The Fifth Vital by Mike Majlak and Riley J. Ford Genre: Nonfiction
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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 year is 2018. At thirty-three years old, I’ve taken the social media world by storm. I’ve partnered with a world-famous multimillionaire social media celebrity and businessman named Logan Paul.
A few weeks ago, I’d moved into Logan’s $7 million house just outside Hollywood. I’d relocated to the West Coast to assist in the rebranding of Logan’s public image and his Maverick brand, which included a clothing line, a team of talent, vlogs, and other business ventures. The move away from Connecticut has been therapeutic for me…a way to bookend a story of pain, grief, and regret that had rooted itself firmly in the town where I was born.
On this particular day, we’re filming the pilot episode of a new Internet show and podcast, Impaulsive. We’ve been preparing for weeks leading up to this day. For our first episode, we’d booked a famous sex doctor. I’d mentally prepared for the show: what I was going to say, how I was going to act.
Everything was perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
I was on set in the middle of filming when the waves of an anxiety attack started to take hold.
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.