My name is Nathan Howells. I’m 26 years old, and I live in Portland, Oregon where I was born and raised. I moved to Denver, Colorado in 2004 to attend the University of Denver, where I studied English, Creative Writing, and Spanish. After graduation in 2008 I returned to Portland, and aside from a period of about a year when I tried living in Eugene, I’ve been here in Portland ever since.
All that background is boring stuff. I know you don’t care about it, and neither do I. So here’s the interesting stuff:
I was born with a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis. It is often abbreviated “CF” so when you see that on my blog, that is what it stands for. If you want to know more about it, check out the Info Page.
I also struggle with addiction to opiates. Most common medications prescribed for moderate to severe pain are opiates. The category includes drugs such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine. While they are very good at relieving pain, these drugs also cause significant physical dependence after even a short period of consistent use. For more information on these drugs, their effects, their use and abuse, check out the Info Page.
I’ve had my life and health swing up and down from terrible to wonderful and everything in between during the last five years, but I haven’t found a method to stay away from drugs and maintain my health with any consistency since 2007. The main purpose and impetus for my “Wellness Quest” is to make some really significant changes in how I approach my health. I am making total physical, mental, and spiritual wellness my primary objective indefinitely – I have recognized a crucial detail about my reality: if my primary goal in life is not wellness, I don’t have much of a life at all.
For more about what I am doing (the details), go to the Quest Details Page. Please be aware that these details have changed some since the beginning of my Wellness Quest. I will endeavor to keep this page updated to reflect the most current circumstances for me.
I am fortunate to have a supportive family and a few close friends who have stuck by me during the difficulty and hardship of the past few years. My aunt and uncle provided a place for me to live and provided supervision and primary support during the initial period of change, and are helped me monitor my progress. At this point, my parents have taken on the primary support role, allowing me, with nearly unfathomable grace, to move back in with them. They are also helping provide for me financially and providing emotional support as they have consistently all my life. My friends are, as usual, putting up with my strange life and trying to help me stay active and social.
And you, the reader, provide me with an invaluable resource as well. The main purpose of this blog is to help me to analyze and gain insight about my experience from day to day as I approach life with a completely new focus. I hope that what I write will help those who also struggle with chronic illness and/or addiction, and that this blog can become a place where I can interact with others who are in my shoes or perhaps have worn them in the past. Who knows? The beauty of life is that everything changes: what begins as a simple blog is something that, I hope, in time may become a community of love, healing, and support as I challenge myself to focus on optimal wellness and as I share my experience with you. If you’d like to get in touch with me you can find out how on the Connect Page.