Alan S. Charles has lived a remarkable, diverse, and full life. Growing up in a small garden apartment community, Alan and his brother lost their father at a very young age. Trying to manage in the wake of this tragedy and alongside an emotionally destroyed mother, Alan’s younger brother lost the battle to mental illness. Alan navigated in the only way he knew how; throwing himself into before and after school jobs, playing baseball and going to the track to bet on the harness races, anything to stay out of the house. As baseball became more and more important in his life, Alan found his way to college, playing baseball at the University of Miami and as a starting pitcher at the University of Tampa. When arm surgery for tendonitis and bone chips reduced his pitching speed from 90mph to the mid 80’s, Alan’s hope of playing professional ball for a major league organization seemed lost. Still a talented pitcher, Alan signed a contract with a major league team in the Dominican Republic. Realizing he had gotten as far as he could in baseball and living a dream, he joined the workforce. After a series of interesting sales jobs, Alan decided to pursue another dream -harness racing – and took a course at the International School of Harness Racing at Roosevelt Raceway. With no experience, Alan landed a job as a harness racing trainer in Maryland finally moving on to become a fully-licensed professional harness racing driver. From 1987 to 1995,Alan drove in harness races all over New York and New Jersey, making a name for himself as a regular driver on the circuit. In 1995, after a couple of serious harness racing related accidents Alan retired from driving.
In 1983, the pain of his dysfunctional upbringing caught up with him. Seeking relief from his lifelong feelings of anxiety and loneliness, he became addicted to cocaine, which ultimately caused him to lose it all including every relationship he ever had. Over a period of 24 years, Alan struggled with his addiction eventually believing that this is more than likely how he would die. In and out of rehab and countless meetings at Cocaine Anonymous and Alcohol Anonymous it wasn’t until 2007 that Alan finally hit bottom. Deciding once and for all to battle his inner demons, Alan was determined to become sober and change his life. As of December 8, 2007, Alan got clean and remains sober to this day. With a combination of CA and AA, an amazing therapist and friends who believe in him, Alan is happier than he has ever been. Today, he is the doting father of two daughters as he takes life one day at a time.
The Book Walking Out the Other Side: An Addict’s Journey from Loneliness to Life:
This book is dedicated to my two beautiful daughters, Samantha and Jordyn. They show me unconditional love and motivate me every single day to be the best person I can be. They are the greatest gift I have ever received. Samantha and Jordyn kept me going—and I knew, no matter how long it took, they would be there when I walked out the other side. Knowing my girls were waiting for me made the journey possible.
Whether you have an addiction or you are dealing with a loved one’s addiction, my hope is this book, my story, will offer something, anything, that might help put you and the people you care for on the path to recovery. It is a hard path. I didn’t get better alone. I am sincerely grateful to the Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous programs and members who have helped me along the way—and there were many.
Praise for Walking Out the Other Side by Alan S. Charles:
“Riveting, fascinating read. Alan Charles has lived much of his life alone, but he has accomplished so much, from beating the odds and playing professional baseball to defeating his addictions. This is a remarkable comeback story that shouldn’t be missed.”
— Jon Hart, Author of Man versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy and His Extraordinary Sports Adventures
“From playing professional baseball in the Dominican Republic to the ins and outs of harness racing and a career in sales, Alan goes from one exciting adventure to another—and then there’s that little white powder that somehow shows up wherever he goes and spoils whatever plans he has. What a story! What a triumphant tale of the human spirit’s power to overcome.”
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and Award-Winning Author of The Best Place
“Walking Out the Other Side is incredibly honest and filled with insightful information that will help many! Thank you, Alan, for the opportunity to read your inspiring story.”
— Richard A. Singer, Jr., Award-Winning Author of Eastern Wisdom for Your Soul
“If you want to know what goes on in an addict’s brain, look no further. In his book, Walking Out the Other Side, Alan S. Charles tells us exactly how it is. He does not hold back on any of the pain and confusion that led to his addiction, or the struggle it took to finally shake the nightmare.”
— Barbara Sinor, Ph.D., Author of Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery
“The power of Alan S. Charles’ memoir is in its truthfulness, his need to make sense of his former life as an addict, and the beauty of this book is found in the author’s message to all who suffer from addiction. No matter how far we fall, so long as we don’t lose hope, there is always the possibility of growth and recovery. Mr. Charles is living proof that addicts can and do change.”
— James Brown, Author of The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir
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