Hi my name is Nick Kastros and I’m an addict. This entry is meant to provide a summary about where OD began and how far we have come over the last eight months. I have two questions for you: what makes you happy and are you happy at this moment?
I was hooked on drugs for over ten years, but I’ve always been an addict. For years this was a difficult reality because I thought it made me a bad person. Follow my rationale for a moment: if being an addict equals being a bad person, and I know I’m not a bad person, then I know I’m not an addict. Flawed Logic. After twenty-nine years, four overdoses, two rehabs, one psych ward, a failed marriage, and a multitude of poor decisions, led to a defining realization: that being an addict is neither good or bad; it just is.
The Journey of OD began in January. My grandmother had recently passed, and it created a compulsion inside of me to make a change. I quit my job working retail to take a shot at creating something. At the time I’d spent the majority of life quite miserable and I really contemplated how I would answer those two questions I mentioned above. I’d always thought I would be a writer, a journalist in particular, but up until this point I had done very little to make that dream a reality. I’d intended to pursue a journalism degree in college; however after my first semester, the Central Michigan University’s Journalism Program lost accreditation. I was encouraged to change programs and ended up earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
I spent time considering what would bring me the most fulfillment and happiness, that I would be content doing for the rest of my life. I decided to started OD and figured I’d learn what would be needed along the way. My entire life I’ve been a salesman, when I started this I had no audio, business, computer, or interview experience. I knew I wanted to be a journalist so that seemed like a good place to start. I was able to teach myself audio editing and recording. Then I bought a site, even though I considered myself rather “tech illiterate”. I didn’t really know what Twitter or Instagram were, but I have been working on learning the ins and outs of these social media platforms since starting. I learned the basics of web design and personally completed all of the site coding and mapping on my own. I’ve said it multiple times now, I’ve learned more in the last eight months than I had learned in the previous 10 years. I’ve been told I’m an inspiration by more people in the last eight months than I had in the previous 28 years.
I’ve networked with artists and addicts. I’ve conducted interviews and met amazing people along the way. I’m humbled by the people who have offered to help. An artist, Nolan, graciously volunteered to design something for our initial launch. The support and reception we have received have been incredible. Whether or not we reach our goal of $2,500 isn’t what’s important. What we raise is only going to determine where we go next or how far we travel, but not what we do because we have a vision. We settled on aiming for $2,500 because that is the amount needed to build our message statewide. On August 31, 2017 (effective March 29, 2017) the governor sent a memorandum to all school districts allowing them to stock Narcan. Our mission is simple: to create a platform for open discussion on addiction, provide aid in the form of Narcan to all schools in Michigan, and increase awareness about substance abuse in the form of our products. While $2,500 won’t cover the costs nor the logistics to get this done it will provide enough to start. It will cover the cost to manufacture our next line and continue our message. The last eight months have been the happiest of my life. I know this is what I was meant to do and I have created something that I’m proud of.
Thank you for reading,
Living in the now is where we find heaven because now is always and forever