Kirk: I grew up in small surfing town called Quinella, which is in Australia just south of Sydney.
Interviewer: What was as it like being a kid?
Kirk: Confusing, it was confusing for the most part. From a very early age I couldn't concentrate. Anything to do with school or rules, I just couldn't deal with. The first time I smoked weed I was 12 years old.
Interviewer: What was that like for you?
Kirk: It was amazing, I just felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. I felt like everything was going to be cool. It was like a safety blanket around me, nothing could touch me or penetrate my energy field, nothing could hurt me. Like a silky cloak or a fabric around me, I felt at home. So that and surfing were my only ways to escape.
Surfing started going downhill, I started getting really scared and nervous at competitions. In my head, I would be thinking that people are expecting me to win. I just felt pressure, and that weight again. I didn't know how to deal with it, I just started losing competitions and socking myself out. That eventually turned into nothing but frustration and anger. That anger started to come out on the street when I would be hanging out. If anyone would talk to me wrongly, if I had any excuse to fight someone I would, just to get that anger out. Unfortunately, the anger just kept building and building, so I started drinking quite a bit. At that point, I started smoking weed again and shit just got out of control. I was mad at myself, but I didn't know what about and I couldn't figure it out either.
Interviewer: How long have you been sober?
Kirk: I’ve been sober for 4 months.
Interviewer: So you have been in recovery for 4 months?
Kirk: Yea, my sense of self is coming back, my sense of identity. My energy levels are up, I’ve started to care about others and how my behavior affects them.
Interviewer: I want you to talk to that person that's out there dying right now in the street, if you could talk to them what would you say?
Kirk: Don't give up, things can and do get better. You're a beautiful human being and even though you've gone through some excruciatingly painful times. Even if you feel broken, just keep that little bit of Faith and Hope.
Interviewer: How does it feel to be really useful in the world?
* This story was submitted voluntarily to share hope and inspire others. This story is of their own experience and does not represent the point of view of Freedom From Addiction. Freedom From Addiction believes recovery is a personal journey and peoples experiences vary.
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