’s a difficult time, but keep strong, and as others have mentioned, know that you’ve got a lot of support in the blogging community. You know where to find us.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Cathy,
      Sorry I had a virus on my web site and could not respond. I truly appreciate your thoughts. I have been overwhelmed by the support I am receiving and it is is beneficial in so many ways! Thanks.
      Mike

  26. Andi says:

    Oh Mike, I send you a million and one hugs! I’m so sorry for all this suffering that you’re going through. I have been through a lot of health problems myself and that is what led me to become an Acupuncturist. So, I can totally relate to your physical suffering. As far as Kim goes, if she’s the love of your life, which it sounds like she is, don’t give up on her yet! I LOVE that you sent her 36 roses today. Keep showing her how much you love her and maybe she’ll come back to you. I too am a hopeless romantic!!! If you ever need someone to talk to, please send me a FB message. I’m sending you lots of positive energy! <3

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Andi,
      Thank you for your comments and thoughts. You are entirely correct that Kim is the love of my life and I am learning how to “Love Myself”, which is a big piece of the puzzle it appears. I was failing miserably and had no self esteem or confidence left after a business failed and it ate at me for years and caused severe guilt. The back pain is never going to go away I fully realize, but I have to learn to mentally handle it without medicating myself. I have lost 40 pounds through this ordeal (most intentional) and need to lose another 20. I am going to rebuild my core.

      I tried acupuncture, but it did not work for me except for a day or two at the most and really can’t afford it anymore. I am taking a new approach and leaving anger out of all discussions. Time will tell, plus I will be in Japan for 6 weeks and out of the country next year for an extended period of time. Time will tell if we should get back together. I have to learn a few things before that can happen. I am very happy about your baby and hope that you have an easy birth! Stay in touch my friend.
      Mike

  27. Hi Mike,

    This is the first post I’ve ever read of yours, and it’s shamefully because I was a curious lookey-loo and wanted to see what bad thing had happened from the title. However, the disintegration of a loving marriage that began before I was even born, and the associated heartbreak I feel for you and your wife, I did not expect.

    My uncle crushed five vertebrae and lives with a wedge compression in his spine and has for 20 years from his last night jump in the 82nd Airborne. He’s dependent on painkillers or he just can’t function, because of the intensity of his pain. I don’t look at him as an addict, because without the pills, he can’t even enjoy the simple things in life like watching my daughter grow and my marriage comedy–he lives with us, and I baby him a lot. He lost his marriage from similar complications, so I try to give him an overabundance of love to make up for what he’s lost–which of course I can’t, but it doesn’t stop me from damn well doing the best I can to make him as comfortable and happy as possible.

    What I want to say to you is NONE of this addiction has directly been your fault. You’ve had a mighty rocky road, my friend, and I hate that your wife couldn’t tough it out and that the distance became too great. I’m going to pray that a miracle happens in your marriage, but I’m mostly going to pray that you will be okay and will come through it with the ability to enjoy the rest of your life without more debilitating surgeries or heartache. I hope you find a great support group in NA or elsewhere in real life that can be there to uplift you in ways that social media cannot.

    I wish you the best and hope for comfort and healing of the scars you can see and the ones that don’t show.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Amberr,
      I appreciate and really adore your comments. They build my self esteem back, which has been missing for some time. I am so sorry to hear about your uncle and I can empathize totally with his pain. I have to learn a different method and am starting to Meditate daily in the morning and before I go to bed each night. It is actually helping a little so far. I lost 40 pounds and am targeting another 20. I will then try to start walking more and building up my core muscles. The biggest factor is learning to “Love Myself” again. It strangely is a concept at almost 65 that I had no understanding of and am learning about.

      I truly appreciate your valuable suggestions and encourage you to go back on my blog and read some of my more “happier” posts! I think you are an angel for understanding and loving your uncle with his pain. Thank you for taking the time to share and for your heartwarming and inspiring thoughts!
      Mike

  28. Helen says:

    Mike, I had no idea and I’m so sorry to read this. I know we’ve never met in person but know that the travel blogging community is here for you.

    If you ever wish to reach out and talk, please shoot me a message (and I do mean that). I’ve unfortunately experienced the consequences of a loved one’s struggle with addiction more times than I would like to count, and with devastating consequences. If I could provide some perspective and lend an ear, I hope you let me know.

