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Laura Stamps

SFYB Staff Editor

Darryl Strawberry: The Message Behind the Madness

By: Laura Stamps

Everyone knows Darryl Strawberry. Especially sports fans. At 6’6”, he was one of the premiere sluggers of his era. A professional baseball player for 17 years, he led the New York Mets and New York Yankees to four World Series.

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But Strawberry isn’t only a baseball champion.  He’s also a comeback champion.

Strawberry began experimenting with drugs when he was twenty-one. In 1994 he entered the Betty Ford Clinic to conquer his addiction to cocaine.

However, in 1995 he was suspended from the major league for an aftercare violation. He returned to rehab, and in 1998 made a comeback with 24 home runs, playing 100 games for the first time since 1991. The Yankees won the World Series that year.

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That same year he battled colon cancer. A tumor and 24 inches of his colon were removed before he began chemotherapy treatments.

He made a comeback from cancer in 1999. That was his last year as a professional ballplayer, and he reached a career high of 1000 runs batted in.

But in 2000 the cancer returned. It had spread to his lymph nodes. A kidney and another tumor were removed.

This time he won his battle with cancer. But he continued to struggle with an addiction to cocaine, alcohol, and hookers.

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“Boy, those were the days,” Strawberry said in an interview with the Brushback. “Especially ’86. Man, ’86 was the year.

We won 108 games, we were the talk of the town, and all we did was take drugs and get laid. Don’t get me wrong. Drugs are a terrible, terrible thing. But there is something to be said for using a rolled up hundred dollar bill to snort lines off a stripper’s stomach.”

Strawberry wasn’t alone in his love for the party scene. The ’86 Mets were infamous for their decadent excesses. Some considered Strawberry their ringleader. He was the one with the wild ideas, and the connections to make it happen.

“Sometimes I’ll be speaking, and I’ll be telling a story about how I got myself messed up at the Mercury Lounge, and then it’ll all come back to me,” Strawberry said in the Brushback interview. “You know, the all night parties, the expensive wine, the VIP treatment, and the complete and total obliteration of my senses. But it can’t last forever. That’s the one thing I learned. At the end of the day it really takes its toll on you mentally, physically, and spiritually. I’m just glad I have church to help me get by.”

After struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction throughout his baseball career, Strawberry has been clean for over a decade. He grew weary of living the lies of an addict. So he made a decision. He surrendered his life to God, began practicing the principles in the Bible, and walked away from his famous profession.

“I’m basically not involved in baseball anymore,” he told Barry Tramel of News OK. “I personally don’t have anything against it, but I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t identify myself with baseball anymore.”

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Click on the image above the request contact from the recovery center
On January 24, 2014, the Darryl Strawberry Recovery Center opened its doors in St. Cloud, Florida. It provides a 28-day residential program to treat a variety of addictions. It also offers programs to meet the special needs of recovering athletes.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people,” Strawberry told News OK. “There’s a message behind every madness, if we can just get well.”

Strawberry is a true champion. Not only did he reach the height of his profession but he also defeated every challenge he encountered. Madness may overtake us for a while, but if we search for its message we’ll find a way to come out on top.

Just look at Darryl Strawberry. He’s living proof.

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Laura Stamps

SFYB Staff Editor

Book Review: “The Imperfect Marriage” by Darryl and Tracy Strawberry

By: Laura Stamps
Toxic relationships often lead to dysfunctional marriages. This was certainly the case with Darryl and Tracy Strawberry.
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(Darryl) “Many people have their stories of love at first sight. For us it was lost at first sight. By the time we met, we had lost relationships, our children, our marriages, our money, our will to live, and our connection with God. We were spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially bankrupt.”

Tracy and Darryl met in 2003 at a Narcotics Anonymous convention in Florida. Tracy was recovering from addictions to alcohol, cocaine, crack, and meth. Darryl was not in recovery. He was still using and had gone to prison for his drug violations. He was also millions of dollars in debt. Both had been divorced twice and lost custody of their children from those marriages.

Darryl and Tracy brought more baggage into a relationship than we can imagine. Still, like most dysfunctional people, that didn’t deter them from taking the plunge again.

(Tracy) “We fell in love. Fast and hard. Blind love falls in love with the potential of a person, not the nitty-gritty truth of who they really are. It tolerates deception that can very easily become your adopted truth, leading you right back into another unhealthy relationship. Blind love tells you, ‘It will be different this time.’ That’s what I thought. I kept the blinders on and allowed myself to be drawn into another toxic relationship.”

Several tumultuous years followed. Tracy spent most of her time rescuing Darryl from crack houses and trying to cope with his rampant infidelity. Even so, they married.

Book Review: “The Imperfect Marriage” by Darryl and Tracy Strawberry
(Tracy) “When I married Darryl, he was clean and sober. What I didn’t know was that a part of him did not want to be completely well, whole on the inside. He wasn’t ready to surrender, and he didn’t want to do the work required to be well. The truth became very clear very quickly.”

