The Fifth Vital
by Mike Majlak and Riley J. Ford
#1 AMAZON BESTSELLER!
Mike Majlak was a seventeen-year-old from a loving, middle-class family in Milford, Connecticut, when he got caught up in the opioid epidemic that swept the nation. For close to a decade thereafter, his life was a wasteland of darkness and despair. While his peers were graduating from college, buying homes, getting married, having kids, and leading normal lives, Mike was snorting OxyContin, climbing out of cars at gunpoint, and burying his childhood friends. Unable to escape the noose of addiction, he eventually lost the trust and support of everyone who had ever loved him. Alone, with nothing but drugs to keep him company, darkness closed in, and the light inside him--the last flicker of hope--began to dim. His dreams, potential, and future were all being devoured by a relentless addiction too powerful to fight. Despair filled him as he realized he wasn't going to survive.
Somehow, he did...
HE NOT ONLY SURVIVED,
Now he's a social media personality with millions of followers, and an entrepreneur, marketer, podcaster, YouTuber, and author who hopes to use his voice to shine a light for those whose own lights have grown dim.
The cops pulled me from the car. I knew in that instant that my life was about to change.
The detectives handcuffed me and placed me in the back of their police cruiser. They swarmed around my car, and within minutes, found what they were searching for: bags of heroin and a folded bill loaded with cocaine.
I was taken to the police station, fingerprinted, and placed in a holding cell. I was officially charged with possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia, and then released on promise to appear in court.
I called my father and told him what’d happened. The news barely registered with him. He was already so resigned, so worn out and tired from trying to help me, that my arrest just added to his disappointment.
I didn’t even call my mother.
Take a breath. You will get through this.
At that moment, I had an inkling of what drugs were doing to my life. Everything that I’d ever valued was gone. My family had all but given up on me in order to save themselves more heartache and pain.
Most of my friends were drowning in a pit of addiction. My friends who didn’t use were so disgusted with me that they’d stopped answering my calls. On top of all that, I was due in court on criminal possession of heroin.
Still, with all that stacked upon my back, I wasn’t yet ready to change. To me, it seemed all part of the game. The life of a drug addict is a constant, unrelenting grind. Days passed, nights became morning, and the story never changed. My life had become a tunnel of dark, saddening events. But instead of learning from my mistakes and choosing to find a way to prevent them from happening again, I just chalked up the constant problems and harrowing debacles as part of the game we were playing.
About Mike Majlak
Mike Majlak currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is the co-host of Impaulsive and the host of The Night Shift. He has millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram.
About Riley J. Ford
Riley J. Ford is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author and UCLA graduate represented by Creative Artists Agency. She writes under multiple pen names and has sold more than one million copies of her novels worldwide. One of her books has been adapted into an upcoming movie for Netflix.
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