Surf world champion Mark & # 39; Occy & # 39; Occhilupo talks about his struggle with alcohol and depression – and how he finally got sober after his life got out of hand
- Surf legend Mark & # 39; Occy & # 39; Occhilupo starts with the fight against depression
- Occhilupo almost gave pro-surfing away before his career really started
- However, he would return to the sport and become the number one in the world
- Now he has opened up about his long struggle with demons and the road to austerity
The Australian surf legend Mark & # 39; Occy & # 39; Occhilupo conquered the world of surfing for his 35th birthday, but he fought against his inner demons along the way.
Despite being one of the most gifted surfers in the country, Occhilupo, 53, fought a calm fight against depressing and alcoholism.
Surfing came on the scene as a teenager when, at the age of 13, he won his first amateur schoolboy competition, before he became bow four years later.
Despite being one of the most gifted surfers in the country, Occhilupo (pictured with partner Jesse Crawford) fought a calm fight against depressing
The amazing surf, lovingly known as & # 39; Occy & # 39 ;, burst into the world surf scene is a 17-year-old. It was pictured above in 1999
He said he had no idea what would happen to him when attacks of deep depression hit him, news.com.au reported.
& # 39; At that time there was no mention of mental health. You felt a bit like everything you experienced just happened to you. There were really no ways to talk to other people – it's not like now with social media & # 39;, & # 39; he said.
As a result, he kept his demons to himself.
But the surfing life took a heavy toll on Occhilupo, which began to creep into fear.
& # 39; The depression was not constant. It would come and go. But it was hard. It was quite weak to endure such a thing. You didn't talk about it. You tried to keep a grip on it yourself & # 39 ;, he said.
He then turned to the bottle and said that for the next handful of years he would have a & # 39; peel of himself & # 39; became.
Then he left a world tour halfway in shock.
After participating in the ATP tour at 5 p.m., Occy fought depression and anxiety before stopping the tour halfway before returning to win the 1999 ATP world title
Occhilupo has been sober for three years now and is an inspiration to his son Jay Luciano (pictured together) who wants to follow his father's footsteps in the world of pro-surfing
& # 39; The depression was not constant. It would come and go. But it was hard. It was quite weak to endure such a thing, & # 39; said Occhilupo about his fight against depression
That road led him to the depths of alcoholism.
& # 39; When I stopped the tour, I was rated quite high. I was actually nothing – I was 110 pounds and hid from the world. I was self-medicated with alcohol – broke it, woke up with a hangover, and went back to the bottle store, & he said.
In the end it was one of his most loyal and longest serving sponsors, Billabong, who helped Occhilupo get his life back on track.
After breaking into the sport as a teenager, Occhilupo became a regular part of the tour (photo) and he chose to speak out in the hope that it would encourage others to do the same
He was asked to shine in an advertising campaign for them that he said was forced to get back into shape and get his life back.
The advertising campaign eventually led to a return to sport in 1995 and in 1999 Occhilupo was the 1999 ASP World Tour surfing champion.
CAREER PROFILE OF MARK OCCHILUPO
Winner of the ASP World Title 1999
CT Event Victories: Four
Best career position: first
Worst ranking: 183
Latest earnings per quarter: 54 percent (from 41 quarter-finals)
Semi-final win percentage: 50 percent (of 22 semi-finals)
Last win percentage: 36 percent (out of 11 finals)
He tried to become completely sober twice in the decades to come, but he said the third time was the charm.
He said he has an addictive personality, but he has applied it to more positive roads such as family and golf.
Occhilupo has been sober for two years now and chose to open up his struggle in the hope that it could help others seek the help they need.
He is now guiding his son Jay Luciano to a career in surf, while his descendants want to follow in the footsteps of one of Australia's greatest surfers ever.
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