Kirk: "It was definitely the right decision. It's strange—anyone who knew me or had skated with me growing up would say that striving to be a part of the Olympics was the most important thing in my life. I wanted to go to the Olympics more than anything and it pushed me during practice every day for years and years. However, nothing could have prepared me for the direction my life was headed the years leading up to 2006.
"After my mom died, I never really got a chance to mourn her passing. I was back on the ice the next day and I had to skate in an ice show the next week. I was never given a chance to just feel what had happened and I learned really quickly how to stuff my feelings and pretend to be happy when I was not. Overtime, without her in my life, I lost myself and the emptiness inside of me began to grow. I didn't have that constant love and support and without that, my passion for skating and my life started to dwindle.
"When I moved to Michigan, I really wanted to improve and be the skater that Mr. Callaghan, my Dad, my agent and everyone around me wanted me to be. But I felt like no matter how hard I worked and tried, I was falling and messing up and I couldn't make them all proud. I started to take this out on myself and I really started to hate myself. I went into a very dark internal place and I developed an eating disorder and a lot of really self-destructive habits.
"I thought that by moving from Michigan to LA and changing my scenery and having new people around me I would be able to find joy not only for the sport but also in my life in general. I wasn't able to do that and unfortunately, the struggles I was having with my eating disorder and myself in general worsened and really brought me down. I was continually looking outside myself for happiness, comfort, love, and support from people, things and self-destructive behaviors.
"It came to a point that summer when I decided to quit, that I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it to Torino in the physical and emotional state that I was in. All my joy for the sport had vanished because I was so preoccupied with what I was doing to myself off the ice, and I was really going through the motions. I had no love in my life and I knew I had to stand up and find help and fix myself as a person and ultimately that was much more important than going to the Olympics.
"I moved to Boston and I started a twmoved to Boston and I started a two-year journey to find recovery and health and happiness. As much as I had missed skating and I wish all the sadness and loss that I had to overcome had never been a part of my life, the fact that I "saved" myself and got help and am healthy and happy now is the most important thing to me. And I feel so thankful and blessed to be where I am today and that's worth more than being a part of any Olympic team to me."