    Remember: You’ve already been through so much, which means you are a survivor! That takes unimaginable strength and I admire you for it. Thank you for your honesty.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Helen,
      I am sorry to hear that you have been through a similar situation, as I know the pain associated with it (sadly now from both perspectives). You are correct that our travel blogging community is huge and so supportive. I have been overwhelmed and brought to tears so many times from people’s comments. It has impacted me positively and more than anyone will ever know or understand. I will Facebook PM you and give you my email address, so you can share your story if you desire and if you think it will help me. Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to learning more about how to recover from my devastating loss through your advise.
      Mike

  29. noel says:

    Oh how aweful Mike…big hugs to you dear friend!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Noel,
      Thanks for your thoughts and as I stated yesterday on Facebook I think, I am sorry we can’t room together at TBEX in Athens, as planned. I am very glad though that TBDI accepted you in the food cluster. Be happy my friend! Thanks.
      Mike

  30. This is such a hard time for all of you and our thoughts are with you. Life has a way of sorting things out and we really believe that there will be a good life ahead – for all of you. Stay as strong as you can, and it is easy to see that you have a large support network. USE US

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Paula,
      Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I am using the “large support network”, probably more than most people realize. Without that portion of my life I would be a complete wreck. Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.
      Mike

  31. Sunish says:

    Hi Mike,

    I was wondering what was going on with your blog posts as your feeds were not coming up in my Triberr. I thought I missed some of them probably because I wasn’t very active.

    Sorry to hear about the tough time you are going through now. You are a good man and hope everything turns out the best for you and Kim!

  32. Túlio says:

    I wish you the best, Mike! I always read your blog but I never left a comment. But this time I couldn´t left without writting some word. Good luck in this new phase of your life. Keep rocking!

  33. It takes a huge amount of confidence to post this Mike. I’m sorry to hear of the difficulties that you’ve been experiencing. Take strength from this community that you’ve created. I wish you all the very best.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Colleen,
      My ability to get through this horrible dilemma has been helped immensely by the aid of my friends in the travel community. I am truly overwhelmed by the positive feedback and support sent in comments on my blog and on the various social media platforms, I am in awe of this community and feel very lucky to have so many virtual friendships. They really have helped me in the first few days of my situation. Thank you kindly young lady for your thoughts!
      Mike

  34. So sorry to hear this, Mike. Stay strong. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult times.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Frank,
      I have been lucky receiving all the support I have received from my travel community and feel overwhelmed by the feedback from people I really haven’t met in person, but have developed virtual relationships with online. You have been very supportive on Triberr, and many other social media platforms. Thank you kindly for always sharing and hopefully in my future travels I can get to Croatia (On my Bucket List for sure) and we can meet up. Thank you kindly for your thoughts.
      Mike

  35. Kirsten says:

    I was so sorry to read this, Mike. How utterly devastating. Pain pills can be a bitch. I shattered my C5 in a major car accident and, while I’m very grateful I didn’t die, the healing process which included major surgery and a plate, was a real challenge. How much worse for you with so many more episodes and complications.
    You’re a very brave and courageous man.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kirsten,
      The feedback has overwhelmed me and my memory has obviously been distracted. So, if I have already responded I apologize in advance. I empathize with your neck issues and have never fully recovered from my surgery. I have a small tick that makes my head tremor slightly and sometimes people think I am shaking my head no from it. I hope that you have healed 100% and your life is without additional surgery on your spine or any place else. Thank you for your thought.
      Mike

  36. Turner says:

    Wow Mike. Respect for the radical honesty and getting help. Divorce is said to be one of the toughest things, like a death, but I always find that one when door closes another one opens. New chapters await and great opportunities can come from crisis. Keep your chin up and soldier on.

    Take care Mike,

    Turner

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Turner,
      I am honored that you took the time to send me a note. Knowing the serious stress you went through we we first, met I know you can relate to my situation on that level. I am glad that you were awarded your objective and I am truly happy we have actually met in person and know each other. We are both very fortunate to be in such a caring and compassionate industry and have so much support. I am not sure I would have gotten through all this without the online support I am receiving. My chin is “lifting”, not entirely up yet, but I will move on eventually and take advantage of my online travel friends, as I began my new adventures in the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to leave a comment. It means more than you will ever know. Love you bro!
      Mike

  37. Alyson says:

    Very sorry to hear that. You always come over as so nice.Stay strong.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Alyson,
      Thank you for being a caring individual and for taking the time top leave a note. It was a very hard post to publish, but they say that admitting your issues is the first step in recovery! Thank you kindly for your comment.
      Mike

  38. Deia says:

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to share this. I’m so sorry for what’s happening and I wish you strength as you go through this difficult time.

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