Show Me A Reason – The Letter

The Letter

Dear Brian,

I’m writing you because hell, everyone else will think I fucking lost it. Enclosed is a copy of my book cause…well I want your opinions on it. I also want to tell you the truth. So along with the book is the story of what led me on this path to begin with. None of the others know. I love them but like I said, they’ll think I belong in a nut house.

If I told the truth about the night of the zombies, no one would believe me. Sometimes I even wonder if it actually happened the way I remember. I guess in the long run it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what came after. When I almost died, I got what I supposed you’d call a vision. From God. I know…what I’ve said before to you and for that I’m sorry. And well, it just made me see shit a little more clearly. It reminded me of everything I was giving up if I threw my life away.

And to be honest, when that angel or vision, whatever it was came to me…it gave me perspective.

When we first became a group I just knew, somehow, that our hard work would make our dreams reality. What I didn’t know was how easily dreams could become nightmares. I didn’t know how it would fuck me up. But there was so much good I’d forgotten over the years. That first time we all sang together, it was like magic. You had just arrived at the band house and in that moment it made all the problems in the world fade away. I wished that feeling could last forever. But it’s like that one poem from that movie The Outsiders, nothing gold can stay.

But I think that it can come back.

Looking back I know what my problem was. The more famous we became, the more complicated everything became. I used to think fame would solve my problems and fix my family. All it did was make it worse. But in the end I found a new family. Brothers who looked out for me. No matter how much hell we gave each other back then, it was the only thing I was sure about. Rising to the top and staying there is incredible. The fucked up thing is that what comes up, always comes crashing down. When it did I felt like I lost myself. Because they were the only stability I had. Now, like with my parents, that was gone. All that was left was me. I couldn’t handle it. That’s why I pushed you away. I was afraid of losing you guys again.

Breaking away from the others was the worst thing I could’ve done. I didn’t find myself like everyone led me to believe. Instead I lost what little sense of self I still had and found myself surrounded by the same demons that chased AJ. Only with me, I knew how to hide it better. No one knew that I was already drowning right before their eyes. During the making of “Never Gone”, I knew I was completely broken. The music industry now considered us a joke. Jive was trying to ruin us at every turn. People thought I was scum, a woman beater, based on nothing but lies from someone I thought I loved. My life had become a living hell no matter how I acted otherwise. And yet, it was our most creative time musically. It was also our freefall back to the bottom.

The final straw was Kevin. That’s what left me so screwed up, not Paris. When Kevin told us he couldn’t do this anymore, I think I was the angriest. It was the biggest betrayal. I lost the only man who tried his best to raise me when my parents failed over and over again. Now, he’d abandoned me too. The one person who’d been there through everything. In that moment it felt like everything he’d ever told me was a lie. And suddenly, I stopped caring about everything and everyone. In a life filled with broken promises, it feels like nothing matters.

I know who I decided to become after Kevin left the group. I felt like it didn’t matter. I acted like I didn’t care. But I did. I also figured no one else cared so no one should know that I did, deep down. All I wanted was for them to care. I wanted that so bad it hurt. If I’d known they did, I wouldn’t have fallen so far. I’m sorry I couldn’t see how much you cared. Life is about choices. Everything that makes us who we are comes from those choices. All I wanted was for to go back and decide to never become a member of the Backstreet Boys. To change one single choice. But choices make us who we are. Who would I have been then? Would I have been a better person, a better man? What about you guys?

By this point you might be wondering why I couldn’t see myself the way you all saw me. Before I started turning my life around, I mean. When you’re told your whole life you’re nothing but a screw-up, it’s hard to erase that. It takes a long time for you to realize that even when bad things happen it’s not always your fault. But life happens. It’s good, it’s bad, and it happens. Sometimes there’s nothing you could’ve done to change that. But sometimes, there’s things you can do…and you should.

And I did.

Not every choice has to be bad. Choices and the consequences of them can be good in the right circumstances. I think it all comes down to what you might’ve sacrificed to make those things happen. Is it worth it? That’s the first question you should ask. Especially because sometimes it’s the ones you don’t appreciate that you would miss the most. After awhile I stopped appreciating the fact you guys stuck by me through all of my shit.

My life could’ve ended that day if not for the “Grace” of God. (You’ll see why I find that funny once you read about my journey.) Life is fragile. Life is so damn fleeting it’s ridiculous. So many people, myself included, take it for granted. I guess it’s because no one really sees themselves not waking up tomorrow. I wanted to die. I wanted it all to end. But is that because…I never expected that wish to come true? I wonder if it’s because I never expected God to care if I lived or died?

Once I realized He cared, that you guys cared…the world seemed to shift.

Like my image. Perception, it’s everything. Everyone thinks they know who others are, and they probably don’t even know their own selves. What about me? Just who am I? Am I Nick Carter – Backstreet Boy? What about that kid in Tampa who got bullied and beat up because I loved to perform? Am I the kid who at ten years old was told he was responsible for the entire family? Am I a good person? I could be the fuckup, that loser who fell from the top and “beat Paris Hilton” to a lot of people. But that’s the thing here. It’s never going to be about who other people think I am. What matters is that I know who I am. And…I think I’m finally starting to figure out just who Nick Carter really is.

I like him.

If I learned nothing in this weird journey, it’s that nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing’s promised to you. The only sure thing is life is life itself. Well, that and death. Everything else is to you to make of it what you will. It doesn’t mean life will be easy but, was it ever supposed to be? What do you think? Because I’m not sure. I don’t think it matters though. Not to me anyway. I’ve decided in the past few years to take life as it comes and enjoy everything that has been given to me. I have more than most. It sucks it took me so long to see it. In the end, that’s enough reason to keep living, keep trying – for myself, and for everyone I care about in this world.

So I hope you don’t think I’m crazy once you read my story Brian. I want to see what you think of it.

You, more than anyone should understand what it might mean.

You, more than anyone, understand me.


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