As some of you know, Nicole Sadly lost her brother, Alex 18 months ago. Since then, as she slowly heals, she has channeled some of her pain into trying to prevent others from suffering the same loss by talking to young people in schools about synthetic drugs. This was a tough week for her. We’ll let her explain why….

Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…

At least that’s what we are thought to believe but in reality words sometimes can hurt, sometimes truly to the core.

I was never one to get hurt by what someone said about me because I have only ever believed that the only opinion that really matters to me is the opinion I have of myself and the opinions of those that love me.

Recently someone said something to me though that at first I was shocked to hear but I’m really not one to keep grudges so I’ve now let it go but subconsciously it ate away at me from the inside out. I was feeling off and I couldn’t put my finger on why. I was down and people started to notice. I felt disconnected and doomed. I drove home after work and I couldn’t even remember the journey home. Dangerous. I felt like I wasn’t part of myself, like I was having an outer body experience, a feeling I’ve had before around the time of my brother’s death.  It’s a horrible feeling not being able to feel like you are part of yourself, I can’t really describe it but if you’ve felt this before you’ll understand what I am talking about. I came home and I burst in to tears, sitting in my car for 10mins just crying and not really understanding why it is I was crying. That overwhelming feeling of panic washed over me.

In the last year I’ve begun to delve into my own emotions a lot more and started to interpret and begin to read between the lines of things and suddenly it became clear to me that what was said to me really and truly hurt me. My natural instinct was to close up and shut it down but it had seeped in and took hold within me without me even knowing.

“You’re only getting famous off the back of your Brother’s death”

In a sense that is true, there is truth to that sentence but here’s what you don’t see. I didn’t chose this, it chose me. It is my brothers story I am just a story teller. It is him that is famous and I am just keeping his memory alive. Nobody knows what we’ve all endured as a family, nobody sees behind closed doors. There isn’t a single second in the day that I don’t wish that I could just go back to have him living to have a normal life where nobody has heard of me or of him, of us and we can just continue to live a normal life. I did not wish for this. Nobody sees exactly what I had to sacrifice, what I am still sacrificing daily. Millstreet is a great town but it was never the plan to come back to live here. I worked my ass off for my dream career, to get out of here. I see all of my friends travelling and seeing the world all these different places and there isn’t a moment where I wish I had that kind of freedom, to just up and leave and go where nobody knows me, start again. Fresh. Everybody sees the happy me, always smiling to some degree but nobody sees the darker side, how I sit behind my 4 walls in my room and dream of what could have been and something like words can stop me in my tracks and turn my world upside-down in an instant.

Here is why I am doing it though.

I do it for him. I do it for all the other families that have had to endure what we do every single day. I speak out for them. I do it for me, it’s the only way this helps me cope. I do it for the future of your kids hoping that they don’t see the same fate. I do it for change, because ignoring it results in more deaths and more lives lost. I do it for my mother, it gives her something to be proud of and something to cope with. I do not do it for the fame or glory or praise none of that matters to me. If I was given a chance to leave and start again I would jump on it in a heartbeat but If I leave then all of this will be for nothing because there is nobody else doing what I do. I put myself out there, I share the story and I relive that memory time and time again. I’ve started something that’s bigger than me and I am not about to let it go. I am only getting started.

So think next time before saying something. Words cannot be taken back and words can hurt there is plenty of evidence of this daily. How many people end their lives due to just words alone?

…Sticks and stones may break my bones and words will sometimes hurt me..


Supported By

Our Pro bono Partners