Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Vienna's Will by Mark McCullough

New author, Mark McCullough, shares his inspirational journey through chronic depression and addiction in VIENNA’S WILL. After struggling for years to control the negative thoughts that he attempted to quiet with drugs and alcohol, Mark’s life changes when he finds the unconditional love of a little girl and her mother.


New author, Mark McCullough, shares his inspirational journey through chronic depression and addiction in VIENNA’S WILL (www.viennaswill.com). After struggling for years to control the negative thoughts that he attempted to quiet with drugs and alcohol, Mark’s life changes when he finds the unconditional love of a little girl and her mother.

In April of 1992, Mark McCullough’s distraught parents delivered their twenty-five-year-old son to Butner Federal Prison after he committed a bank robbery. The court had arranged for the prison to complete a psychiatric evaluation of the troubled young man. Mark had intended for the crime to result in his death.

The author explores a lifetime battle with depression that was a result of sexual abuse by men he trusted and cared for as a child. At ten years old, Mark was obsessed with playing baseball and greatly admired his coach, who treated him like a son. The young boy’s first experience with betrayal came one afternoon when the coach molested him. Mark held the secret of the abuse inside, and it fed his depression for years to come. Later, when Mark was attending a Catholic high school, a priest befriended him and soon revealed his true intentions for forming the relationship.

The anguish of abuse and depression that Mark suffered drove him deeper into a life of drug and alcohol dependency. When Mark moved to Boston to attend college, he dropped out of school after attending one class. Thereafter, Mark spent his time seeking his next high and a place to sleep at night. He sold drugs to support his habit, until one day a friend persuaded him to return home before his addiction killed him.

After returning home, the drug use continued and Mark became suicidal. The plan he conceived that was supposed to lead to his death landed him in prison instead. During the time that Mark spent in prison, he faced anxiety and violence, but he also found companionship, as well as support from the psychiatrist responsible for his evaluation.

Mark continued to struggle with his addiction and depression for several years after his release from prison. Then he met the woman who would become his wife and her then four-year-old daughter, Vienna. Mark credits them with changing his life. The love of his daughter, Vienna, pulled Mark from the darkness and renewed his gratitude for his life and his family.

Mark’s decision to share his story of addiction, abuse, and mental illness came after many years of keeping secrets from his family and loved ones. “Some of the experiences I speak of in the book, some of the things I thought would stay hidden within me forever, needed to be spoken about and explained to people in my life who care about me and love me.”

The author hopes that VIENNA’S WILL will shed light on sexual abuse, addiction, and depression and help other people to face these issues in their lives and in the lives of others. Mark says, “So much of what happens in the book has, in some way, affected a great deal of people in our society, but they feel resistant to express it or discuss it. Whether it’s them personally, a friend, a family member, or even a coworker, if the book inspires them to help themselves or others, it will have served its true purpose.”

In VIENNA’S WILL, Mark reveals that the love and support of his family, especially from his daughter, Vienna, has been a powerful catalyst in his recovery and his decision to embrace life after so many years of enduring emotional hardship. The author states that he often “smiles at the thought of a child and her unconditional love being strong enough to overcome all the events of the past.”

The Story Behind Vienna’s Will

I started writing VIENNA’S WILL over twenty years ago but never had the courage to tell my whole story. I believe facing the past and all the emotions it stirs up is a difficult task for all of us. I know for me, it took a life threatening illness well into my 40’s to finally get me to speak up even if it meant feeling ashamed and even some senseless, misguided guilt about what had happened. Topics like child abuse, depression and suicide are not subjects that flow easily for anyone, if they are part of your life story it becomes near impossible to even acknowledge them let alone discuss openly. Putting it down on paper for all to see seemed insurmountable. Nonetheless, I made a deal with myself after I got sick that I would share only with my family what had happened in my childhood years that made me the type of person I am. After writing it all out and sharing it with them, I felt relieved and somehow empowered. I realized there was no reason to hide from what had happened. Actually, I came to the conclusion that by opening up and exposing incidents and events I once thought I would forever keep locked up inside me had made me stronger, both mentally and emotionally. When that happened, I thought maybe by sharing my story with others, they too may come to the same conclusion and share in the same liberation I felt. I decided not only would I stand up to the past, I would fight it, and I would win. It could no longer control me, and the idea of helping others in their quest to do the same inspires me each and every day. Exposing myself in that way still scares me to this day, and I’m sure to some extent it always will, but putting everything done on paper was the hardest yet wisest thing I have ever done. By reading VIENNA’S WILL I hope others will be inspired to do the same.

About the author:
Mark McCullough is the author of the true story, VIENNA’S WILL. He began writing his story over twenty years ago and was encouraged by family and friends to complete the book. “Since its release, I have bonded with others who have had similar experiences and have found that the concept of perhaps helping someone else is not only an amazing feeling, it has helped with my own growth and understanding of what is truly important as well.”

Mark worked in the pool and spa industry for eighteen years then turned to his true passion of helping others. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys spending time with his dog and going to the movies or the local pizza joint with his daughter, Vienna.

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