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Fox 5 Remarkable Recovery
God Kept Waking Me Up: A Story of Redemption on One Atlanta Street
From Homeless Addict to Business Owner: the
Inspirational Story of Benjamin "Bigmouthben" Graham
Atlanta, GA – At first glance, it might appear that successful business owner,
philanthropist, author and public speaker Benjamin Graham has it all. But it wasn’t
always this way. His story of determination, courage, and survival serves as an
Affectionately known as “Bigmouthben,” Ben graduated as an honor roll student with a
promising-looking future. But in college, he started a downward spiral toward addiction,
and from that point on spent many years struggling not only with addiction, but also
with mental illness originating from harrowing childhood traumas - Ben was actually
molested when he was six years old.
To add to his misery, Ben was accidentally crushed while working on the back of a
garbage truck in early 2000, leaving him so severely injured he was confined to a
wheelchair for a year. He suffered excruciating pain. And with his entire pelvic area
crushed, he wasn’t expected to be able to walk again.
“I am living proof that if you hit rock bottom you can still turn your life around,” says
After persevering through months of rehabilitation, Ben learned how to walk again, and
took his first step toward his dream of owning his own business. He turned his
wheelchair into a snack cart and peddled his wares in the downtown streets of Atlanta.
Addiction took control of Ben’s life again, and he found himself sleeping under a bridge,
ironically only two blocks away from the Bigmouthben Stores he now owns, together
with his college sweetheart, Tanya Graham.
Ben credits his survival to a spiritual awakening and is especially grateful to the various
Continuum of Cares in Atlanta who played a large part in helping him get treatment for
his addiction. His goal in life now is to inspire others. And outside his business sits a
bike covered with bright yellow duct tape that represents the sunshine –his purpose to
brighten the lives of others.
“My story is one that needs to be shared,” says Ben. “I survived for a reason, and that is
to bring awareness and hope to the addiction crisis.”
Ben is doing everything in his power to do just that. He speaks at schools, court-
mandated programs, corporations, and organizations, and has published The Book of
Benjamin through Christian Faith Publishers. He and Tanya are also spearheading a
non-profit organization called “Motivation Forward” that helps those dealing with
homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.
A powerful motivational speaker, Ben is happy to share his story of overcoming to
inspire others. To book a speaking engagement with Ben, or for more information, visit
his website at www.bigmouthben.com.