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Chapter 10 - The Hardest Part

Later that day, he met up with Fran again. She explained that she was part of the administration at the clinic and they talked about what Nick wanted to achieve out of this, about his addictions, his lifestyle, his career, about everything really. Nick didn’t think he’d find himself opening up so easily, he wasn‘t usually so open with people, especially people he‘d only just met, but it was kind of easy to talk to her, she wasn’t judging him or making him feel like a failure. It made a welcome change.

During the discussion, Nick found out that he’d be taking part in a number of highly supervised activities. Also, there was a set schedule for the day, involving therapy meetings, meal times, and individual psychiatric and therapeutic meetings with a professional psychiatrist.

“Fuck me, this isn’t going to be easy” he thought to himself as he sat there listening. But he was committed to getting the help he needed, so was willing to give it a go.

Afterwards, he had a tour of the place with a couple of others who’d just arrived that day also. They all introduced themselves and he could tell right off that Georgia, the tiny but kind of pretty brunette, was here for an eating disorder. She could be beautiful, he thought to himself, if only she weren’t so skeletal looking. The other patient was a guy called Robbie, here for the same reason as himself, drink and drugs. He too was a singer and Nick wasn’t sure, but he thought they may have met at some point in their careers.

The place was impressive though, even housing a full fitness centre with pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Nick knew that he’d be making use of that gym, it would help burn off some of the frustrations that were bound to come with not being able to get his hands on drink.

“Evening meal is served at six o’clock in the dining room, you are free to do what you please until then” Fran told them and then excused herself, leaving them to their own devices.

Georgia sloped off, back to her room. But Robbie and Nick got chatting; they had a lot in common really. Both of them had been the youngest members of boy bands, he’d been in a band called Take That from an early age but had left a number of years ago to go solo. That’s when Nick realised he’d met him before. Take That and the Backstreet Boys had been to some of the same music shows and awards events, so their paths had crossed occasionally.

“They’re thinking of re-forming y’know, without me” he said of his former band “I could never go back; too much has gone on between us for it to ever work again”

“Would you though? If they asked?” Nick asked. He remembered that Take That had indeed got back together and become an even bigger success the second time around. He seemed to vaguely remember that Robbie re-joined briefly before the band called it a day, but he wasn‘t positive about that, but he couldn’t tell Robbie that. How would explain that he knew something which was going to happen in the future? He couldn’t, so he kept quiet about it.

“To be honest, I’d love to, but I fucked things up too much. Believe me mate; you are lucky to have the support of your band mates. I did at one time, but I ruined everything, said a lot of unforgivable things, and ruined one of them in the press. I was a complete twat” Robbie said, a look of sorrow on his face “I’d give anything to be able to turn back time”

Nick had to suppress the smirk that was forming on his face. He had that chance. Somehow, he had turned back time and had his life to live again. He understood exactly what Robbie was saying; in 2020 he was in a worse place than Robbie was right now. Perhaps being here wasn’t going to be so bad after all.


“What the fuck was I thinking?” Nick moaned as he banged his head against the wall in his room, his fists clenched in frustration. What had started off as positive thinking had slowly changed when the cravings had begun. It was now the middle of the night, his first night at The Meadows and it had been more than twenty four hours since his last drink or drug consumption. To say he was having trouble sleeping was an understatement. He was going crazy pacing the room, up and down, up and down, as the sweat poured off his skin.

“Just one little drink, that’s all” he said to himself “or a couple of benzos, or a joint even”. He just wanted something to knock him out until morning, anything would do, he wasn’t fussy, he just needed a little something to take the edge off the jitters he was feeling.

“Fuck” he shouted, pulling at his hair, and then sliding down the wall. He couldn’t even smoke a cigarette as smoking was only allowed in designated areas. As soon as he’d arrived that day, he’d had to hand over his lighter. Lighters and matches were strictly prohibited and only to be used in supervised areas.

He climbed back into bed and tried to get comfortable, falling asleep only after tossing and turning for a couple of hours. Just when he really thought he could’ve slept, it was time to get up.

“Great” he mumbled to himself as he dragged himself out of bed.

“Morning, sleep well?” asked Robbie at breakfast, his eyes giving away the signs that he had also had a bad night. He looked as bad as Nick felt.

“No” Nick replied “but at least I slept eventually. You?”

“Same here” said Robbie “suppose it’s gonna get worse before it gets better”

“I guess so” Nick replied, wishing he could’ve had a couple more hours in bed.

Eating a little bit of breakfast and distracting themselves with small talk seemed to help a little. After breakfast it was time for the first of the group therapy sessions, Nick wondered how that would work out. Would he have to stand there and introduce himself and admit his problems in front of a bunch of strangers? Hi, I‘m Nick Carter and I have a drug and alcohol problem. He knew he had a problem, but wasn’t comfortable saying it for everyone else to hear.

As it happened though, the group therapy wasn’t half as bad as he’d expected it to be. It certainly made him feel like he wasn’t alone, that his little problem was nothing to be ashamed of. Talking amongst the others, he realised that there were people in a worse way than he was. One guy, Kyle Jones from some British rock band, was almost beyond hope before he‘d been forced into rehab by his management. His habit was so bad, he was lucky to be alive. He‘d been found on the verge of death in a hotel room, track marks all up his arms and in a pool of his own vomit. Now, after a few weeks at The Meadows, he was finally recovering. If a guy like that could kick that shit, then Nick could quit the boozing and coke.

There were people from all walks of life here, from rock stars to politicians, spoilt rich brats to businessmen, and everything in between.

Those first few days were the hardest part; the cravings almost drove him mad at times. He now understood why the rooms they occupied were so sparsely furnished, it was to stop them causing too much destruction when things got too much, and things got a bit too much for Nick on several occasions.

Chapter End Notes:
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