For one Bismarck man, recovery from drugs and alcohol led him to a life as an author and addiction counselor. KX News met with Tyler Auk, Author of Broken Gifts a memoir about his life of overcoming addiction.
Tyler Auk is one of the many people who have an amazing redemption story and he says he’s made it his mission to share his Broken Gifts on this segment of Road to Recovery.
“Everything seemed normal but it was difficult. There was some physical abuse, some trauma before I even knew what trauma was. The first time I ever seen anyone get shot I was about 4 years old,” says Auck.
That trauma led Auck down a road of destruction and pain and he started using drugs at age 14. Auck says “I started experimenting. My dad had drugs in the house. So I would steal his drugs. I started really getting into alcohol. That was kind of my drug of choice.”
As things began to escalate with alcohol, Tyler was robbing places to keep his addiction going. And at 17-years-old he had multiple suicide attempts and was facing 35 years in prison for various crimes. He then switched to using prescription drugs in an attempt to control his addiction.
“But that was just a justification to cross addict to something that ultimately did the same thing to me,” says Auck.
Tyler tried moving to Colorado to get away from all the trouble but it seemed to follow him wherever he went. Finally, after a major overdose, he found himself dying in a dumpster.
“They were trying to throw me in a dumpster to get rid of the evidence. I felt the warm asphalt on my face. The voices stopped and so did the violent crashes to the ground. I was finally able to pick my head up off the ground. I was gasping for air. It felt like someone was standing on my throat cutting off my air way,” says Auck.
After the OD, he moved back to North Dakota when he was 23, and spent the next 11 years going to any length to get drugs.
“I was having surgeries. I think I had 11 or 12 surgeries in those 11 years just to get drugs. I was getting cut open just to keep the narcotic pain medication coming,” says Auck.
After 18 years of chaos, in January of 2011, he began his journey to a new normal at Heartview.
It was there when he experienced the love of people in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Now, Tyler is a licensed addiction counselor and author of a newly published book “Broken Gifts”.
“There is a way out. It may not seem like it but there is I know a lot of awesome people out there that have your back,” says Auck.
And those people will continue to fight to help others on their road to recovery.
Tyler says his book Broken Gifts has already sold 1,700 copies in just two months. If you want a copy of Broken Gifts you can find more information on Tyler’s Facebook page here.