‘Never Give Up’: N.B. man recovering from mental illness, addiction open ups about ‘raw’ journey

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick man helping others after own struggle with mental health and addiction'
New Brunswick man helping others after own struggle with mental health and addiction
WATCH: Justin Nash of Dieppe, N.B., has launched a podcast and an apparel business relating to mental health and addiction struggles. Shelley Steeves reports. – Mar 29, 2023

Sitting at a microphone in his bedroom Justin Nash of Dieppe, N.B., bares his soul to anyone who will listen.

“There is a lot of rawness,” said Nash who launched his podcast Drinking Juice with Justin in February.

Nash said that he is hoping his podcast will help others struggling with mental illness and addiction.

“My intention with drinking juice is to show people that you don’t need alcohol to feel good,” he said.

Now 39, Nash said he has battled alcohol, drug addiction and mental illness since the age of 21. He’s done many things in his life that are not easy to voice into a mic.

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“You know, being arrested by the police for running around a trailer park naked, this is pretty raw. Almost committing suicide with no control over it because of a drug-induced psychosis,” he said.

But he hopes that by sharing his journey that he and others can begin to heal.

Click to play video: 'Sounding alarm on mental illness in children & youth'
Sounding alarm on mental illness in children & youth

Nash credits his fiancé, sister and his supportive family for helping in his recovery. Grateful for the unwavering support, he says he now wants to give back, which is part of his own healing. “Not only am I hoping to help others but indirectly I am helping myself,” he said.

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“I really do feel in the importance of sharing this raw material, sharing these true shameful situations with others to let you know that there is hope,” said Nash.

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Lori McIsaac Bewsher is a mental health therapist at Rising Tides Healing Centre in Grand Bay-Westfield, N.B. She recently spoke with Nash about his difficult journey.

“In order to give that message of hope and healing it takes people who have been there,” said McIsaac Eewsher.

“It is not about toxic positively and not struggling and never having a hard time but just instilling that message of never give up,” she said. “There is always another door, another road, another option that you can take and I think sometimes people just need to hear those words”

That “never give up” message has become Nash’s mantra and now his label.

“I started off with hats. It has always been an addiction of mine, so I thought that’s a good addiction – you know, they are just hats,” said Nash who has also produced T-shirts and other merchandise sporting the message “Never Give Up.”

Nash said that part of the proceeds from merchandise sales will be used to support organizations that help those with mental health and addiction struggles.

He is also hoping that his message becomes a movement.

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“If it goes globally it would be a blessing but ultimately I am happy helping my neighbour – that is where it all starts,” he said.

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