Sounds like a mess, doesn’t it? It was. Yet this is an amazing book on many levels. Even though the Strawberry’s are painfully candid about the baggage they brought to the marriage table, “The Imperfect Marriage” is an easy book to read and digest. That’s due in part to its unique format. Both Tracy and Darryl tell their stories together in each chapter in first person, letting you know who is talking and when. It works. And very well.

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The book is divided into two sections. The first section, “Me,” tackles the dysfunctional issues plaguing Darryl and Tracy when they married. Eventually, they realized they needed to heal themselves first before they could fix their crippled marriage. The second section, “We,” tells us how these two people, who found wholeness separately, repaired a broken marriage together as a couple.

Each section is divided into chapters covering topics like forgiveness, codependency, trust, mindfulness, temptation, and how to create a new beginning. Slowly, they move readers forward from a relationship paralyzed with despair and hopelessness to a marriage filled with joy and peace. Each step in the healing process is illustrated with examples from their lives, demonstrating for readers what works, what doesn’t work, and how it can work for you.

First and foremost, this is a Christian book. Tracy and Darryl have both become ordained ministers. They counsel couples in marriage crisis through Strawberry Ministries. Darryl also travels across the country, speaking and preaching at various churches and Christian functions.

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(Tracy) “This is the primary theme of this book. Life always comes back to Him. Neither you nor your spouse should be the center of your universe. That’s God’s place. Your spouse does not complete you. God does. And your wholeness in Him is what makes you the better half to your partner.”

Yet this is also a book for people of any faith or no faith struggling with the damaging effects of addiction. If your marriage is in trouble because you or your spouse or both of you are addicts of any kind, this book is for you.

The raw honesty in “The Imperfect Marriage” is impressive. The Strawberrys discuss the ugly truth of their marriage openly and thoroughly. You’re never left guessing. Nothing is hidden. And they do this on purpose. Their goal is to offer their readers all the information and workable strategies they need to succeed. The healing has to start somewhere. And the best place to begin is with the naked truth. So they do.

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This is definitely the case in the codependent chapter, “The Spouse-in-Waiting.” In this chapter, Tracy tells of her struggle as the spouse of an addict. Darryl was clean and sober when they married, but she soon found out he hadn’t dealt with his addiction to women and had no plans to remedy that.

(Tracy) “One of the most challenging aspects of being married is being a spouse-in-waiting. This is what you are when your husband or wife has emotionally or even physically checked out and refuses to get well or get right. You are not loved, honored, cherished, or respected by your life partner. Your spouse has left you alone to live with a broken marriage till death do you part. At times, it feels like a slow death. But there is hope, and there is an answer.”

This is a powerful chapter for anyone familiar with codependency issues. Rarely, do you find such detailed, step-by-step help for the agonizing life of a codependent spouse. Best of all, while Tracy walks readers through her journey from codependency to healing, we receive an added bonus: Darryl’s perspective on her transformation, and the effect it had on him. How priceless is that?

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(Darryl) “I couldn’t help notice Tracy was changing. I saw her develop a new character, new habits, a different way of being. I realized she was moving forward.

She was growing up. She was leaving me behind. I couldn’t help but respect my wife. The transformation was so crazy that honestly, I became jealous. There were times I asked God why He couldn’t give me what she had. ‘Why does she feel so good when I feel so bad?’ Her change opened my eyes.”

The “We” section offers realistic strategies and action plans for readers with spouses in the recovery phase eager to rebuild their broken marriages. Some of the advice will make you laugh out loud with its common sense wisdom.

I-Am-Sorry-For-Such-A-Problem-For-You

(Tracy) “Never give your spouse I’m sorry presents. They are permanent reminders of temporary mistakes. You want to give me a beautiful piece of jewelry to apologize for your adultery so whenever I wear it I can think about what you did? No thanks!”

As you can see, “The Imperfect Marriage” is not just another lightweight celebrity book. It’s not another marriage manual packed with feel-good platitudes. It’s not another Christian counseling book. It’s much, much more. No matter your faith, if you’re in a codependent marriage situation I highly recommend this book. You’ll find something in here to help you. I guarantee it.

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Laura Stamps

SFYB Staff Editor

The Ultimatum that Shocked Darryl Strawberry into Sobriety

By: Laura Stamps

Darryl Strawberry’s first week in the major leagues was a life-changing experience for the talented baseball player. But not in the way you might expect. That week he was introduced to cocaine, when a teammate set up that first white line in a stall in the clubhouse bathroom.

“Once I got into coke, loved it,” Strawberry told Kristina Rutherford for Sportsnet.

He was only twenty-one.

