I knew I had to go all the way before I could come back, though I ran it pretty close. I can say without being dramatic that I probably only had a couple of hours left. Scared and cold and alone and clutching a bottle of vodka (that I was too sick by now to even drink), I went to the hospital.
It took a month for the doctors to put me back together. I was 26 years old and I had to start all over again.
The first thing I did on the way home was go to a bar. Alone. I ordered a coke and I sat down. I drank and I looked around. I didn’t hurry. When I finished my coke I left.
The second thing I did was put on my favorite record. A 1965 vinyl copy of Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. I’d listened to it a hundred times but I doubt I’d ever listened to it sober. I was scared that it wouldn’t move me in the same way anymore. I turned the volume right up and watched the needle drop. It began. I smiled. It felt the same, maybe even better than before. I thought then that I was going to be ok.
The third thing I did was pick up my guitar. I wanted to write. So I wrote. And I wrote some more. And I’m still writing. I write every day.
Dying is easy. Living is hard. I still get down and I still get scared and there is still pain, but now I try and ride it out. The next day the sun might shine.
I have scars on my stomach and on my arms. I don’t mind them. They serve as a reminder of my life before. The destruction and desperation of addiction.
I have a baby girl now. When she was born I cried my heart out. She is more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine.
Music is something I just have to do. I don’t really know why. I’m glad I have it though. That darkest hour before the dawn, it’s not so lonely anymore. I look in on my baby and for a few moments I watch her sleep. Then I go downstairs, I make a cup of tea, and I pick up my guitar and play.
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