Marti MacGibbon, human trafficking survivor and recovering addict, is an author, humorous inspirational speaker and standup comic who holds four professional certifications in addiction treatment, including the ACRPS, Advanced Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist. Marti is a member of the National Speakers Association and her articles have appeared in numerous trade publications and magazines. She’s been interviewed in Investors Business Daily and Entrepreneur.
Marti was one of the first women to work as a laborer in the Texas oilfield. She set off explosives for an exploration company for a brief period of time and then learned surveying skills, staking oil wells. She moved on to standup comedy and was scheduled for an appearance on The Tonight Show, but Marti became entangled in the California drug scene and plunged into the underworld and serious drug addiction. After being trafficked to Japanese organized crime and escaping, she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and was homeless for over a year, but ultimately found true love, recovery and forgiveness. Her darkly humorous and dramatic memoir, “Never Give in to Fear,” tells the story, and the narration brings alive a host of quirky characters and bungling criminals.
“Never Give in to Fear” has received critical praise from Foreword Clarion and San Francisco Book Review. The enhanced edition, “Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom,” received an editorial recommendation from Kirkus Reviews and an award for Best Revised Edition from Books-and-Authors.net.
Tell us about your book. – Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom is a memoir, and it’s gritty and raw. It’s fast-paced, funny in many places, sad, scary and disturbing in other places. The book describes what happened to me after I got booked for an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I got mixed up with a bad boyfriend and slid into the San Francisco drug scene, then ended up getting sold to Japanese organized crime figures – a victim of human trafficking. After escaping, I spent a year or so homeless on the streets, and during that time I met my ideal mate, the guy I eventually married. It contains suspense, comedy, a cautionary tale, and plenty of hilarious misadventures in the drug world and the world of standup comedy. It’s a very unusual comeback story. Not many women experience the things I have – rape, beatings, desperation, hard-core addiction and homelessness – and survive, let alone live to heal, look back and find laughter. I wrote my book for everyone, because every living person’s journey includes learning to give, and to accept, love and forgiveness.
Tell us a bit about your family. – Our house was filled with laughter and high energy. Even though my folks helped me and my four siblings to develop confidence in ourselves academically and socially, I became a hard-core addict as an adult. During my lowest point, when I was ashamed to call home for over a year, my family never lost hope. The strength I carried with me when I was an addict and homeless was the ability to laugh, something I learned in childhood. And the most amazing thing of all the crazy stuff in my life is that while I was an addict, homeless and hitchhiking, this good-looking, nice guy gave me a lift in his truck. I ended up marrying him. After twenty-five years, he’s still the love of my life.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? – I’m resilient, and my sense of humor is a big part of that. Not only can I look back at the past and laugh, but I can also inspire others as a professional speaker.
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? – I wrote a book – that was a dream realized. I’ve learned to celebrate each moment. I’ve learned to forgive myself for messing up my life so badly, and to forgive anybody who hurt me.
Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? – I will be a guest speaker at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on February 17th, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. I will be telling my story as a survivor of human trafficking.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? – Be kind to yourself, love life, live in the present moment, allow others to love you, and whenever possible, laugh. Never let fear hold you back. And never give in to fear.
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? – I want to be thinking, “Wow! That was so much fun. I’m so glad I lived it.”