Whom do you think of when you think of an addict? Someone shooting up in an alley? A drunk with a bottle in a paper bag? In this episode of PEER Voices, we discuss how inaccurate these stereotypes are, and how their prevalence deters some from seeking recovery.
Today our hosts, Juliet C. Dorris-Williams and Gabe Howard, interview Derrick Kirkland. Derrick did not reach recovery until his 50’s, but using the 12-steps, he now has over 7 years of sobriety.
Join us as Derrick discusses the unique challenges of reaching recovery later in life and tells us what techniques and skills have worked for him. Derrick credits his religious faith and the many people who reached out to him for the life he now lives, and he shares remembrances of his many mentors.
Highlights of PEER Voices Episode Two
1:45 – “Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern helped me quite a lot in my recovery.” (Potential role models and inspiration are everywhere.)
4:30 – “It’s a boomerang and a ripple, all at the same time.” (Helping others can further your own recovery)
6:15 – “Please quit playing with God before God takes his hands off you.” (Recovery can have a spiritual motivation for some)
11:45 – “It’s never too late, as long as I have breath in my body.” (You might have many false starts before reaching recovery. The important thing is continuing to try.)
15:15 – “I found I suffered from a spiritual malady, not a material malady.” (Addiction doesn’t always look like you expect.)
18:00 – “[What is the definition of ‘peer?’] It means we are on the same level. (We are all in the fight together.)
Derrick J. Kirkland’s Story
Derrick J. Kirkland is very active in the recovery community and has had over two-hundred speaking engagements pertaining to recovery. In 1998, he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression while being treated for alcohol abuse.
In July 2011, after thirty years of active addiction, and numerous psychiatric hospital stays, Derrick finally surrendered to mental illness and drug addiction. Since then, he has actively pursued mental wellness and AOD recovery.
Today, Derrick is an OhioMHAS Certified Peer Recovery Supporter and a Peer Recovery Supporter Training Facilitator. Being a changed person with a better outlook on life is his greatest recovery gift.