03/09/2015 10:08 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2015

How An 'Angel' Cab Driver Saved This Former Addict's Life (VIDEO)

You never know how a few kind words from a stranger can change the trajectory of a person's life. Ester Nicholson, a former drug addict, learned this firsthand when a cab driver showed her compassion when she needed it the most.

Nicholson grew up in a mentally and physically abusive household where she was repeatedly told by her mother that she was a "mistake." Drugs and alcohol provided a brief escape, but her habit soon turned into a crippling addiction. As a teenager, Nicholson became pregnant and gave birth to Shawntee, a baby girl. Not able to provide her daughter with the care she needed, Shawntee was taken away from her. Though it was a wakeup call, it wasn't enough to stop Nicholson from using.

In the above clip from "In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod," Nicholson opens up about the moment things finally changed. Though she says she hit a "million" rock bottoms, one time was different.

"My mouth started watering," she says. "I got that urge, that thing that happens when an addict is in the midst of an obsession. And I ran out of my house with no shoes on and I hopped in a taxi."

After driving Nicholson for about a mile, the cab driver pulled over and turned around. "He looked at me in my eyes and he said, 'Young lady, please don't do it. You don't have to live this way anymore. Don't kill yourself. God loves you. I love you.'"

If Nicholson had carried on with her plans to buy more drugs, she now feels certain she would have died that day. "A demoralizing death," she says.

"I believe that the only reason that this taxi driver, out of the blue, turns around and talks to me is because it was divinely ordained," Nicholson says. "And an angel showed up as a taxi driver."

Nicholson is now 25 years sober and the author of Soul Recovery: 12 Keys to Healing Addiction. She continues to bravely work on rebuilding her relationship with her daughter and breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect.

"In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod" airs Sundays at noon ET on OWN.



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