So What Is Vance Up To? Our Book Is At The Half Way Point!

So What Is Vance Up To? Our Book Is At The Half Way Point!

“It seems my dear friend and writing partner has been traveling all over to speak and meeting closely with the Gov. of New Jersey for advocating some State Legislation on the reduction of opioid prescriptions from surgeons. “Also about the need to change perceptions and increase the types of other rehabilitation options and treatment, specifically long-term treatment, and the need for more facilities for the uninsured and Medicaid. New Jersey like other states need these changes as well as in and outpatient programs and facilities…but especially my state and the city of Trenton.”

AND?

“Inmates with substance-use disorders will soon be moving into the refurbished Mid-State Correctional Facility to participate in New Jersey’s first “treatment prison,” a clinically driven program that Governor Christie hopes will be seen as a national model.”  I am so proud of the work Vance is doing.

I can not express enough and while co-writing with Vance, how seasoned a writer his is becoming. I hope this is a little of my help. Lol.  I can surely prove this fact by sharing some of Vance’s “Fantastic Facebook Posts from His Heart.” He is so passionate about the work he does to help another recover, reach out to families of addicts and support them, and so much more. It is why his new venture of “Vance Inspires” has taken off!

Vance has traveled all over the country this past summer and early fall to many schools, churches, and speaking engagements and events along with his other employer, “Futures of Palm Beach.” He attended a few recovery vigils and so many more events! It is hard to keep up and get him to one place to continue our book. For me, that’s ok as I know how important his work, voice, and sharing his testimony is for Vance. And why I do the same, just not on the same level as he. I like the work I do throughout social media and by email and phone. SOMEONE needs to be there to answer those!! I also enjoy the quiet solitude of writing. We can help others in so many ways like Vance and I do.

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It is how we “pass it on” to those still suffering. It’s what “GOD” has called us to do, our true purpose on this earth. I am the one truly “blessed” to have met and now co-writing with this amazing man. A brother in “Christ” and a person who inspires each day. I do learn so much from Vance and hope he learns from me as well. My husband Tom and I are so happy to have met him, his beautiful wife and kids. It also shows you don’t have to meet a people face to face to cultivate a new faithful friendship.

Especially an intimate one as I learn all about Vance’s life. It has been a “magical writing journey” so far.  It takes confidence, trust, and vulnerability on Vance’s part to entrust to me all his deep dark trials. He knows I am his “GateKeeper,” trusted confidant, writer, and I am very protective of him as he knows.  I am honored to be able to share some of his life. Just not the deep secrets, you’ll need to read the book when released for those! LOL.

So here are a few FB posts Vance has shared lately and about what he is working on and where he has been…



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“The devil tried to destroy your mind, but God is about to give you a Mind Blowing Miracle! #WatchGod.”  Connect with Vance Here On Facebook!

Governor Christie and I spoke about breaking stigma when it comes to how most Americans view addicts. We talked about how no one really chooses to grow up and be an addict. Addiction does not discriminate, the enemy doesn’t care if you are black, white, Indian or Asian. Tall, short, skinny or chunky. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, famous or not. If you breathe? there is something waiting to make itself more important than everything you say or you love in this world like a Mom, Dad, your kids or marriage, and yes, it can happen even behind bars. The devil is trying to take you out, so wake-up!

Paul in the Bible called himself “the chief of all sinners” and I was the chief of deception because of the lies satan poured into my head from childhood. As you follow my page, you’ve read the papers, so you know my history…there is no way I just woke up and decided to stop, I needed help. God himself heard my cry, and after treatment, listening to people who traveled the road of recovery, I now know why he freed me from the bondage.

We’ve got a big God people, all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. After an in-depth conversation with the Governor of New Jersey, he invited me to speak at Mid-state Correctional Facility. Inmates with substance-use disorders will soon be moving into the refurbished Mid-State Correctional Facility to participate in New Jersey’s first “treatment prison,” a clinically driven program that Governor Christie hopes will be seen as a national model.