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Cocaine promptly hijacked Strawberry’s life and his promising baseball career. He gained a reputation for partying all night, showing up at practice drunk or high or both, and missing workouts. His temper became volatile, prompting teammates to refer to him as a “stick of dynamite.”

Cocaine is a tough taskmaster, even for a famous ballplayer like Strawberry. Drugs tarnished his sports career, sent him to prison, cost him two marriages, and left him millions of dollars in debt. Cocaine plays no favorites.

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In 2003, Strawberry met his third wife, Tracy, at the Narcotics Anonymous Convention in Florida. Even though he was surrounded by fans seeking autographs, he noticed the pretty blonde staring at him with understanding eyes.

“She was different,” he said in the Sportsnet interview. “She didn’t care that I was a baseball player.”

Tracy was newly recovered and in the process of reclaiming her life after a twelve-year addiction to alcohol, cocaine, crack, meth, and other assorted chemicals. Strawberry shook her hand that day and couldn’t let her go. They talked for hours afterwards and eventually began dating.

But Strawberry’s life was a maze of contradictions. He jumped from periods of addiction to sobriety, from one rehab to the next, from dedication to God to ignoring the church, from being faithful to Tracy to running around. He was a man out of control.

Out-of-control

The first year of their relationship Tracy chased Strawberry across south Florida, pulling him out of crack houses. She even kicked in a few doors to do it. Another time, when she found her car (which Strawberry had stolen), she tossed all his belongings onto the front lawn of that crack house and drove away in her car. There were times when Strawberry thought she was crazier than him.

A year later, Tracy moved back to her hometown in Missouri. She told Strawberry she had to do this for herself and her recovery. Rescuing him from one crack house after another was not an ideal situation for a recovering addict. It was dangerous in more ways than one. She cared too much about her recovery to allow his behavior to derail her.

Strawberry came along, and they moved into her high school bedroom in the basement of her parent’s house. Penniless, he had lost his entire fortune to drugs. He was also three million dollars in debt from delinquent child support payments and back taxes. He didn’t even have a driver’s license.

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They were in Missouri when Tracy delivered the ultimatum that would change Strawberry’s life forever.

“There was a defining moment in my life when me and Tracy came to St. Louis together, boyfriend and girlfriend, and we were shacking up and living together,” Strawberry said in a live interview with Blaze TV. “She woke up one morning – she had been studying the Word – and she says, ‘I’m not doing this anymore. We’re not having sex anymore. I’m done. I need to try and live my life right.’”

Her courage stunned him. He knew how much she loved him. Her decision had taken every ounce of strength she had. Knowing that, he couldn’t help admiring such an incredible woman.

God Speaks and Listens

“I left St. Louis for a while and went on my own journey for six months,” Strawberry told Sportsnet. He traveled to California and moved in with his sister, Regina, to help her care for her three kids. Attending church three or four times each week, he read the Bible every day and prayed constantly, asking God for help.

By then, he was forty-two years old and a two-time cancer survivor, who had spent time in prison for his drug violations. He had no job, no steady income, no money. Just a mountain of debt.

One night, on his knees in prayer at his sister’s house, everything changed. “God told me: ‘Don’t open the Bible; I’ve been waiting for you,’” Strawberry said to Blaze TV. “And I just cried.”

This was exactly what Strawberry needed to hear. Each shattered piece of his life finally fell into place. He’s been clean and sober ever since. That was over a decade ago.

WICKED-SOBER-AND-PROUD

Strawberry gives Tracy all the credit for his sobriety. It was her shocking ultimatum that set his recovery in motion. He returned to Missouri, and they were married eight years ago in a simple church wedding in Las Vegas. They both wore jeans and tennis shoes. His wedding ring is a thick black band inscribed with her name and his.

“As a man, I was taught I was great and could do whatever I wanted,” Strawberry told Elev8 in a recent video interview. Consequently, he lived his life like a man with no discipline, totally out of control, doing whatever he pleased, thoroughly submerged in his addictions. “It doesn’t make you less of a man it makes you a greater man to listen to your wife from time to time.”

One of the marks of a great man is the depth of his willingness to listen to the wisdom of others. Darryl Strawberry has learned to listen to what matters most to him: his wife and his faith. That makes him truly great in all the ways that matter.

