Learning it all over again... Health problems & addictions,

Its weird looking back at my life over the last 23 years… ive definitely been through alot and ive made alot of mistakes and decisions i will regret for the rest of my life… I bounced between homelessness, jail, dead end jobs and the hospital ever since Nationals of 2008… oddly enough the last year i ever really threw or competed “my last competition was 2008 nationals and PNWR 2008”… i never thought that the hobby i gave up on and strayed away from would enter my life in such a dramatic and positive way again… after nationals i put my yoyo’s down “abandoned them at a complete strangers house in all honesty” i kinda started getting into trouble… started meddling with substances i never should have touched in the first place… well you can see where this is going… i wound up loving these forbidden substances alot more than i loved myself or my yoyo’s for that matter… i was a suicidal mess for years untill recently… a big chunk of my career was wasted because i was too wasted “on anything and everything” to stand or even put a string on a yoyo… kind of a depressing thought… needless to say i was in and out of jail, couch surfing, or homeless… while on probation taking drug n alcohol treatment classes… i always had a yoyo around i just lost the magic or any drive to progress… my skills dwindled… i forgot alot of stuff but i could still impress anyone without a problem… i was confident in the fact that i would be able to play like that for the rest of my life considering what i put my body and mind through… i got myself cleaned up for awhile early last year and started my own LEGAL business with a couple personal friends… and then 4 months later i got sick… not a cold sick… i had MRSA that i contracted from a dead end job i was working at that almost cost my my right leg the year before… but this wasnt just any MRSA… This disease i contracted formed multiple abcesses on my spinal cord that were “unknown to me” pumping massive ammounts of poison throughout my entire body… “btw my only symptom i had was a sore back” i woke up from a Medically induced Coma 23 days later to find out what had happend… i lost about 50 lbs in 23 days… trust me thats a shocker to see… imagine looking down at your arms after that… and then imagine when i tried to talk… and i figured out that they had done a full blown tracheostomy… “the thing that sticks outta your throat that smokers get” the dr’s never thought i was going to be able to talk again… it was a miracle i made it in general… i had to learn how to do everything again… i had to learn how to walk… talk… eat… and even go to the bathroom all over again… it was probably the hardest time of my life… eventually one of my friends were allowed to come see me and he brought me something he said “i think you might want this” and he held out my old 44recreation stardust… i started to remember my old hobby and i remembered my favorite passtime… i tried to stand on my own for the first time that day and i definitely achieved my goal… i lost the feeling in my throwhand due to the operations i went though “its slowly comming back now and im extremely excited about that” but as shakey and weak as i was i tied that stardust to my finger leaned against my hospital bed “i had iv’s going into both arms” and tried to yoyo… was i suprised when i realized that my muscles didnt remember how to to the tricks like my brain did… im happy to say now after alot of recovery time and practice i quickly regained my skills and have even far exceeded my 08’ capabilities… I even regrew my vocal cords and i can talk again without any fancy neck hardware " you cant even tell a difference except my voice is a little deeper now"…

Moral of the story you can do anything you put your mind too… and if your mid suceeded once it will probably be able to do it all a second time! i wanted to give a shoutout to Andre Boulay for helping me update my dated collection a bit and aiding in some inspiration… yoyo’s have changed since O8’ thats for sure! Keep throwing and stay out of trouble everyone “yoyo’s help with the trouble part if your anything like me” Don’t get lost like i did!

Ill have a video up in a week or so… im hoping i’ll be able to impress or inspire a few of you

Best wishes my friends, im back from the dead, clean and sober. and i found myself!

Derek “Dirty D” Cockrum



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Jerrod stole the word that came to my mind. Inspiring.

Thanks for sharing this Derek.

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Great story! Glad you overcame and progressing through life.

Thank you for sharing this, you have really inspired me. This is great you are open to share this. This shows you are healing over this, if you are open about it.

O.O wow that’s an amazing story! Thanks for sharing!

Keep your head up.

I’m glad you made it back, very inspiring. It’s good to see things like this.When your going through hard times someone else has gone through harder and made back up from the bottom.

wow man glad you came back… cant wait to see what youll do in the future

dang man, that’s some deep stuff, I am pretty blown away by this story

Welcome back. Here’s to a good recovery.

Cheers! Glad to hear you made it through. Here’s to many more years, good sir.

Great story.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the kind words, thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time!

Wow I never knew a yoyo could be such a great tool for recovery. This story reminds me to never stop throwing and when things are tuff to “keep calm and carry on” I believe that is how the saying goes.

Congratulations on your recovery and welcome back to the world of yoyoing.

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s good to hear that while your past shapes your present, you aren’t your past. Also, thank you for showing all of us that we all have the power to change, provided we want to change.

I can only imagine the hard work you put into getting to where you are today. Thank you for that, the yoyo community and world is better because of you.


very inspiring