Meet Darren Prince. He Runs a Successful Business, Has a Four-Time International Best Selling Memoir, and is a Caring Advocate Through His Aiming High Foundation. A Recovery Interview.

Meet Darren Prince. He Runs a Successful Business, Has a Four-Time International Best Selling Memoir, and is a Caring Advocate Through His Aiming High Foundation. A Recovery Interview.

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I am very happy and honored to welcome a good friend who is also a fellow author and recovery advocate, Darren Prince. He has written an amazing memoir titled, Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top. 

It became a bestseller in four countries as he shares his powerful story of drug addiction and what it takes to recover. I feel it needs to be read by everyone who not only maintains recovery, but also parents, and anyone who knows someone afflicted by any addiction. I say “any addiction” because it doesn’t matter the type or what preference the addiction is as addicts, the “cycle,” we get sucked into along with the habits and behaviors we learn are the same from one addiction to another.

Now that we are in the biggest drug epidemic in our country with opioid addiction, other pain killers, meth, etc., and the overdoses claiming too many precious lives each day, we need more helpful and caring advocates like Darren out here that bring the solutions through action to help others break free from addiction and have a desire to recover. He is now doing this through his active advocacy and through his new Aiming High Foundation (.org)
Darren and I met at a speaking event last year that was held here in Arizona where I live within the front lawn of our State Capitol to raise awareness of addiction for another friend. That was my first taste of having to plan a recovery event from beginning to end. Won’t be doing that again anytime soon! Lol.  When I reached out to Darren to ask if he would like to come and speak at this event? I quickly learned that Darren doesn’t do anything small. He Goes BIG or doesn’t do it at all! Lol. It’s why I say he is so caring and has a generous heart. He also helped with some bumps for our event with media and social media and I learned a lot from him and sure appreciated that!

Now, besides Darren coming to Arizona to speak, and I thank him for doing so, again, he sent me boxes prior to his arrival. They were many copies of his new book! Darren signed them graciously for attendees at the event.  Now, I better add that we also had “The Beast,” or I won’t hear the end of it…LOL, former NFL pro who played center for Tampa Bay Bucs, Mr. Randy Grimes… Who, today, goes by SoberCenter #60! Lol. He signed football for attendees too!

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Simply an amazing event to share Recovery from Addiction with Arizonians. Let’s learn more about Darren Prince, as I am also excited that we are working together on the “Literary and Book Marketing” side of things. Since I enjoyed reading ‘Aiming High’ so much? I want everyone to know about it!

WHY?

Because those of us who maintain recovery know that reading another’s experience, strength, and hope can be powerful tools for those new to recovery.

📚📚 ~Catherine Lyon

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Aiming High FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER
(Banner Courtesy of Terry of Author Shout (dot) com)

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About The Book -Aiming High
by Darren Prince (Author), Kristen McGuiness (Author), Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Foreword) (Author)

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Aiming High is the astonishing story of sports and celebrity agent Darren Prince, who battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose, many demoralizing nights, and mornings where he couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success.

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ABOUT DARREN and AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION(.org)

Darren is all about “Coming Clean” and “Raising Awareness” as he enjoys sharing his testimony through his advocacy work, especially speaking to young teens at high schools, middle schools, young adults at community colleges, and universities through his new foundation to help others avoid the pitfalls of addiction. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Los Angeles area.

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Darren Prince, well-known sports and celebrity agent,
has now taken on a new role of author and advocate – this time representing recovery and hope for those who struggle with addiction! His astonishing story within the pages of his memoir battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose and couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success…

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MY INTERVIEW WITH RECOVERY ADVOCATE, DARREN PRINCE

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1.) How long have you maintained recovery and what inspired you to write?
I have maintained my recovery path for 11+years now. After my father passed away, I got several signs that it was time to write and tell my story to help others.
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2.) Tell us about your writing process?
By chance, I met with a publisher named Anna David, she partnered me with writer Kristen McGuiness, and the rest is history. An international best-seller in four countries, and I am happy it was written and has helped many people.
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3.) How did you come to want to share your story and why?
I’ve learned that my test has become my testimony, and everyone knows somebody who is suffering from opioid addiction. We learn in treatment and maintaining recovery that sharing your journey is a powerful tool to help those new to recovery from addictions.
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4.) Who in Recovery Inspires You?
Chris Herren, Brandon Novak, and many other spiritual brothers and sisters are changing the game of recovery advocacy. We support each other and network to save more lives from opioid addiction.
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5.) What advice would you give other recovery writers and authors?
People need to be inspired into action and create change in their life. If you can write and speak your truth to help others? It is and would be the enormous privilege of your life.

