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Gresham author dedicates new book to the mentally unwell

Snakebit! by Mike Jones is available to buy on Amazon.com


In his new book dedicated to the mentally unwell, “Snakebit!” author and Gresham resident Mike Jones hopes to prevent future acts of violence or, at the very least, help a few people get well.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Mikes Jones, author of Snakebit!Jones, 74, a former pastor, businessman and editor with a master’s degree in journalism, was prompted to write the book (his first published of four others he’s written) after overcoming his own bout with what he calls mental unwellness.

“We’re all snakebit in some ways,” said the Michigan native, who in his book confesses to a 40-year sexual addiction and then describes his journey to freedom after he developed a spiritual relationship with God.

Jones quotes psychiatrist M. Scott Peck when he says we’re all mentally ill, just to different degrees.

“Some of us have an ugly temper, a nasty disposition, substance abuse, or we think stupid or bad thoughts,” Jones said. “I had a fantasy life that was unhealthy and unwell.”

Jones, who left his unhealthy fantasy life behind 15 years ago, said, “I didn’t get better, I got replaced. I became a different person. And wellness followed.”

No stranger to the psychiatrist’s couch, Jones is optimistic that anyone depressed and despairing will catch a glimmering hope for mental and emotional wellness in his book.

In “Snakebit! We’re All Snakebit: Antidote Inside,” Jones uses readings from the Bible, literature in psychology and his own everyday experiences to tackle coping with depression, anxiety, addiction, relationship issues and crisis.

A self-described nondenominational Bible Christian, the author offers a “spiritual paradigm” that he believes can help others and ultimately brought more peace into his life.

Snakebitten

The theme of “Snakebit” comes from Jones’ first bite with reality as a young boy growing up in the countryside of Grand Rapids, Mich.

It was a balmy summer day, and Jones was playing outside his house when he caught a small garter snake.

Despite his mother’s warnings that playing with the snake would get him bitten, Jones continued to play a game of catch and release with “Snakie,” letting him slither out into the grassy field before catching him and bringing him back to the driveway. Finally, after about the 10th time, Snakie struck.

In a moment of sheer terror, Jones ran into the house, his finger dripping blood.

The theme, which summarizes Jones’ belief that “we are all snakebit,” stuck for his new book.

Author’s background

In 1975, Jones moved from Michigan to Oregon, where he began working with a minister and studying theology. He pastored for five years in the Montavilla area of Portland before he left for Anchorage, Alaska, where he helped run a dental practice. After a divorce from his first wife, Jones moved back to Oregon and became a businessman, doing marketing for a private practice he created, Tender Care Dental Office. After selling his business to a national competitor in the 1990s, Jones was forced into an early retirement as he was unable to find work in his 60s. “So I started writing books,” he said.

Jones, who may be recognized around town by his black cowboy hat and boots, lives with his current wife in Gresham.

When he’s not writing or asking strangers how they’re doing and making lifelong friends in the Fred Meyer grocery line, Jones enjoys speaking, fishing, and country-western dancing.



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