And there is sobriety in that!
www.futuresofpalmbeach.com

November 2 at 12:00pm · Trenton, NJ 

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LOL…LOL! YES, Vance has a sense of Humor and always a “Method 2 HIS Humor Madness!”

I originally posted here on FB that I would be going live just before I meet with Governor Chris Christie, and his security said “NO” so I told him I had to take his photo to show my FB family who made the decision?

Shhhhh, I’m going to ask The Governor once the meeting starts! — at the NJ Government State Offices Dept.!!

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My employer, Futures was kind enough to make me a business football card on the right, showcasing the new and improved sober Vance Johnson. On the left is the new Maxx Sports Entertainment Super Bowl XXI football card coming out soon. A limited 250 were signed. I hope to get both out to those who are football fans and collect cards, as well as those who know someone looking for HOPE.

I loved being an NFL receiver, especially catching those bullets from John Elway in the 80’s and 90’s. Now my it’s about catching lives by offering HOPE to those who seek sobriety.

And there is sobriety in That!
www.futuresofpalmbeach.com

 

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Vance knows who drives his Journey and Has His Spiritual Wheel…


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This Post is Why I am Enjoying This Co-writing Journey With Vance”…

Yesterday I flew into Aspen Colorado to help who I will call a former neighbor make a decision to go to rehab. During the height of my addiction, I lived in Westbank, only 15 minutes away from him. On our descent into the Colorado Valley I could see the mountains getting closer and closer, then we disappeared into the clouds, parallel to the mountain tops, I had no idea what was ahead. I never thought I would learn what true faith was at 15 thousand feet descending into and between mountain peaks with no visibility. On occasion, there would be a small opening, snow, and treetops, enough to take a breath only to hold it again. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Now can you see what faith is? I got a clear view of what the Book of Hebrews says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”…a calm came over me as I yielded to that inner voice, “this is what FAITH is.”

The wind blowing the plane you could almost feel the wings flapping, we started to turn left, then to the right. I had an idea where we were but I felt safe as we bounced across the sky. I thought about how blind I had been before I really knew Christ and all the obstacles in my life that somehow I lived through. I knew he was in charge. I guess that’s what the song means, “Jesus take the wheel”….I actually recorded that last 10 minutes as we dropped, turned, and then bounced between the mountain tops. 7 minutes into our descent we dropped beneath the clouds. I was looking at the Roaring Fork River and could see the ripples going over the rocks. Houses, huge estates, horses, and cars driving up Valley.

When we landed I went to the Avis car rental where I had promised the young lady I spoke with the day before, after learning her cousin was possibly named after me, Vance. I gave her two football cards and signed them to Vance from Vance Johnson.


I’m not deceived anymore, one day at a time.
Later that night I got an inbox from Forrest Ball, the pilot that flew the plane, thanking me from the crew. I shared with him most of what you just read and told him he was Peyton Manning to me, flying that plane like he did, making plays. It was the first time I’ve been on the western slope of Colorado sober in 17 years.

And there is sobriety in That!!!
www.futuresofpalmbeach.com


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Not only did this post of Vance’s on FB “touch my heart” but it showed me the beautiful spirit he has and the growth in his writing! Great Job Buddy! I hope you all enjoying being a wee bot caught up in our co-writing journey of Vance’s Memoir. YES, our writing challenges are Time and getting him in one place long enough to write. LOL!  But he knows like do THE WAIT for all of our readers will be Worth It! XOXO…I am his writer “Gate Keeper” of Recovery Secrets…

God Bless All,
Author/Writer/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

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Congrats To My Co-Writing Partner For Making The Front Cover & Featured Article At “In Recovery Magazine!”

Congrats To My Co-Writing Partner For Making The Front Cover & Featured Article At “In Recovery Magazine!”

 

“This week’s blog post of me and Vance’s co-writing of his Memoir is a Tribute to HIM since he made the July Front Cover of  “In Recovery Magazine”!!”

