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Weekend Soundtrack

U2: Stuck in a Moment

Bill Radke

Michael Raphael

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Julie Nicholds and her children
(Courtesy Julie Nicholds)
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We've been asking you about the music that plays in your time off -- your Weekend Soundtrack. This week's story comes from Julie Nicholds. She listens to us in Wauwatosa, Wis. The soundtrack to her weekend is "Stuck in a Moment" by U2:


Bill Radke: Julie, why is "Stuck in a Moment" your weekend soundtrack?

Julie Nicholds: This song came to me on the lowest day of my life. I had developed this immense drinking problem. I had been picked up -- with my kids in the car -- in a small town outside Delavan, Wis. I spent two days in a county jail and my parents reluctantly came and got me. On the way back from the jail, I was sitting in the back seat of the car and I was looking out the window at this horrible, gray Midwestern winter day. My dad, who never has the radio on, turned on the radio, just to break the horrible silence that we had in the car at the time -- and it was this song.

At that time, I knew that my life had really become a mess. I wasn't sure what to do about it. I was always waiting for some kind of sign, or somebody to tell me that, you know, this was something I could fix. I just didn't know where to start. I was always looking for that burning bush. Instead of Jesus or Moses, I got Bono, I guess.

What effect did this song have on you when you first heard it in that car?

It basically changed my life and the way that I thought. I don't know if it was just the state of mind I was in that day. It was just this sign from -- I don't know where it came from -- that just told me that this behavior, the way I've conducted my life, is completely unmanageable. That I could do it, if I really put my mind to it, I could get back everything that I've lost.

People talk about years-long struggles, battles with alcoholism. How were you able to take this song, the inspiration of that moment, and change your life?

Well, that's a lot of weight to put on you too, but it was... You know, music has always been a key for me. It's always been an inspiration -- everywhere I've ever gone, I've always had a soundtrack. I started going to AA meetings. I started to attend them on a daily basis, and sometimes I go a couple times a day. I didn't have any friends. I didn't have any family by that point. I didn't have anybody that trusted me.

But there were people in those groups that were willing to take me in and listen to me and I was very scared to open up and let people know these horrible things that I've done. Me, of all people, driving children around in a car while intoxicated was just an unbelievable thought to anybody and I thought, 'Gosh, nobody is even going to speak to me anymore.' But there's nothing that I can't tell these people that they haven't lived through themselves. When I play these songs, it also reminds me that I'm not alone anymore.

Julie, thank you for sharing your weekend soundtrack with us.

Oh, thanks, Bill.

More stories from our Weekend Soundtrack series

Comments

  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Julie Nicholds

    From Wauwatosa, WI, 05/14/2013

    I was doing a portfolio for schoolwork tonight, and ran across this. I can't believe it is still here, and I am still sober. I broke some rules with this one, but if touched just two wonderful women, I am glad. Patricia and Dee, I hope things have come together for you. I feel you, even five years post. Life is good to you if you let it be so.

    Happy Mother's Day always,
    Julie

    By Julie Nicholds

    From Wauwatosa, WI, 05/14/2013

    I was doing a portfolio for schoolwork tonight, and ran across this. I can't believe it is still here, or most amazing, I am still sober. I broke some rules with this one, but if touched even thee two wonderful women, I am glad. Patricia and Dee, I hope things have come together for you. I feel you, even five years post. Life is good to you if you let it be so.

    Happy Mother's Day always,
    Julie

    By Patricia Stuart

    From Seattle, WA, 08/16/2010

    I'll never forget this story ... I can't believe I found it or that it immediately brought me to tears, again. I too, was at the lowest point in my life when I heard this woman so eloquently give voice to what that feels like. I was touched and inspired that she was able to go forward and I'll always be grateful for her courage and honesty.

    By Dee B

    From Cary, NC, 05/26/2008

    Wow - did this hit home. I sat in the car and cried knowing that I dont have the courage to do what Julie has done. Im so much like her. If there is a way for her to contact me through this show via email, would someone pass my email and comments on to her? Thank you

    By karen beenken

    From Minneapolis, MN, 05/24/2008

    Riding along in my car on a beautiful spring day in Minneapolis, I was touched to hear your story. Music does have the potential to deeply effect us. I love a variety of music but for me this week-end it's Vivaldi's Gloria. The opening is absolutely joyful. I wish you joy! All the best to you and your kids.

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