Mark Crandall was the victim of multiple childhood traumas. Born in Claremont, placed into an Enfield foster home at age three, Crandall grew into a drug-addicted adult with a prison record. But his story didn't end there. He beat the odds.
Crandall went on to earn a Masters degree in social work, two licenses in counseling. He became an author and started a successful business as a mindset coach. He recently published an autobiography, Eulogy of Childhood Memories.
The Observer had a chance to interview Crandall.
Your book puts out a lot of details about your life that most people would want to remain hidden — drugs, alcohol, stealing, jail. What prompted you to write the book?
My past does not define me. I believe we have the stigma that we do today because the focus from media is all about the harm that drug addicts and alcoholics cause. I have repaired the harm that I caused and have absolutely recreated my life. The shame and guilt surrounding these actions prevented me for years to take the actions that I so badly wanted to take. I am not proud of my past, but am grateful for it! What I mean is, had I not done everything that I had, I would not be the Man that I am today. I had wanted to write Eulogy of Childhood Memories for about 15 years. I have read countless memoirs pertaining to drug addiction, but not one of them provided a full discloser or real insight into the mind of someone addicted. My main motivation was to show that your life circumstances do not need to dictate your future. I wrote this to empower people and end the stigma.
What message do you want your readers to take from the book?
There are two messages I hope for, and of course, the rest is open to the interpretation of the person reading it:
Addicts are not doing the things they do because they want to. The need to quiet the voices in the mind and rule out everything else. I had no choice in whether or not I consumed alcohol and drugs.
The second is that it does not matter where you come from or what you have been through. When you detach from the story you created surrounding where you came from or what you have been through you can achieve anything!
Can you describe what a mindset coach does? What type of person will most benefit from your coaching?
Everyone has motivation. I believe that selling motivation (which people spend millions on each year) is a waste of money. I have yet to meet with a client that has struggled to start something. People struggle with persevering through the limiting beliefs that stop them or tell them to stop. You know the “you're not good enough, people are going to think badly of you, just quit…….”. I empower people to overcome those beliefs. For example, I was almost finished my Bachelors Degree in Human Services and really wanted to work at the Sununu Youth Services Center. Everyone I talked to stated that I would not be able to do that due to my criminal background. I refused to allow their feedback stop me from trying. Most people lack the ability to walk through situations like that. I empower them to become the greatest version of themselves and tap into and begin living the lives of their dreams. Also, I ended up getting a job at Sununu Youth Services Center. The Union Leader wrote an amazing article about it (although that was not their intent.)
You were born in Claremont and then moved to Enfield. A couple years ago you relocated to Texas. Do you still have Upper Valley connections?
Yes, I was born in Claremont and moved to Enfield when I was placed in Foster Care at the age of 3. I lived in NH until 2 years ago when I took a job in Austin. I am very connected to the Upper Valley and have organized a fundraising event to take place on March 10th and 11th The speaking event is to raise funds for Recovery Services in the Upper Valley.
(Editors Note: Mark Crandall will be speaking at the Briggs Opera House on March 10th and March 11.) See full details on the poster below.