6.) Who is your publisher, and how did you decide how to publish your book?
Anna David of Light Hustler Publisher. Anna knew my vision for this book before I even thought it. We would take the world on a journey from the grips of drug addiction and share the beauty of spiritual healing within the written words recovering. And doing so while working and representing many iconic figures of our time.
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7.) What do you consider your book genre to be?
It is nonfiction in memoir form. May appeal mostly to males, however, because of the recovery component, we have had quite a big female following as well because drug addiction doesn’t discriminate.

8.) Now lastly, What do you think about the future of book publishing during and after this Coronavirus pandemic?
I think it will be bigger than ever. People need to be motivated and inspired. Even though this pandemic has had a negative impact around the world, the blessing is positive for giving readers an inspiring book like mine that has an uplifting message while reading during this historic time.
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A Sport and Celebrity Agent's Battle Against Addiction           (Courtesy of The Epoch Times – Ali, Darren, Joe Fraiser)

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I do hope all my recovery warriors will stop by Darren’s Official Advocacy Website and Blog to learn all the ways Darren is “paying it forward” to those who may be suffering from the grip of addiction. Not only does he help teens and young college adults, but he helps “At-Risk” executives and professionals who may work in high-stress jobs.

If you are in the need of an addiction expert for your next virtual conference or event and who cares about others, who is an inspiring speaker and a sought after recovery keynote? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Darren Prince …

As Darren shares; “This Addiction Epidemic is REAL!” 

~Darren Prince of Prince Marketing Group and his Support the Aiming High Foundation.

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DhL6wN2VQAAmO0YDarren                    (Forward Written by NBA Icon, Magic Johnson)

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BIG CONGRATS DARREN for being chosen!!

“So grateful to have my AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION selected as one of 3 charities benefitting the #AmericaStrong Unity Wristband CHALLENGE honoring our COVID-19 heroes, raising money for COVID-19 related charities! Visit AmericaStrongUSA.com and take the CHALLENGE. #AmericaStrong  “

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Links to Purchase Audiobook version
Paperback – E-book
Click links for book samples, reviews and to purchase
Buy AIMING HIGH – Paperback – Ebook – My Book Orders (dot) com
Buy Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top Audiobook at Amazon
Buy Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top Audiobook at Audible
Buy Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top at iTunes


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About the Author

Learn more about the author on their website
Follow the author on Amazon

Follow The Author on Social Media:
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Recovery Holiday Watch Is Ending… My New Years’ Eve Recovery Reflections About “Family.” As We Don’t Get To Choose Them.

Recovery Holiday Watch Is Ending…      My New Years’ Eve Recovery Reflections About “Family.” As We Don’t Get To Choose Them.

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“When You Start Seeing Your Worth, You’ll Find it Harder to Stay Around People Who Don’t, even if it’s your own FAMILY” …

The Bible teaches me to “Obey Thy Father and Mother” … 

That can be somewhat hard to do when you had been put down, left to feel your worth nothing for many years beginning as a little girl. No excuses, not a victim, just clear-sightedness of how I FELT and had perceived these actions each time they happened to me by family members growing up.

To learn dark secrets coming into adulthood that make you look at your parents much differently and it is an uncomfortable feeling. I am also sharing my feelings as it seems, even after almost fifteen years of estrangement from my dysfunctional side of the family, they keep leaving “ugly” comments on my book as reviews and anywhere else they think they can hurt me. I’m good today so I just ignore it.

See, my book ‘Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat’    published in 2013, my family was upset due to the fact I wrote and disclosed some dark secrets I came across while doing my research and looking in public records and so on and they don’t have a grip on reality or any link to an understanding about addiction and recovery either.  My memoir is NOT ABOUT THEM.

