The Pryor Times

Local News

May 4, 2013

Lang says book is practical advice

PRYOR, OK — One Pryor native has taken recovery to the next level.

Lance Lang grew up in Pryor. He was the son of a Baptist preacher. He was also a Tiger athlete.

Now he describes himself as “a hope dealer, grace addict, Christ follower, vision caster, fundraiser, leader, recovery pastor, marketer and author.”

In his new book, Lang recounts the person he became when his drug addiction took over his life. His book “Hope is Alive” shares his experience, and his tips for recovery.

Lang admits there are a million books on drug addiction and recovery, but his is different.

“Well, I tried to make it as practical as I could. I looked back on my experience these last couple years and thought; OK, how did I do this? Why was I able to be successful when a lot of people around me hadn’t had success?” said Lang. “We’re bombarded with information, meetings and programs. There are books everywhere. But in this modern world where alcohol is glamorized as the only way to have fun and everyone has prescription pills in their medicine cabinets, how do you practically stay sober?”

Lang said it is the practical applications that set his book apart. While the book chronicles his journey from impairment to sobriety, he said the book transcends addiction.

“People that don’t suffer from drug addiction will still want to read it. I had that in mind when I wrote it. Anywhere I write addiction, insert your own cross to bear,” said Lang. “Anything you are struggling to overcome.”

He said being a preacher’s son in a small town had a huge impact on his life.

“It wasn’t anything my parents did, it’s just the nature of being a preacher’s son. You’re thrust into a position where you’re visible to a lot of people. My personality is bent toward obsession and compulsion. I felt like I was living in a glass house,” said Lang.

“I felt the pressure, whether it was there or not. I didn’t have proper coping mechanisms. So yeah, it played a part in my addiction but it’s also played a huge part in my recovery,” said Lang. “It’s been a huge blessing. I respect and admire my dad for his choices.”

Being a Pryorite at heart, Lang extends advice to any local teens or young adults struggling with addiction.

“I would tell the teens of Pryor that it comes down to a simple phrase my dad told me every day, ‘make good choices.’ It’s simple but profound,” he said.

Lang said making the right choices sets a person up for success and that as a teenager, one or two bad decisions can set someone up for destruction.

“There is a way for you to enjoy life to the fullest, to have fulfilling relationships and get everything you want out of life. First and foremost is a good relationship with God, then an open relationship with your parents. Knowing how to be yourself, and be comfortable with yourself is huge as well,” he said.

In the book, Lang uses the phrase “cheating on life” to describe his life as an addict.

“I felt like for most of my life, until I got clean and sober, I was really two different people. That’s kind of the definition of a cheater,” Lang explained. “I had the facade of a businessman or a father, but behind closed doors I was always cheating on life with some other substance.”

While the journey to overcome addiction took years, Lang’s book took only six months. When the book was published, he posted a thank you letter on his social media sites. In that letter, he thanked Pryor.

“From the bottom of my heart I am very thankful for the people of Pryor. They got behind this project in a way that was completely overwhelming. To see the love, support and encouragement that they’ve given me and my book is amazing,” said Lang. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes but to see the grace poured out from Pryor just warmed my heart. Everyone has a hometown. No matter where I live, I will forever call Pryor my home.”

Lang said he hopes to have the opportunity to come to Pryor to personally thank his supporters, and tell his story, very soon. He credits Pryor for giving him a solid foundation and great role models.

The book is titled after the non-profit organization Lang founded upon completing recovery.

“The calling on my life is to impact the lives of the hurting and the broken by instilling hope for the future. Right after I left treatment I felt that calling in a very real way,” he said.

Rob’s Ranch, the treatment center where Lang was a patient, offered him a job when his rehab was completed. He worked there for a time, before starting his own organization.

“Basically, there’s a house where I live with four or five recovering addicts. Right now I have five guys that live here. They are all at different places in their sobriety but we try to help them in all areas of life,” said Lang.

He said the organization aims to provide people recovering from addiction with a strong foundation to set them up for success when they leave the facility.

“We’re really taking recovery to the next level here,” he said.

Lang isn’t finished yet. He has a summer full of scheduled speaking dates and is always looking for an opportunity to share his story.

He said he made a goal for himself to write one book per year, though he knows that may be a bit ambitious. He wants to write a book geared toward families and one about facing fears.

His book, “Hope is Alive,” is available locally at The Book Exchange in Pryor, or online.

The book contains Lang’s contact information and he encourages anyone in need to contact him, as he would like to be a part of their recovery journey.

Lang is speaking June 2 at First Baptist Church in Salina and at 10 a.m., June 16, at Audacity Church in Tulsa.

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