Yes, I did resign from the In Recovery Magazine in March in order to have more freedom to work on recovery projects and to co-write with Vance. It is where Vance and I originally met when I reached out to him to see if he’d like to do an article. Then our Cheif Editor at the time, Janet Hopkins decided she wanted to have him as a cover feature instead! And that was that. So in Honor of his issue just releasing, and Janet doing such a great job writing about Vance and his incredible recovery journey, we wanted to share it with all of YOU. It will be a condensed “taste” of what’s to come in his memoir.

 

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In Recovery Magazine Article

Lost and Found


My name is Vance Johnson, and I am an alcoholic.

My playbook began at an early age. I began to be involved in sports so I wouldn’t have to be at home. The family dynamic and chaos as I was a kid seemed less when I was winning and was the “little hero.” Sports became everything to me. As I got older it was my saving grace as I’d play and practice from 10 AM to 11 PM; I even had a key to the gym.

I was doing really well, often placing at the top in the state and even the country. I didn’t have a good relationship with my father and feared I might grow up to be like him, as he was part of the dysfunction within our Christian home. But that is another story in all for another day.

In my senior year, at the urging of my coach, I accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona. This gave me the chance to go to college and play sports while staying close to home. The following spring, I won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) long jump competition. I ranked second place in football my senior year and was one of the collegiate athletic conference top receivers. Through high school and college, I never smoked weed, drank or took drugs. Sports were my high.

After graduating in 1984, I went to the Olympic Trials in track and ended up as an alternate. I could have gone to the next Olympics, but instead, I decided to try out for professional football. I wanted to make some money! I entered the 1985 National Football League (NFL) draft and was picked up by the Denver Broncos in the second round. The stress was tremendous.

 

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My first year in the NFL, I started dating a woman. We had been dating for a short time when, after a bad game where I dropped a punt, she told me she was pregnant. On the way to practice with some teammates, we stopped at a liquor store. My friends bought tequila, and I decided to try it. That tequila had lead to daily drinking mixed with the pills I took for anxiety and down a road, I had no idea how to travel down.

My girlfriend and I got married in Vegas. At practice sometime later, I overheard the guys talking about my wife. I ran home screaming and yelling and pushed her into a closet door. She hit her head and fell down unconscious; I thought she was dead. I carried her into the bathroom and splashed water on her face. Even after she came too, I was still angry and began punching the walls, just like my father used to do. Our marriage ended not long after.

By this time, I was getting high and using whatever I could to cope, but I was careful not to get caught. My life was a wreck and getting worse. I’d sober up on my way to the weekend games. Sometimes I’d get pulled over, but I’d offer the cops tickets to the games and managed to skate by without an arrest.

My domestic problems were always related to drugs. Through the years, I was married and divorced several times. I was an absent father to my children. My finances were a mess; I was bouncing checks and falling behind on child support. I also went to jail after crashing into my wife’s car. Through all of this, I was call myself a God believer, but I sure didn’t act like one. Somehow, no one realized I was an addict, including me.

In 1996, a year after my career in football was over, I tried to commit suicide. There I was, driving down a highway, crazy high and hallucinating. By then I was using drugs to manage all the craziness in my head, but it wasn’t working. When I got home, I pulled off all my clothes and lay naked in my garage, paranoid and banging my head on the ground as I cut my wrists. I called my attorney for help and told him I was losing my mind. I was desperate; to this day, I don’t know how I survived.

After wearing out my welcome in Ft. Collins, Colorado, I moved to Grand Junction, leaving my kids with their various moms. In 2007, after my fifth divorce, I remarried and tried to settle down with my new wife and my three now-teenaged sons. Running from my addictions, I scaled down the drinking, opened a couple of businesses and started attending church with my family. Although I had already damaged so many lives, I continued womanizing, smoking weed, full of sin drinking and taking pills.

My oldest son, Vaughn, who would always say, “I want to be like you, Dad,” was attending college in Grand Junction. Having blown the engine in his car, he was working for me to earn money for the repairs. One morning, he decided to take his motorcycle up to Ft. Collins to visit his grandfather.

