The right message can make you look at life in the moment differently.
Tyler Auck of Bismarck, North Dakota began to see life in a new way after making a fresh start on January 5, 2011. Today he shares this message with individuals by text, email, LinkedIn, and in person:
I hope your day is filled with so much gratitude and beauty that tears of joy run down your cheeks.
“The response I get back is truly amazing. And the people that have been put in my life, it’s mind blowing,” Tyler explains. “People from all over the world have been contacting me and telling me what this message has done for them. It does a lot for me to be able to do that. I want to help people.”
Tyler has shared his message with about 8,000 people since he started three months ago. His goal is to reach 100,000 people. His determination stems from a lifetime of tears that were not the result of joy, but pain, loneliness, and despair.
Tyler is a recovering addict. He started using drugs and alcohol when he was 14. He says he realizes now it was to cover up the pain of trauma which began very early in his life, and abuse that continued for many years. His life took many turns leading to trouble involving drugs, assaults, and robberies. He was arrested. He overdosed. He attempted suicide.
“The consequences were never enough. It didn’t matter if I died. It would have been wonderful. The addict’s prayer is please, don’t let me wake up. Most addicts pray for that all the time.
“As addicts we have this disease and it makes us do horrible things at times and makes us not the best people at times because we have to fuel that disease; we rob places, we hurt people. And we do those things to make our disease okay. That’s why I say, ‘love the people that are the hardest to love.’ We need to be loved. This needs to be looked at as a disease, just like any other disease.
“Breaking down those stigmas is huge. And I can do it because I’ve been the one who is very hard to love. I’ve done all those things in my life—burglaries, assaults, lying, cheating, stealing; everything to fuel my addiction.”
Tyler lives with PTSD and anxiety disorder as a result of his past. But he does not complain.
“I call them my “broken gifts.” If I look at them the right way and use them the right way they’re good things. They come with some horrible side effects but they are some really good things to have—for me.”
Life began to turn around for Tyler on January 5, 2011, his sobriety date. He was in treatment at Heartview Foundation in Bismarck. And life is good for Tyler now. He will graduate in May 2018 from Minot State University with his degree in addiction studies. He started an internship at Heartview in June and says he has decided to pursue his master’s degree. Tyler is married, has a two-year old son and 17-year old daughter with his wife, Amber.
Not only does Tyler share his message with individuals each day, he also texts a picture of a flower daily to Amber.
“I love flowers. That’s where I found my spirituality, in flowers. I worked at the capital for 10 years and I took care of the flowers. On breaks I would sit out in the peonies and I noticed everything blooming; the colors, the smells. Everything was screaming at me. I never did believe in God before, I always fought against it. But I found my Higher Power sitting there in the flowers.
“We get our hearts broken throughout our life. People die, different things happen, pain sadness, and we get these cracks in our heart. I always say, ‘flowers grow in the cracks of my heart.’”
Tyler plans to write a book in which he will share more details of his life and what he experienced. In the meantime, he is speaking to groups across the state, sharing his story of recovery, and working with law enforcement to combat the opioid problem. And he delivers those caring words every day, wanting others to discover what he has.
“Recovery for me is beautiful. I get to be a dad. By going through all those things in my life, it gives me something. I wake up in the morning and take that first breath; it brings tears to my eyes. That’s it for me to breathe and cry. Because I get that chance. And that’s what those years of hell and pain have given me.”
Contact Tyler on LinkedIn for information about speaking engagements