In honor of Father’s Day this week, 10 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, June 26, 2015!
Mike Reis grew up the son of a boozing father and a teenage mother. Sexually abused and terrorized by his grandmother, Mike discovered sex at an early age and numbed his emotional pain with alcohol. An early marriage to a high school sweet-heart and the subsequent birth of two sons failed to tame his desire for extra- marital trysts and all-night drinking escapades. An affair led to the destruction of his first marriage and left two pre-school aged sons without a father in the home.
The younger son was Chris Reis, a two-year-old who didn’t understand why his father had abandoned him. The distance between father and son remained a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon during the boy’s younger years.
In high school, Chris turned to God for direction and guidance. He went on to play football at Georgia Tech where he became active in his faith.
Against all odds, Chis won a spot on the New Orleans Saints roster where he later recovered the famous “Ambush” onside kick that propelled the Saints to an unlikely victory in Super Bowl XLIV in early 2010.
But there was one more recovery that needed to be made in Chris’ family – his father’s recovery from a lifelong addiction to sex and alcohol.
Recovery of a Lifetime is their compelling father-and-son story. You won’t be able to put this book down.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) Mike, what were you thinking as you watched your son make that pivotal play in a Super Bowl game?
The first thing I thought of wasn’t the significance of the play in the game or Chris being a hero of any kind. Sure, I was excited, but in the next moment, I thought about what it took for him to get to the bottom of that pile. All of the hard work, sacrifice, and determination it took to overcome the adversity in his life. He was given very little chance to play in college, and almost no hope that he would play in the NFL. Chris always did “the next right thing” and lived for more than his desires and immediate satisfaction. He was the opposite of me, his father.
2) Where did the concept of the book Recovery of a Lifetime come from?
Just two weeks after the Super Bowl I was arrested and jailed for driving under the influence of alcohol. It wasn’t my first rodeo, but this time something was different. I was the father of a Super Bowl champion, and I was a disgrace. I decided to try sobriety…again, but I made the decision to disclose my problem to my family. Chris and his wife Michelle came over a week after the DUI incident, and I told them I had a drinking problem and what happened to me. Obviously they knew about my addiction to alcohol already. I wasn’t as good at hiding it as I thought. Later that evening, Chris said he wanted to write a book about his play in the Super Bowl. He didn’t know what he was going to write about, but he had a title…Recovery of a Lifetime. Ironically, I asked him not to make me look too bad about my drinking problem.
Nothing else happened with the book for over two years as I maintained my sobriety. I decided to leave the corporate world to pursue my passion for helping those struggling with addiction so I decided to take a life coaching class to gain self awareness as a contemplated about what I wanted to do next with my life. The master coach certification class I took required a project, so I approached Chris about writing an e-book together, and I asked if we could use his title, Recovery of a Lifetime.
The e-book idea turned into a full blown book with publishers, agents and collaborators expressing and interest in our story. Chris and I felt like we couldn’t wait the customary 18 months to get a book published the traditional way so we decided to self publish. We had the help of a nationally recognized author and collaborator, Mike Yorkey, along with his agent to guide through the process to produce a top quality book that is beautifully written.
3) The book deals with some difficult and, presumably, painful life experiences. It must’ve been difficult to go public with your history. Why do you feel it’s important to share your story?
There are many aspects of my life of which I’m not proud, and it wasn’t easy to share such private details of our family life and personal history. I did so in the hope that others will recognize a piece of themselves in my/our story and know that there is always a way to set things right. It is never too late to be the person you are intended to be.
4) What was the process of collaborating on the book like for you as father and son? What did you learn about each other through this experience?
We both agree that the process of working on the book together was simply “amazing”! We spent about 46 hours talking and recording our conversation about our lives and relationship. That recording would later become almost 200,000 words of transcription that was then crafted into our 100,000 word book. We laughed a lot, but cried even more. It was painful and scary for both of us as we became vulnerable. It was a side of me that my son never saw before. We both learned that the past loses it’s hold over you once you pull it out of the darkness and expose it to the light.
5) How has the book been received so far? What kind of response are you getting?
Everyone that reads our book loves it. Readers can relate to our story, and the response from people has been overwhelming! We get email from readers every week telling us that our book made a difference in their lives.
As one woman wrote ” once I started reading your book, it was tough to put down. Both of you were so honest. Some of the stories made me laugh, and some made me weep, but there is no doubt that the truth is being told. It is evident how painful some of this journey was. It speaks to many of us who have had challenges in our life. It provided me with some wonderful insights into the human spirit and God. I plan to recommend this to everyone I know, but especially people that are feeling lost or overwhelmed. It is such an uplifting book.”
Being self published is challenging from a marketing and exposure standpoint. It may not be a best seller in terms of numbers, but we consider our book a huge success based on the number of people it’s touched and inspired to make changes in their life.
About the author:
Mike Reis is an author, speaker, substance abuse counselor, and addiction rights advocate who firmly believes that it’s never too late to become the person you were intended to be. Mike struggled with multiple addictions for more than 35 years, but he was eventually able to win the battle against the cycle of his alcoholism and other addictive behaviors, and today he lives a life dedicated to God, family, and serving others. Visit Mike online at RecoveryofaLifetime.com.
Title: Recovery of a Lifetime: The Inspirational Journey of a Super Bowl Hero Son and His Father’s Battle Against Multiple Addictions
Author: Mike Reis
Publisher: FS Publishing
Author website: RecoveryofaLifetime.com
10 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, Jun 26, 2015
Can’t wait? Order a copy now!
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