I had been in the bar drinking Patrón at my restaurant when my ex-wife called me. “I’m broken,” she said. “Our son is dead.” Vaughn had been hit and killed by a drunk driver who had run a stop sign. I fell to my knees. I drank the whole bottle of tequila, then another, and walked through the restaurant and out the front door. My father threatened to kill me because I was acting so crazy, so I threw him on the ground outside the restaurant. Life as I had known it was over. I was never again the same person…

 

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I used to think I would get through it, but now I don’t want to.”

 

I blamed my dad. I blamed myself for not fixing the car that Vaughn should have been driving. Over the following two years, I drank, smoked, took pills and had relations with anyone who wanted to be with me. Slowly, but surely, I was killing myself.

When 2012 rolled around, I was going through yet another divorce and hurting emotionally and physically. My bloodwork was off, so my mom took me to the hospital where I fell into a coma. I remained in an induced coma for 26 days. My pastor prayed over me, my daughter and sister said their goodbyes. No one thought I would make it.

There I was, 50 years old, tied to a hospital bed. I wondered if this was how it was all going to end. As I lay in that bed, I had visions of dark shadows walking in the room as if to take me with them when I passed from this world. They came every day, but they never took me with them. When I was finally released from the hospital, I thought I could go back and work like I did when I was young. I tried this for a while. Things began to turn around again.

One day, I went golfing with some friends and decided I could have a drink. From that moment, everything went downhill fast. I quickly graduated to weed, more alcohol, and pills to help me not drink so much. Before long, I was peeing in glasses and on myself; puking blood; and even drinking from glasses of pee, which I mistook for whiskey in my drunkenness.

In early 2014, I was drunk and driving down the road, crying and screaming to God to help me. I had no money, no kids, no relationships, nothing to leave behind. I reached out to the NFL. They called Randy Grimes, a former center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Randy had turned his life around and was working as an interventionist in North Palm Beach, Florida.

The NFL sent me to treatment. When I got there, I was surrounded by losers. I had assumed I’d be on a beach with other athletes talking about old times. It wasn’t like that.

One day, a voice in my head told me that I was sick, but I could get sober if I accepted the help being offered to me. I began seeing my peers in a different light. As they talked, I listened and began to understand my own underlying issues. I attended church and got into the Scriptures. I walked in His light and understood that I needed to become “sober-minded.”

 


“My journey was not just about becoming sober. I knew that I could not maintain my sobriety if I didn’t continue to learn about the disease and about my own spirit. When I left rehab, I stayed away from 
fame, the Broncos and everything that had destroyed my previous life. I went to meetings and really listened.”

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A treatment program offered me a job for $200 per week and a bus pass. At the same time, the Broncos offered me $2,000 per week to represent them around the country. I called my mother. “I’m not worried,” she said. “You’ll do the right thing.” I did. I got on the plane to Tampa for the $200 per week paycheck.

God gave me my true self back. I found my son Vaughn’s grave and promised him that I would never allow another young man to lose his life like I did.

Today, I speak around the country. I talk about my life, my children, what happened to me, and how things changed for me when I learned about my addiction. I tell people that they can change their lives, too.

Today, I am married, and I love my wife. We have amazing children, a twelve-year-old daughter, and an eight-year-old son. My wife comes first, then all my kids, then my job. God encapsulates all of it. Though sometimes things are tough, I never stop the journey. I attend meetings where there are newcomers. I’m involved in recovery every day – it’s my daily lifestyle.

I hope you will walk with me in this battle to end this addiction Epidemic…

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Today Vance is helping save lives from many addictions through his new venture of  “Vance Inspires”  as a motivational speaker, executive keynote, sober coach and escort, intervention services and more. He is also involved with the premier treatment options and rehabilitation services of  Futures of Palm Beach

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Vance Johnson is a certified sober coach, a sober escort, and interventionist. Off the football field, he is now reaching out throughout America and the world via social media to break the stigma and lead people to sobriety, one family at a time. He is also a speaker at churches, drug courts graduations, and high schools, and has been a guest on national TV shows including Oprah and Dr. OZ. Johnson is a member of the Mercer County Task Force which brings awareness of the pitfalls of addiction to surrounding high schools and town hall meetings in New Jersey through The Vance Project…

Recovery News~Meet The Author for Those In Mason, MI!

