First off, tell me about yourself? I am a mom of two; my daughter has two boys and one girl. My son has two girls and they all are the light that warms my heart daily even when I am unable to see them. I love gardening around the house I bought 4 years ago, a gift to myself on my twelve-year Sobriety anniversary. I also enjoy sitting at my favorite restaurant Oceanside and staring out over the expanse of the ocean to the horizon reflecting on how grateful I am for the life I have today. I am blessed with over sixteen years in recovery, after a twenty-five-year addiction to cocaine. I am a Recovery Advocate and Life Coach helping those still struggling to find their way through the waters of recovery and the entire stigma that comes along with being an addict. Writing has become a meaningful and deeply satisfying way to meet others and fulfill a strong conviction to help other souls on their life journey.
What made you want to become a writer? I began writing my personal story to explore and understand my life events and make sense of the how and why things happened as they did, and the how and why I became addicted to cocaine. A simple daily journal I had begun writing early in my recovery as a self-therapy tool, ultimately became the framework for The Big trap. From what appeared at first a random array of unconnected personal life events and impulsive choices, steadily emerged recognition of interconnectedness and cause and effect of my addiction and the life I had chosen to maintain it. Writing out the steps and then later reading professional psychology and addiction literature revealed commonalities between myself and others I had known in and out of recovery and I began to strongly believe I could offer something of timely value and benefit to those in need. The question of why I believed I could and should write a recovery book was answered by the majority of people I had shared some part of my story with over the years who lamented, “You should write a book. Thousands need help.” They were right and I knew there was no turning back and a writer was born.
Tell me about your book The Big Trap: Just One Last High?The Big Trap is a metaphor of addiction maintenance. Addicts telling themselves and wanting to believe it as well, the immediate act of getting high right now is this last one, the last high, and then no more, we stop. The story recounts my life events from earliest childhood memories and facts I could accurately verify as the path, the stepping-stones more or less, to my ultimate addiction. It reveals early traumatic events, the horrors of abuse I suffered within an extended alcoholic family, and being a child rape victim. It illuminates the subtlety of neglect, isolation, and the harsh environments to create lifelong conflicts and anxieties that untreated or ignored undermine normal healthy development and often result in efforts to self-medicate that are far too often the origins of destructive addiction. I engaged that path as a teenager with alcohol and followed with marijuana, largely at first because it reduced the mental anguish and softened the effects of physical injuries. Ultimately, my judgement being too poorly developed to be wary of the seemingly perfect man I later married and trusted to protect me, introduced me to cocaine after a self-imposed abstinence from alcohol and weed had steadily improved my life quality. He said; “Just once, just try it please… if you love me you will just once.” I was hooked without any idea of how powerful and life-altering the shiny little lines of white was. Up to that point my earnest efforts to be a good wife while being the successful career woman at the forefront of the emerging personal computer revolution were extremely productive and financially rewarding and the book illuminates the good and bad choices so many of us make and why. I had worked my way through college while holding down a full time job by night to become the sole woman Electrician and Electronic Technician in a male-dominated field. Within the picture-perfect family life and career of two professional go-getters moving up that everyone on the outside looking in saw, two functioning addicts were hiding the big secret. Casual occasional recreational coke use had steadily become addiction chaos and all the success tumbles down line by line within a year of that first fiery nose burning line. The monster of more and more drugs took over landing me on the streets for ten years chasing… more! It takes the reader through the days and nights of those living our here, dealing drugs, using drugs and all the violence it holds. After multiple overdoses and seizures almost daily in the end, it was that last trip to jail that I realised I needed to stop. I requested the in-house jail rehab program for my housing stay during that one-year sentence and began what is today my complete recovery.
How do you feel it was received? The reviews I have received from those who have read my book are great, I’m grateful that I was able to touch them with a story that gives a clear picture of the destruction addiction causes and the hope that can be found in recovery.
Now that it’s published would you do anything different or change anything? I have changed some of the verbiage in the current edition that is available. In the first edition, the scenes where the rapes occur were much more violent and they have been toned down to allow placement in Juvenile Detention Centers, Adult jail facilities, Rehab Centers, and Sober Living Houses as aids and facilitation tools, as well as useful guidance in an easy good reading format
.I believe you self-published; tell me about that and more about why you went down the self-publishing route? Yes, I did publish my own book, though I didn’t use the traditional self-publishing route. I created my own publishing business, Tiffy Rose LLC-Publishing, for the current title and those in process and those planned. I chose this route after I tried the traditional way of publishing my work without success. I did like so many others send out hundreds of query letters to Literary agents but I received either no response or agents telling me these types of stories are rarely picked up by the mainstream publishing houses. At 56 years old I determined I didn’t have the luxury of time to wait for unknown people or entities to decide my book was worth their time and investment, so I invested in myself and away I went self-taught into the book publishing arena. I bought the required legal copyright and distribution marking criteria, the publishing software and here I am. As a Publisher and owner it allows me access to placement anywhere worldwide, and owning the copyrights I don’t have to worry about who else gets a say in where it goes from here.
