15 Jul Against All Odds, He Made It through.
Hello, my name is kris stout I would like to share my story of survival, addiction, mental health, and facing adversity. When I look into the sunset, I think of my past, present, and future, what it was like, what happened, and where I’m at now. Have you ever felt that you were born to lose? With all the adversity that I faced, The trials and tribulations that I had to overcome and the cuffs that were secured around my wrists. There was a time that I felt that pressure. My story started in the early ’80s, I was born with fast, I’m assuming you already know what that is), for those who don’t; it’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, brain damage caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Life growing up was incredibly difficult. When I was 3 years old I was apprehended by child and family services and put into foster care. shortly after that being adopted by a wonderful family. Although the family that adopted me did their very best. Providing a home, food and safety; they were not prepared as a whole to cope with my hyperactivity, memory loss and other childhood issues; the trauma was just too deep.
My adoptive mother was a nuturer, she took me to see a doctor after doctors and subsequently would ultimately introduce medication after new medication, When i was 13, my parents shipped me off to foster care, enough was enough and once again I felt rejected. During my stay, in those group homes, i would suffer abuse… mental, physical, sexual.
At the age of 18, I was removed from social services and i forced to survive on my own, and to my own success I actually made it work, obtaining an apartment and finding jobs where there was employment, I always was able to make rent. Although drugs such as marijuana and alcohol were part of my life, they didn’t seem to be a problem.
At the age of 24, I felt I had met somewhat success (full-time job, apartment and a beautiful girlfriend.) Things seemed to be looking up.
However on Nov 11th, 2004 an individual 6’1 approx 300 lbs would rob a convenience store, not only would I be accused of this crime but within 72 hours I would find myself beaten by police, unemployed and homeless, my rights had been stripped away. It was also within those 3 days, I would try hard drugs for the first time soon after I would become heavily addicted. Cocaine was like a bandaid, for those 15 secs, it felt as if i was healed, all that pain, hurt and fear would simply vanish. For the next two years while awaiting trial for the robberies. I would steal food, sell drugs for money, and break into homes for warmth during the coldest nights. I would also rack up a total of 18 charges and spend a number of months in jail. I had become someone I never in my wildest dreams could even conjure. Eventually, the charges would be dropped, but the damage was done, I was a full-blown addict and criminal.
From the darkness in which i arose, I had a choice to make. whether to continue a life of addiction, hurt and pain, or walk away. Robert Frost often speaks of the road less traveled, I decided to follow that road, the pain was just too much. In late 2009, I would end up serving two and a half years for trafficking. I would witness corruption, physical, mental and sexual violence. These are things that will stay with me for the rest of my life. At the age of 36 I would overdose and nearly lose my life. I made the choice to check into detox, from there I would travel over 600km to recovery acres a treatment center located right here in Edmonton and I would be introduced to a sober program. The recovery center would give me tools with some guidance on how to use those tools.
Today, I am over 2 years clean, I have my own apartment a great job, today as I tell you all, I could have never imagined telling my story of strength, hope, and survival, You see none of us wake up one day and say “Hey world, I’m gonna go smoke crack” “hey let’s go wrap our car around a tree,” and no-one wakes up and says “Today is going to be the day I lose everything and become homeless.”Homelessness and addiction can strike anyone at any time. So if your struggling, your listening to this type of story for the first time, let me leave you with this; together we stand strong part we may fall, live today as if today was your last, love every moment, because tomorrow is never promised. Today I realize the beauty of life and when I pray, cause man I do pray, I don’t pray for myself, I pray that those without food have a filled belly, those without shelter find warmth because by using innovation and a creative mindset we all together can help fight addiction, end homelessness, end world hunger and finally help those find light where there only be darkness.
Tomorrow is not promised live today as if it were your last never give up never surrender