Recovery Q&A with Mark K.

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Mark K. talks about his long journey to find recovery, from his biggest sober successes to his advice for newcomers.

Q: What excites you the most when you get up in the morning?

A: Waking up without having to feel ashamed or embarrassed about what I may or may not have done the day before.

Q: What is your motto? And what about this motto appeals to you?

A: “Just for Today.” I have it tattooed across my lower arm. No matter how difficult the situation, no matter how strong the urge, I can always hang in there until midnight.

Q: What has been the best part of recovery for you? Why?

A: The friends I have made in the fellowship of recovery. Staying connected through the Mountainside Alumni Program has helped a great deal with this. Active addiction is a pretty lonely place.

Q: What would you say is the biggest success – professional or personal – you’ve had since leaving Mountainside?

A: Earning the respect of my two sons.

Q: What has been your biggest hurdle in recovery, and how did you learn to overcome it?

A: Meetings were not easy for me in the beginning. This was a problem because I know today that I cannot stay sober and happy by myself. Thankfully, I kept going and eventually found meetings that worked for me. I hung in there; I didn’t give up. No legitimate success comes without struggle.

Q: What was the turning point that led you to get help?

A: Waking in the middle of the night, desperate for a drink and finding no alcohol in the house. I went into my bedroom and informed my wife that I just couldn’t stop, and said: “I have to go back to Mountainside.”

Q: If you could, what would you tell your younger self?

A: I think I knew I was an alcoholic when I was 16. I found sobriety at 53, maybe that says it all? Don’t wait to get help!

Q: What would you like people who are afraid to receive treatment to know?

A: Making major changes in your life is never easy and it certainly can be scary at times, but it’s not nearly as scary as active addiction.

Q: What suggestions do you have for the newcomer?

A: I was telling my story recently at the “Perry Street Workshop” in Greenwich Village, New York. There was a slogan on the wall I fell in love with, “There is no wrong way to get sober.

Q: What is the best advice you have been given?

A: I believe one of the reasons I’ve maintained my sobriety is that I listen to all advice suggested. Of course, I don’t follow everything I hear, but I take it all in.

Q: What is the one item you can’t do without?

A: An exercise regimen.

Q: Would you rather be an inventor or a leader? Why?

A: I don’t believe it’s a question of choice; you have to be an inventor first. If that works out, the leadership role will follow.

Q: Who — dead or alive — is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?

A: The higher power of my understanding.

Q: What’s the one thing people would be pleasantly surprised to know about you?

A: That I have made many mistakes in recovery. But I have never had to take a drink or a drug over any of them.

Q: What are you currently reading or what song have you enjoyed recently? What do you love about it?

A: I have struggled some with concentration lately. I am finding it helpful to read something on the lighter side, staying away from books related to recovery, politics, or world issues. You know, sometimes we just need to chill!

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.
Click here or call (888) 833-4676 to speak with one of our addiction treatment experts.