A Virtual Conversation with Mark Turnipseed and Hillary Belk | My Suicide Race

A Virtual Conversation with Mark Turnipseed and Hillary Belk | My Suicide Race

March 25th 2021 | 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join us with fitness coach and LGBTQ addiction recovery advocate, Mark A. Turnipseed, on March 25th at 6PM! The author, along with recovery support specialist Hillary Belk, will be discussing Turnipseed's vitally honest memoir, My Suicide Race: Winning Over The Trauma of Addiction, Recovery, and Coming Out.

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My Suicide Race

by Mark A. Turnipseed

• • •

At the tender age of six, Mark A. Turnipseed received what he felt was a clear and devastating message: it isn’t okay to like other boys, and if you do, you’re bound for hell. His confusion and self-hatred made him determined to become the boy he believed he was supposed to be, but in attempting to live a lie, he descended into a hell of his own making.

In this unflinchingly honest debut memoir, Mark takes us on a harrowing journey as he bounces off the restrictive walls of his closet and plunges into the darkness of drug and alcohol addiction, prostitution, and suicide attempts. He bravely lets us inside the raw, tragic mind of an addict and sexual trauma survivor whose self-denial threatens to destroy him and everyone who loves him. 

“You created hell, crawled through it, found your way out, swam, biked, and ran the distance to the beautiful truth about your Light... Well done.”—Brian McNaught, top sexuality educator and author of Now That I’m Out, What Do I Do?

After surviving numerous relapses, Mark finally finds a surprising key to saving his own life. While training for a triathlon, he embraces a fresh commitment to sober strategies that lead to good health, self-acceptance, and authenticity—offering hope for all who struggle with the shame and self-hatred that fuel addictions. 

While showing that recovery is possible even for those who struggle for years to reach sobriety, My Suicide Race also unveils the often-unseen links between addiction, suicidal ideation, and the trauma of coming out.

"This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt desperate, hopeless, marginalized, or "beyond saving." It's also a reminder of how our environments and self-images can trigger substance abuse and addiction, often without us even realizing it until it's nearly too late. Most of all, however, it's a reminder that it's actually never too late to marshal your inner-strength and lean on the people who love you to live the life you want. From overcoming identity-related childhood trauma, to his surviving sexual assault, to his breaking free from years-long alcohol and drug addiction, to his reinventing (or realizing) himself as an openly gay triathlete, Mark is an enduring example of how every second is another chance to take control of your situation and be the person you want to be, and need to be, for yourself and the people in your life."—Recovery Unplugged Treatment Center


Father of two sons and psychology graduate with 5+ years of mental health experience, Mark A. Turnipseed has now become a fitness coach and LGBTQ addiction recovery advocate, model and speaker, and is now the author of My Suicide Race: Winning Over the Trauma of Addiction, Recovery, and Coming Out.

After surviving numerous relapses connected to addictions, Mark A Turnipseed found a surprising key to saving his own life. While training for triathlon, he discovered a way to embrace a fresh commitment to sober health. Offering hope for all who struggle with the shame and self-hatred that fuel addictions, Mark shines a new light on the often unseen links between addiction, suicide attempts, and the trauma of coming out.


Hillary Belk, CADC, CLC, is a grateful and empowered woman in recovery. She has been in active recovery since July 10, 2008. Hillary helped pioneer collegiate recovery in the state of North Carolina. Belk is an entrepreneur, and started Hillary Belk Recovery Support Services in 2019. She has a background in substance use counseling, life coaching, recovery coaching and as a reiki practitioner. She has worked with every demographic and loves to celebrate individuality and uniqueness. She is a bisexual woman and is proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. Hillary spends time laughing, barefoot and outdoors. Her family and friends hold very high priority in her life. Hillary also enjoys focusing on  self-care and finding new and innovative ways to help others. She is a very spiritual woman and knows her understanding of God is at the center of everything in her life.


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