It was written to give insights about how my past issues and trauma growing up can had such a negative impact in my life growing into adulthood which all that added fuel to my addiction. When using addiction to try and cope, escape, or numb old hurt and pain we all may have gone through in life, many times it can or may have many like me turn to any addiction in the first place. By sharing my story, I hope to help others. It is not HOW TO RECOVER, it is WHY I turned to gambling addiction.

But Let Me Start At The Beginning  . . .

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When I was 7-years-old and again at 13 years old, I had been sexually abused by my brother and an adult friend of my parents, the 17-year-old son of those friends of my parents who lived up the street from us.  He was a year younger than my brother. I still have trouble today describing in detail what had been done to me, but each time it happened, I’d get sick to my stomach and a little piece of my innocence stripped away leaving me feeling ashamed, dirty, and confused.

Even as I’d would say, NO, it would leave me feeling guilty and worthless as it was MY FAULT.  I kept thinking and tell my little self I must be bad or doing something wrong that this continues to happen to me. Feeling baffled and confused and not understanding the nature of the “sexual misconduct” part …

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In turn, as I began to grow up and become an adult woman, those experiences began to seep into my thinking, become distorted in many areas of my life as you can imagine. The relationships I would sabotage not only with men, all because I felt NOT worthy of them. Becoming promiscuous at an earlier age as a woman and thinking that’s all men want is sex. I walked away from several serious relationships with a few men who treated me like a princess, then, again, not feeling I deserved or worth the special attention, I’d walk away. I was not worthy of being loved because I was tainted somehow. Besides, my family treated like I was not worth it, so should I accept anyone else to?

My parents always said as I was growing up that “I was a liar or a whore, a pot smoker or pill popper just because my dad would see me with my girlfriends out front of my Middle School or High School. Judging those girls by what they did or just because of the way they dressed or may have been smoking? And I never did any of those things except in high school smoked a cig or two back then like any normal teen did.

See, my father worked for the school district as a painter after he retired from 22-yrs of service in the air force. He wouldn’t tell me if he would be working/painting at MY school. All my family, as I got older, had still treated me poor at times as if I wasn’t at all important or part of the family. For example, and I know it seems dumb, we’d all be going out to dinner together and most of us were married by then. We’d all meet at my parents and ride together.

If I was even just a few minutes late, they would all just leave without me and I’d have to drive myself. Sounds like no big deal, but when it happens ALL the time? When you are already dealing with hidden trauma and suffering in silence, it begins to make you feel less and less cared for. I will admit looking back, I was very hypersensitive when my family did this because of what I went through as a little girl. None of them knew what happened to me as a child until I finally reached out for help the first time at age 31 and even then when I disclosed it all my mom didn’t believe me and that felt like being abused all over again.

I just could not stuff all those painful memories away any longer. Also looking back and connecting the dots through years of therapy, treatment counseling and after finally being properly diagnosed in 2002 with mental health disorders after my first suicide attempt and not the last. Knowing and feeling I had mental health problems since childhood like OCD, ADHD. I had many of the symptoms through childhood I remember like, daydreaming, forgetting things, fidgeting, talking too much, inattention, impulsivity, unnecessary risk-taking, and having trouble getting along with others. I had all of these.  Then in my teen years with depression and isolating.

Of course, my parents or other parents didn’t know then what they know today about mental and emotional illness and disorders. And, I had an aunt on my mom’s side that passed away from a prescription drug overdose and she was on many mental health drugs as I learned later as an adult. So I always felt my mental health challenges came from my mom’s side of the family. Even my mom was put on antidepressants about the last 5 or 6 years of her life.

The other side of this is when my parents would discipline us kids and in a way that was unconventional. I remember the times that my mom went over the top.  Like one time, my brother took something or got caught stealing something for my sister. How my mom taught him not to ever do it again, she made him and my sister put out their hands and she pricked the top of their hands with a needle until they were bleeding and MADE ME WATCH so we all learned the lesson. It was sicking to watch!