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Hello, And Welcome Recovery Friends!


Today is a share for all of those who live in or near Mason, MI …
My dear friend and fellow Author, Aaron Emerson will be having a Meet and Greet reception and book signing on April 8th, 2016. Here is a share from his recovery blog with all the details, so you won’t want to MISS this Special Event!

My Book Signing Is April 8!

By Aaron Emerson

I received some great news the other day so it is with great excitement I announce it here on my blog: I am having a book signing on April 8 at Bestseller Books & Coffee in Mason.
The book signing will held from 5 to 7 p.m. so if you aren’t doing anything or if you are getting out of work, stop on over.

Bestsellers is a bookstore and coffee shop in downtown Mason, located at 360 S. Jefferson Street right across the street from the iconic courthouse. My books are selling for $13.99 and you can purchase as many copies as you want. You can also request a message from me written inside the book for you or someone else.
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This is something I am really excited about, as a lot of my hard work on putting this book together is coming to fruition. I really hope I can see you there. If you want, bring over a friend or purchase a copy for someone else if you haven’t already purchased a book. If you already have a copy, you can still bring it in to get signed. I just want to see some faces!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in this journey, whether that has been a big or small role. It has been a goal of mine for several years to write a memoir and I could never have done it without help and support from so many people.

The book – To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery – is a memoir I wrote on my addiction to heroin and my first year of recovery. It is written in the form of my journals I wrote while I was going through everything, so, in a way, it is like getting inside the mind of an addict.

If you can’t make the book signing, you can purchase a copy here on my blog through PayPal by clicking HERE or on Amazon with a credit card by clicking HERE  . . .

Product Details
( Click book to Amazon for purchase)

 

About Aaron’s Book:

Aaron Emerson grew up as the son of a successful minister in Mason, Michigan. Blessed with a loving, caring family, he had the makings of a great life. At 14, however, his dad was unexpectedly fired from the church he helped build, right after the tragic passing of his cousin.

Aaron turned to marijuana and alcohol, finding pleasure in covering up the pain he was experiencing. A year later, he was introduced to prescription pills and eventually became addicted to oxycontin. Once oxycontin became too expensive and hard to find, he made the decision to switch to a cheaper, more potent drug: heroin.

Heroin would take Aaron through a life of hardcore addiction, lengthy jail stints, and several near-death experiences. After years of addiction that saw a once middle-class teenager turn into a felon and become homeless, a journey to find recovery transpired.

That journey took Aaron to several rehabs and through many heartbreaking relapses. However, recovery from his addiction was ultimately found, and now he shares his story around the state to raise awareness and spread hope.

Throughout his addiction and recovery, Aaron journaled and wrote about all of his experiences. He has now published his journal entries full of addiction, jail, rehab, overdose, relapse, and recovery. This book is the collection of all of those writings that shaped his life for several years.
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Aaron’s Message:

“My name is Aaron Emerson and I sincerely appreciate you visiting my blog. I am a 24-year-old from the small town of Mason, Michigan. I am a writer, author, and reporter that often writes and blogs about addiction, recovery, God and hope. Many of my writings relate to my recovery from a heroin addiction that almost took my life. By the grace of God, I am alive to share my story and a lot of my life is devoted to spreading the hope I have found.”


Let’s be clear: if you are alive, there is hope! I hope you can sense that attitude in my writings and blog. If I can help one person find recovery or inspire one young boy or girl to not make the same choices I did, well, I will feel I have accomplished my goal.

My first book, “To Hell And Back: Heroin And Recovery” was released on January 6, 2016, and is a memoir about my addiction and my first year of recovery. It takes you into the mind of an addict in his addiction and eventual attempts to find sobriety. Click here to buy the book!

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Visit: Aaron’s Blog here.
Follow & Like Him On: His Facebook Page!
Follow: Him On Twitter Too!