Have you written anything else and if so where can people find it?I am now in the final stages of finishing up my second book as a sequel to Trapped. The Big Trap is more about how I got there and the second book is about, how I and others make it back. It is focused essentially on the steps of recovery and sobriety and how to get there and stay. I illuminate the variety of myths and pitfalls of outdated perceptions of addiction and how harmful they can be if taken as gospel when current research and subject trails define newer methods of treatment that are more often effective short term and long. My sixteen years in recovery I utilize to define how to search out well hidden or ignored cause/effect relationships that often underlie the addiction cycle and how to navigate the problems every addict trying to recover likely will encounter. I explore how to deal with many types of stigma and discrimination usually encountered and the tools I have learned along the way to share with others trying to find the right recovery path and its steps and conquer the obstacles. A third book, a true life mystery has been outlined and I will publish it in early 2020.
Feel free to share links to your social media?#engagethesolution
Addiction is patient and cunning, waiting for us to be vulnerable, hurting or tired of the fight. These time’s are when we must be on guard to protect our recovery, these are the times when r meetings, sponsor, and new recovery frnds r most important. These are the times when asking for help is critical to maintain the path of growth we r on. Asking for help for most of us is hard, we’ve learned to be self sufficient but there’s no place for pride when it comes to life and ur recovery. Stay strong and keep moving forward today. 😃💜🌹🦋💞❣ Rose
I wake each day with a thankful heart that today is another chance to make a difference in my life as well as the lives of others, family, friends and maybe even someone new. It’s a opportunity to smile brightly and trust in the serenity that surrounds me.
Letting go of the self-defeating noises from the past was hard at first, because I felt I needed to continue to torture myself. Though when I finally realized that I was only hurting myself by dragging my past with me did I find the strength to end the guilt, shame and pain it held. Nothing was going to change what had already happened.
The past is history and the future just a mystery for which we can agonize over or trust it will be what it is supposed to be and live in the present .
Recovery takes courage to accomplish it in the first place. Overcoming all the pain and self-doubt about many things, for me it was mostly; was I worth it, could I do it and how do I start over?
I most definitely was worth it. So are you. Our past can no longer discern who we are, because in truth we are now a whole new person, made whole by all our hard work. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I continued to remind myself , I said… Neither was all those years trying to figure out how I was going to get high today!
So could I do it? Could I really find the strength, resources and opportunity to overcome the past? Yes! It was there, I just had to find a way to take advantage of the limited resources available, but they were there to help me and you.
How do I start over, well I started over many different times and succeeded and failed many times. The first obvious thing was to not use, fight the cravings and stick to the plan. My plan after so many failed attempts was to do opposite everything I had done before, which mostly consisted of not listening to the advice of those who were winning in their recovery. So I spent time in painful reflection of my life as I worked the 12 step program, met new people in recovery and built a solid foundation of the recovery I have today which is closing in on 16yrs.
The next part of the plan was all the retraining I needed of life skills never developed to have a positive life. Meditation, prayer, school and work became very important daily parts as I rebuilt my life from the ground up and so can you.
So wear the new you proudly and never look back, the old you is no longer there.
In the rooms of both AA and NA we hear that finding Faith in a Higher Power is important, that thru this spiritual relationship you will find the courage and strength to move forward in your recovery even with the unknown infront of you.
This is very true for most, a blind Faith to continue forward and take on all that we had once feared. A higher power of our understanding is what the book says and trust that as you move on in recovery things will work out for you. This too is true though God isn’t going to do all the work for you. He will give you strength and guidance if you listen closely but you must do the work.
Those first few days when our bodies wreath in pain as we go through detox and we beg God to make the pain stop, it will stop but not before the poison is out of our bodies. Then we beg God to help us get our lives back on track but how do we do that when we have nothing to start over with… With God all things are possible. So do you sit there hoping God is just going to lay a job and housing in your lap or do you go out there and change your situation in order to win that new job. I had to go back to school for a bit in order to get the job I wanted, so I figured out how to make it happen.
But first I had to address the health issues I now had after years of polluting my body with drugs and bad behaviors. All the while trying to not get discouraged as my Higher Power said, slow down! It won’t be repaired over night!
So back to Faith!!!
Faith, that if I just stayed clean and sober for today, if I continued to do the next right thing, that my life would change… in time!
Faith in your Higher Power is something I recommend you find and create a private relationship thru meditation, prayer and other spiritual enlightenment… it does make a difference in how you will feel about where you are going on your path called LIFE!
Best of everything in your daily reprieve called Recovery!
Don’t be ashamed of myself for what I went through? I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that an yes it is much easier said than done.
The long term stigma attached to addiction is often hard to overcome, many of us believe that there is no going back to the world or a normal life.
The scars left behind both physically and emotionally can cause doubt n fear. But ur story might just be the thing someone else needs to hear at that very moment.
Sharing ur story may also lighten ur own pain as u take it’s power over you. I have found strength in sharing Hope w others and knowing that my life story may just be the deterant for another to avoid a lifetime of abuse brings me joy not shame.