There we many things like this through the years and these traumatizing memories lingered in my mind. When we all became adults, it seemed abuse of alcohol was the common factor at many family gatherings like camping trips, birthdays or the 4th of July BBQ and even just a baseball game! My father, brother, and older sister drank like fishes as we got older. And something would always happen to ruin whatever family function or outing was going on when they were all drunk. It even happened after we all got together after my mother’s funeral at the memorial at my brother’s home in 2003. It caused my brother’s divorce, my oldest sister racked up 3 DUI’S in one year and more.

THAT is another blog post share for another day!

Through beginning and maintaining recovery, I shared all of this and my therapist and I agreed that my family was toxic and I needed to step away and not get involved even though I lived 980 miles away. I have tried to make amends where I could with my side of the family to no avail. I did, however, with my mom before she passed in August of 2003. Again, I lived about 980 miles away in Oregon when I was in the worst of my addiction. So no one from my family was impacted. But as I had always been dubbed “The Blacksheep” of the family early on, it seemed to make it OK for them to treat me like shit through the years. Even when they came to visit. I was and always felt very disconnected from my father. I still do and don’t today know why.

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After a while, you come to accept it and begin to ignore those times. As I got older, I began to set boundaries to avoid all the family drama and hurt except for when they would come up to visit us in Oregon. I just ignored the negative comments and stopped engaging with my mother that always turned into arguments when she’d make snide remarks that got worse the healthier I became. SHE did not like boundaries …I spent too many years starving for their validation and wasn’t going to do it any longer as I learned and accepted that they didn’t know how to give unconditional love.  These are the many things I began to learn while in treatment and beginning my road and path of recovery.

Learning the tools and skills to keep me safe when you deal with family who does not understand the concept of recovery or mental health. And through the years don’t care to either. If it is not in front of them, they don’t have to acknowledge or care about it is how my own father, sisters, and even my brother have treated me …We all have been estranged since my mother was laid to rest in 2003.  Through my almost 13-yrs maintaining recovery, I have processed this, forgive them and live my life for me and my husband. I do keep in touch with my nephews and that is good enough for me.

See, we don’t get to pick and choose who our family is. But I can choose not to continue to be treated poorly, seek their approval, or be abused by them any longer. I don’t have to continue and use poor behaviors like my mother used for years and most everyone let her even after we became adults and know better. Sadly, I needed to distance myself in order to keep my own sanity and recovery intact later in my life.

It is coming up on 15-years since I last talked to my father who just stopped calling me and still to this day I have no clue why …And almost the same with my older and younger sisters. My brother, I, and my husband spoke a few times and my brother did apologize to me for what he had done to me. He told me it happened to him as a little boy by our uncle Joe years ago when we still lived in New Jersey and before moving to So. CA., as kids.

One of my therapists had told me that when men molest 87% of the time they have been molested themselves. For me, I was just relieved my husband heard him admit what he did to me, but my brother wouldn’t to my parents. So my parents kept thinking I made it all up. What actually gives me comfort? Is knowing my husband, I, GOD and now my mom in heaven knows the truth. I know I am rambling but this has been laying on my heart the last few days. I know many of us maintaining long-term recovery have had to deal with learning the many underlying issues of why we had turned to addiction in the first place.

Some of what I share are many of the underlying issues I had to overcome. Instead of running or hiding and keep active within my gambling addiction, I did so because I was trying to “escape, numb, or cope” with all these ugly feelings and pain. Not being raised to know that it is OK to reach out for help when you are feeling mentally and emotionally weak and being tormented by old haunting memories you can’t run or stuff away any longer.

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It is also difficult to start becoming stronger and standing outside “The Family Bubble” you came from looking in and seeing a really dysfunctional, fucked-up, unloving and hurtful group of people who are YOUR FAMILY Members. No, I am not better than any of them, I am, however, so much happier and healthier than they are.

WHY? Because I have acknowledged all the old habits and behaviors which have torn my side of the family apart and I choose to NOT be or play a part in it anymore. Yes, it is sad and hurts to see or accept your family for who they really are. And, again, as I said earlier, I never hurt any of my family members when I was within my addiction, so I didn’t need to apologize for anything.

