Years have passed; it’s time to dream again, and to write again.
Mark’s talent was kindled in the late 60’s. He began penning free verse poetry after a tragic event that triggered depression and PTSD. It went unrecognized and untreated for decades. Unbeknownst to him, writing was a spiritual release valve to let raw feelings seep out. When alcohol was discovered at seventeen, life veered into a new, seemingly friendly direction; soon writing played second fiddle to a greater power.
Meanwhile, with alcoholism lurking in a family tree, drinking quickly became a problem. On semi-professional advice from hippie-type friends, he tried drugs to fix his drinking. It was the early 70’s, an era where a book of zigzags, a roach clip and a pair of cheap sunglasses were standard equipment, man. He got way-cool, writing lyrics for a local rock band. Unfortunately, what goes up, must come down.
Combined with alcohol, the euphoria was only temporary and finally reduced to desperation. Fear and hopelessness arrived at the end of 1986. Unable to stop drinking, his recovery began in a Detox Unit on New Year’s Eve. He has been clean and sober since March 14th, 1987.
In 2001, a job he had for 23 years was a casualty of the recession, and he was left to re-invent himself amidst hard times, dead ends and miracles. Despite aging in dog-years, he earned an Associate’s Degree in 2008 at age 54, and is employed at a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Since the good fortune of meeting Ernest Kurtz in November, 2014, Mark was inspired to begin writing again. He’s written articles for recovery magazines and poems for several periodicals, along with being a stained glass artist. A music lover, he’s been caught playing the air-guitar sober. He’s also one of the architects of an amazing, one-day recovery event called the OctSoberFest, which has celebrated sobriety since 1998.
Mark lives with his wife, Danette, and daughter, Lauren. Grateful to live in the Great Right Now, he knows the program of recovery is so simple a caveman could do it: Just Keep It Simple and Keep It.