As an adolescent, Kurt Jackson was hurting. His high school years had been ravaged by traumas he was not equipped to process.
In the span of several years, he lost a brother to suicide, his parents divorced and his father, an extreme diabetic, began to drink himself into a stupor. Kurt’s young life — one where he was supposed to be carefree and happy — was a raw mess of pain.
But, Kurt says, you wouldn’t have known it at the time. He hid his agony well, turning to alcohol, the preferred poison of both his brother and father. “People would see me drinking, but they didn’t see why,” Kurt says. Sure, he was at all the parties, laughing and pretending to have a great time with his crew. But, he reflects, “I was drinking to cope with things. And I didn’t even know anything was wrong. I thought this was normal.”