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Mark's Story

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Basic History

Mark is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and was raised by two loving parents, Ben and Cheral. He enjoys being the youngest of four siblings.

In 2003 Mark moved to Montana to finish high school at his first rehabilitation program due to having troubles in school and social life in Atlanta. Upon graduation he moved back south to study Psychology at Lee University in 2006. Mark transferred back out to the big sky state in 2008 and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Psychology in 2011.

Following college, Mark pursued a research oriented life in Missoula, Montana while he chased his dream to obtain his Ph.D in Psychology. A heroin addiction caught Mark in his footsteps and this thwarted his ability to continue towards the Ph.D. When he was blessed with his first son he moved from Missoula to distance himself from his opiate and party lifestyle. Mark remained on suboxone opiate maintenance therapy for a year until he began struggling with prescription anxiety medications and alcohol.

The years following 2013 Mark has been struggling to battle his alcohol and pill addiction. In 2016, Mark relapsed with opiates while on anxiety medications and alcohol and eventually had a near death experience. After this, Mark checked himself into an intensive inpatient rehab in Minnesota, where he found relief from opiate addiction once again.

Mark joined a sober living community in Loveland, Colorado, but refused to work on areas of his life that caused difficulties. When he had an HIV scare he began using medical marijuana and within two weeks began using anxiety medications again. He was asked to leave the sober living community so he moved back to Whitefish, Montana.

In Whitefish, Montana Mark has enjoyed being a raft guide, a mental health counselor, an outdoor enthusiasts in skiing, biking and hiking; while suffering from extreme alcoholism. In 2017, Mark had a severe concussion while skiing. Because he could not remember events or make clear sentences he decided to drink his brain to destruction and join disability. Instead, his cousin came out on a random trip and invited him to an AA meeting. During this, Mark realized it may be possible to change.

Since April of 2017 Mark has worked hard on recovery and it has paid off. He has now competed in triathlons and continues his journey in sport and endurance.

He now works as a sober health, fitness, and wellness consultant to the LGBTQ community and has written his first book based on the story behind this blog.

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