Coach & Mentor Mark Garland

     As a child I struggled with abandonment issues while healing from the absence of my biological father. Dealing with his alcoholism created wounds that would last a very long time. After he left and it was just my Mom and I, I was angry to have another man come into our life and be forced to share my mother. Looking back I now realize that our lives did change for the better and the man I have now come to know as “Dad” is an amazing man. 

     Starting at the age of 12, I acted out with drugs and alcohol under the influence of much older kids and brought that chaos into my home life. I quickly became an outcast in every sense of the word. One whom society had written off. The guy you could find in the bar or club on any given night. I thought I was a fun, outgoing, adventurous, kind of drunk. Little did I know, I was actually the violent, malicious, and manipulative kind of drunk. The only thing preventing my death was looking me right in the face and I was in complete disbelief as the judge handed me a two-year sentence in the Department of Corrections.

     As an alcoholic, I honestly think you only have three options for life: recovery, jail, or death. I can't tell you now how thankful I am that the judge unknowingly saved my life. In my active addiction, I lacked connection, human interaction, and had no relationship of any kind with God. Luckily for me, even with the lack of relation I had with Him, God saw fit a completely different life for me.

    Through the time I was incarcerated, I found a relationship with my higher power and put all things in His hands. Through this, I gained hope, wisdom, and direction. I prayed for clarity, strength, and purpose. Today I have found all these things and more. I am motivated, I am blessed, and I am here to be present in all that life throws my way. I am a happily married man, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, and a friend. Today I know that I am loved, I am valued, and I am accepted for who I am. Recovery, put simply, is my freedom! 

Carrie Fisher once said, "Sometimes the only way to find heaven is to slowly back away from hell." If I can find peace in recovery, you can too!

I am here to walk with you.

Coach Mark