But I have no control over people, places, or things. I have tried making amends and sometimes it just doesn’t always work or have an outcome you’d hoped for. Even when it’s your family . . .

That’s ok because today I am happy, healthy, loved and BET FREE!  🎉🎉💖💞And that is always something to CELEBRATE In a New Year!

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I wish each and everyone who reads this and visits a very HAPPY, HEALTHY and BLESSED NEW YEAR In 2020!  ~Catherine Lyon

 

Christmas Day Recovery Ramblin’s, Reflections, and Advocacy … Be That One, But Carefully …

Christmas Day Recovery Ramblin’s, Reflections, and Advocacy … Be That One, But Carefully …

Welcome Everyone Who Finds Me and My Recovery Blog Today ~ Merry Christmas!

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So I happen to do a Facebook Post yesterday that gave me some things I’d been pondering for a while as I was reading in many of my recovery groups how relapse and struggles have been shared about and by trying to help others looking for help. And like addicts, we can have roadblocks during the holiday season. But one area that hit home for me was swirling in my head from my own past early recovery days … “Being Of Service To Others” and Advocacy. So I thought I’d share and elaborate a little more from my post. 

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Facebook Asks? What’s On Your Mind This Christmas Day?


Hear It Is … A Recovery Message We At Times Need 2 HEAR …

 

NEXT Month on Jan. 29th, 2019 I will have maintained my recovery 12-years.  No “Ego” nor Bragging about this at all.

Why Am I Sharing This?

Because I chose that date as my actual recovery date as it was my “Sentencing Date” by a Judge in So. Oregon who Gave ME A Blessing of a 2ND CHANCE from a crime I had committed and so it would not follow me the rest of my life once I completed all of the punishment given was satisfied …

I Had Never Committed a Crime before, nor after this crime, but I wanted this “Recovery Date” even though I had some time already, BUT? I didn’t want to Never Forget the Poor Choices I had made through all the years within my gambling addiction and abuse of alcohol …

We all have wreckage and baggage from #Addiction.

But when I began Advocating and Raising Awareness about Addicted and Problem Gambling, I too right away wanted to “Be of Service” and help reach out to those suffering as I had.

YOU CAN’T DO IT if your not solid in your OWN Recovery as it CAN be stressful and a Quik source of #Relapse as most who are reaching out are in CRISIS MODE …

I am sharing this because RELAPSE CAN and DOES HAPPEN.  Especially around the holidays. But those with under a YEAR or TWO of Firm, Solid Recovery Time, has done Inner Work, and underlying issues addressed? That has to come first.

There are many ways and phases to be of recovery service. IF YOUR Not 100%? But, how can YOU BE 100% for someone needing or reaching out for help and maybe in crisis?

YES, I Know, It’s in our nature to want to help …you can refer them to someone who can. You can share treatment resources, even connect them to someone that has longer-term recovery or is a Certified Advocate, Recovery Coach, or Interventionist who can make some calls for an open bed, or you can even take them to a recovery meeting.

I do Advocate, and I had a couple mishaps that made me relapse a time or two when only 90 days to 6 months into my journey. But today I chose to do it through sponsoring others, through my book,  through my recovery blog, by email, phone, and of course, through social media and lend my skills as a marketer and promoter of recovery events.

Would I love to be out speaking more, going to conferences, Keynote speaking, or meeting those who need or are reaching out for help?
OF Course! But my mental health disorders don’t give the option or pleasure in doing so. Well,  PLAN B …

I Always Say; 

“Someone needs to be there to answer the emails, answer the phone, or be ready when people reach out through social media or even through my blog.”

DON’T LET anyone discount how you choose to Advocate with and for others when you’ve maintained long-term recovery … Just make sure you are solid and have some long-term recovery or it can be a source of relapse …

Doing Advocacy Work Is Not About a Popularity Contest or Who Has The Most Facebook Likes or Followers … NOT When People Are Dying Out Here From Addictions 

GOD Knows My Heart and It’s In The Right Place  🙏👏🙏😉

PSSST – Stop by my other “Passion” … Books and my Fine Authors I promote if you love reading!  “Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den”

 

Catherine Townsend-Lyon – Recovery Advocate/Author 

 

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