September 25, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mrs. Vermont publicly celebrates 4 Years in Recovery from Addiction
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It’s not every day that a beauty queen steps out to talk about an “ugly” topic like addiction. But for Hannah Kirkpatrick, reigning Mrs. Vermont America 2013, it’s a story she feels obliged to tell.
Four years ago, Kirkpatrick lost it all: her husband, her home, and the support of her family to addictive substances and behaviors that had spiraled out of control. From rock bottom, she acknowledged the choice to either “check out” or “check in” (to another way of being in the world), she says. She raised the proverbial white flag of surrender, and asked for help.
Four years later, Kirkpatrick is drug-free and alcohol-free and continues to live a life in “long-term recovery” which, she says, has returned her family to her, and offered her renewed hope and a deep contentment, which was eternally elusive. Today, September 25, is her four-year “Recovery Anniversary”, and coincidently, her two-year old daughter’s birthday. Kirkpatrick won the title of Mrs. Vermont America in March.
It is estimated that roughly 8% of the adult population, or 24 million adults, self-identify as being in “long-term recovery” from drug or alcohol addiction. Kirkpatrick is outspoken, putting an unexpected face on an ailment that affects nearly every family in America in some way.
Last month, Kirkpatrick fearlessly brought her story to the Mrs. America competition, where her platform “Recovery ROCKS! The joys of life in long-term recovery” surely contributed to earning her a place in history: Kirkpatrick is the first Vermonter to ever break into the Top 15 Finalists…in Mrs. America’s thirty-seven year history!
Kirkpatrick has returned to our state triumphant from her historical placement, and even more dedicated to share her story with anyone it may help. She is referred as a speaker by state and national organizations, including:
- the Vermont Department of Health Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse (ADAP),
- Friends of Recovery (FOR) Vermont,
- Vermont Recovery Network’s 11 statewide Recovery Centers,
Kirkpatrick is currently traveling New England, speaking to groups as large as the Rally4Recovery in RI that attracted over 8,000 participants. Hannah Kirkpatrick has dedicated her year of service as Mrs. Vermont to extend beyond the numerous fundraisers, charity golf tournaments and parades into speaking to teenagers , parents, and adults with varying levels of hurts, habits, and hang-ups, and she welcomes the opportunity to share her hopeful message to your group.
“With great gifts come great responsibility”, Kirkpatrick says. “Reflecting on my four-year Recovery Anniversary today, I am no more special than anyone else. I just made a decision to seek help with some problems that had slowly become bigger than me. Recovery has given me a life with everything I ever imagined, and more. The greatest act of courage is asking for help, and the magic begins there. Anyone can do it, and I’m living proof. I’m just humbled by the opportunity to share.”
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Hannah is available for speaking engagements. For more information or to schedule an interview, she can be contacted via her facebook page: www.facebook.com/HannahBoucherKirkpatrick
Photos from Rally4Recovery, Providence, RI, September 21, 2013. Photo Credits: Chris Kirkpatric and RiCares.org