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  • The Friend Who Introduced Me to My Undoing I was 18 when I met the person who would introduce me to my ultimate undoing, Oxycontin. His name was Miles. I was outside smoking a cigarette...
  •   I am a aggressive Internet marketer (Certified Master Coach Internet Marketing) with 40+ years experience that specializes in the drug and alcohol vertical markets. Look at my endorsements above from executives in the drug...
  • How Do You Find A Good Rehab? By: Steve Castleman It takes courage to break through denial and begin to consider getting professional help. It may start with a glimpse, a fleeting flash of willingness....
  • Exposing the FDA StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. There is also an excellent companion clip to this one which may be found by clicking here Wa...
  • Got Empty Beds at Your Facility? Updates and more discussion on this topic please join our FaceBook Group by clicking on image below. StopFryingYourBrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click...
  • Stop Frying Your Brain Our Capabilities Please join our network of over 250 facility operators ! stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more Do you...
  • Lost In Limbo? Hey if you need a friend and some help reach out to me Robert @ 772.206.6676 If you’re a service provider and wish to become a member of our network call John...
  • Is Your Landlord Partially Responsible for Your Relapse? This website is becoming the most visited substance abuse site in the nation. Click here to learn more I saw an article on allergy testing as it...
  • Allergy Testing Can Save Your Life, stop migraines and so much more StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Published with permission SFYB is a Tedx publishing partner...
  • Watch this man react to the world after 45 years in prison StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. After rock-bottom, rediscover life! Oh what a wonderful world...
  • A Day in the Life of a Crack Dealer. Think about this for a while… Stop being so dam stupid. Be Smart. You have a choice. VOTE: While You Still Can! Donald Trump? StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming...
  • How PTSD Leads To Addiction. If you need some help your in the right place. StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. How PTSD Leads To Addiction. Today...
  • 5 Things You Need to Know About Living With PTSD. If you need some help your in the right place. StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. PTSD...
  • Elderly Addicted to Opiates who would have ever thought Grandma was a drug addict ? StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn why. Other relevant articles you may be...
  • Sober Living plays a critical role in the recovery process. Individuals that decide to drive the road to recovery encounter may detours and obstacles that can sidetrack their recovery. While there are many choices of...
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  • 50 Pounds of Marijuana Shipped to Wrong Address You Should Join You Should Join to learn about the best digital marketing for the drug and alcohol vertical? Click the button below. LinkedIn Groups You Should...
  • Prisons Abuse People with Mental Illness StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks...
  • Drug Addictions Alternatives That Work StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way...
  • Criminalizing Mental Health In America… StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way...
  • Are we using prisons to treat mental illness? Are we using the prisons in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way to the citizens. Thoughts? Do you have any suggestions what could be done differently....
  • US Government Turning Veterans Into Drug Addicts StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Other Relevant Article – Click Here  You Should Join to learn about the best...
  • Veterans Being Pumped Full of Addictive Opiates StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. Other Relevant Article – Click Here Updates and more discussion on this topic please...
  • StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more. The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans You Should Join to learn about the best digital marketing for the...
  • stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more   We are looking for the best books to recommend to our user community. If you are an...
  •  StopfryingYourBrain.com becoming one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation stopfryingyourbrain.com  becoming one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation. It is a community of 131,000+ registered users and...
  • “Our” LinkedIn groups you should join if you have a product or service to sell or if you wish to engage yourself in the drug and alcohol community. Before you do anything else, you should...
  • Members of Congress, the Betty Ford Foundation, the Christi Foundation and Many Others Meet to Discuss Opiate Deaths Today. Click on the image below to join our automated drug, alcohol training and marketing series if...
  • Seriously an automated marketing system/robot for the drug and alcohol vertical that has real value? The behavioral health national referral list with FREE automated marketing system by the “brian”…is designed specifically to bring service providers...
  • Dealing with Pushy Boozers & Surrounded By Assholes By: J. Bella Last night was a big night for me. Not because it was Friday, but because I was sober and surrounded by drunk people. This...
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  • I’ve Been Substituting One Addiction for Another. UGH!! By: Lisa So far in my sober journey, I have become aware that there is a syndrome, well at least for me anyway, of swapping addictions. I...
  • Heroin Kills More People Than Automobile Accidents Heroin in the suburbs? Are you freakin kidding me?! Didn’t we learn not to mess with that junk back in the 60s? Holy crap!! Yet heroin use is...
  • stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more When someone talk about the long-term consequences of war, let’s talk about the men and women who came...
  • Mexican Cartels Worse Than ISIL A United Nations report estimated over 9,000 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded in Iraq in 2014, more than half since ISIL fighters seized large parts on northern Iraq in...
  • A revolution, decades in the making is beginning crest and the great green wave is about to break, on the verge of being able to discover the wonders within the cannabis plant’s capability and at...
  • The Government Knows Click da image below to learn more
  • NOTHING LOOKS GOOD ON THE OUTSIDE ANYMORE I WISH I KNEW WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL…. EVERY CHOICE I MADE ALTERED THE COURSE OF MY LIFE AND MY FAMILIES LIFE FOR THE REST OF...
  • King of the Body Brokers Who’s your daddy? The great American deception. The game of illusion and who’s da king really? Sharing my thoughts as I make coffee this morning. It is written by our...
  • I AM FACING A LOADED CANYON STRAIGHT ON There was a neighbor boy who was into smoking white powder. At that time it was called free-basing. I am not sure why it was ever called...

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