I started using alcohol at age 15 and it felt like the perfect solution to my childhood trauma and dysfunctional home life. My values changed almost immediately, and I went from having LDS background to the other end of the spectrum. I got a DUI when I was 16 and many underage alcohol misdemeanors. I was kicked out of high school and was ashamed that I had a GED and not a high school diploma. I was pregnant at age 18 and was able to stop drinking but started again shortly after my daughter was born. I didn’t have any more legal consequences after that first DUI, mostly because of luck. My biggest consequence from drinking was that it stunted my growth as a human being.

My recovery from alcohol has really been about recovering from the reasons why I drank, which I can address now that I am not drinking. My threshold for being unhappy was fairly low, in comparison to others’ stories. This is not to undermine or deny what I went through. I had withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, shitty relationships, and no sense of self. When people in AA say, “If I drink, I will die,” I don’t entirely relate. If I drink, I may die eventually and my disease will continue to progress, but more likely, I will be miserable in my existence. I won’t achieve my purpose, be connected to a higher power, or have fulfilling relationships. I have learned that my addiction to alcohol is a symptom of trauma, and drinking was merely a coping skill.  Alcohol worked very well to numb my pain and it helped me disassociate. I didn’t even know I was disassociating until I started my recovery journey. It becomes more and more apparent that I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings or know how to be comfortable in my skin.

My personal work and successes have been on self-forgiveness and love, forgiving others, learning healthy boundaries, and being the best mother possible. I am in recovery from alcohol and co-dependency. I am learning how to feel my feelings, cope with life, and stand up for myself and my worth. I live in Idaho, and I am a single mom to 3 amazing, beautiful daughters. I am so proud of myself for breaking the intergenerational patterns in my family.

My curiosity about sobriety started about 3 years ago. I started listening to podcasts in the beginning of my recovery and found The SHAIR Podcast with Omar Pinto. I loved his voice and his energy. I have found his interviews to have a profound impact on my ability to see my addiction as an opportunity and not a dirty secret. I eventually became a member of his FB group and then joined the SRC where I have connected with so many amazing people in recovery. I feel the SRC group has kept me sober.

I can access meetings via Zoom which has been crucial to me since I am at home with my kids and haven’t found an AA group in my community where I feel connected. The connection with others in the group has saved me from loneliness and isolation. I have found a sponsor in one of these groups who was willing to complete the 12 steps with me which has been transformational!  I am almost 5 months in my recovery from alcohol and 95% of the time, I don’t even think about drinking. I am so grateful for the SRC, the SHAIR podcast, my sponsor, the step work, and online recovery.

Mark Crandall was born to a crack addicted mother and put into foster care at the age of three. From childhood, he dove down into addiction and destructive behavior, trying to blot out the emptiness and self-loathing.

Mark has been in the recovery community beginning in 2007 and has since re-written his story, dedicating his life to empowering others by teaching people with past trauma to overcome the victim mentality. Listen to how he achieved a complete transformation, from addicted to heroin and homeless to winning his future.

About Mark Crandall

Mark’s is a story of uncommon adversity and triumph. At age three, Mark was taken from his biological mother by the Department of Youth and Families and placed in the foster care system. He lacked the tools and supports to manage both his grief and his new reality in society’s margins. From the pieces he conjured stories about his own worth. At around age 12 Mark began contemplating whether or not to just give up.

Throughout his early childhood, Mark’s behavior stood out to others as being abnormal and aberrant. He began to engage in criminal activity, acting out his aggression at the expense of those closest to him and society at large. Years of counseling and various combinations of medications could not correct the feelings of inadequacy and separation within. Mark began to self-medicate with substances; thus began his spiral into painful, chaotic addiction. Mark found himself in and out of youth detention centers and other correctional facilities. He lashed out at those who would protect and support him. Though, even in his lowest moments, Mark recognized what others saw: There was greatness in even him.

In 2007, Mark found a spiritual program of action in which he began overcoming the many traumatic moments of his childhood. He also began the process of repairing the damage that he had caused others through his efforts to navigate life. Mark found freedom in an introspective process which informs his Transformational Life and Business Coaching and drug and alcohol Interventions. Mark is trained in some of the most powerful transformation practices available, all of which he uses in his work with others.

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