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About the Book Trouble Is a Gift is the story of a recovered alcoholic who humbly asked for help in finding a purpose and meaning in his life, whose prayer was answered, and who then turned his dream into a reality devoted to the care and treatment of millions of sick and suffering addicts and alcoholics. James S. Cusack, alcoholic, caregiver, and astute businessman, recounts his inner struggles and self-doubt, the stages of his recovery from alcohol addiction, and the moment of clarity when his mission came to light and he saw how, with the help of God and a Twelve-Step program, he could fulfill his purpose. Cusack writes with candor and sincerity of his early upbringing in Manhattan, his family s move to Queens, and his boyhood as a tough street kid; then takes us through his difficult times in the U.S. Air Force, where he discovered the therapeutic value of discipline; and through the hard-drinking years that followed his Honorable Discharge and led to his sobriety. In the early years of his recovery, Jim focused mainly on getting sober, working and enjoying success in the trucking business and insurance sales. In time, he began helping others to sober up, meeting with them in the back room of a candy store in Astoria, Queens, and touching their lives with the love, warmth, and honesty that had been given to him. Feeling an ever-greater need to find his mission in life, in 1965, Jim brought his prayer for direction to the Shrine of North American Martyrs, in Auriesville, New York. Shortly thereafter, his prayer was answered when he was hired to manage Glen Acre Lodge in Glen Spey, NY, one of the very earliest retreat centers for alcoholics. As the success of his work gained attention, Jim became part-owner of the Lodge and landed his first big account with the New York City Police Department with the help of Msgr. Joseph Dunn, who developed the Department s Employee Assistance Program. In time, fireman, sanitation workers, and other city employees suffering from alcoholism were also sent to Jim for help getting sober. Jim s story continues through numerous twists, turns, and fateful encounters, including his first meeting with Sue, now his wife and partner in his life work, and several changes of location before coming upon the resort in the Catskills that is now known as Villa Veritas. About the Author A pioneer in the field of chemical dependency treatment, James S. Cusack, CASAC, NCAC II, NCRS, offers his story as an example to all those brave individuals determined to overcome obstacles and turn liabilities into assets. Himself a recovered alcoholic of 60 years, Jim learned through helping other alcoholics find their way to sobriety that the gift is in the giving, and made his service his career. In his 50 years working with those suffering from chemical dependency, Jim has received countless honors acknowledging his groundbreaking accomplishments. In 1981, he and his wife Sue closed on the purchase of a Catskill resort which, through their dedicated efforts, has become Villa Veritas. In 2011, Jim and Sue established the Villa Veritas Foundation, Inc., to safeguard their mission and carry on a 40-year legacy of helping and caring for the chemically dependent. Jim serves as chairman of the board of Villa Veritas Foundation, Inc., and Sue, as Foundation president. They are committed to maintaining their hands-on, individualized approach to ensure that each of the thousands of alcoholics and addicts who pass through the Villa every year receives the love, care, and opportunity to find a new life in recovery he or she deserves. Jim, at age 83, continues to do what every recovered alcoholic with a mission should be doing: He s living one day at a time, and planning his next endeavor.