A local author has a story to tell.
“Winning the Days” is Nick Severson’s tale of his alcoholism and recovery journey. It’s not only a sobriety story but also a guidebook for those facing addiction. That includes family and friends of addicts and alcoholics.
The book was a way for Severson to print what he speaks about in front of crowds. The rough draft of his book was on the back burner for a couple of years, but in 2021 he was determined to finish it.
“My only wish is that it can help anyone who reads it,” he said.
Severson started drinking quite heavily as a teenager. Life problems persisted through his 20s.
“I was drinking literally all day, every day — usually around 60 beers per day (two 30-packs of Keystone Light). I was also smoking a lot of marijuana from age 18 onward,” Severson said.
After a life filled with substance-induced depression and multiple legal, professional, family and social issues, he was arrested one final time in 2014 and placed on the 24/7 Program, which forced him to have two breathalyzers per day.
“For the first time in my life, I had to make an effort to stay sober,” he said.
Severson found his way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and started intense daily workouts at the gym.
The rest is history.
“The judge and state’s attorney allowed me to avoid prison time for my final DUI arrest, and I ran with the opportunity to have a new life,” he said. “I returned to college and was a research assistant in a neurobehavioral lab at the USD School of Medicine studying impulsivity.”
After graduation, he spent two years as an addiction counselor and gained experience with family counseling and mental health treatment, helping many people through mental health breakdowns and suicidal tendencies.
“I loved being able to help those suffering, but I found another calling as a social worker with the State of South Dakota,” he says.
He’s currently taking classes to prepare for the Certified Public Accountant exam.
“I joke that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I am certainly making the most of life,” Severson said.
He recently moved to Yankton with his fiancé and her son, with wedding plans for 2022.
“Most importantly, seven years later, I still go to a gym nearly every day, as the natural high of exercise is keeping me healthy and happy in every sense; all of life’s other blessings are icing on the cake,” he says and continues, “It’s been a couple of years since I spoke in front of a group of addicts and alcoholics, but I really enjoy the opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope with those seeking a way out of the pits of addiction.”
“Winning the Days” is available on Amazon in print and eBook editions. It’s also at the Yankton Community Library for check out.
“It’s a great story from a great man. A must-read,” says an Amazon reviewer.