There was the point in my life where I wondered what it was that separates great people from one-another. I concluded, nothing. But, my understanding of great writers, artists, and musicians was they make good art, and they get ****ed up. I too followed these parameters, (though my art is up for critique), and I became discontented. The word tag-along came to mind. Almost every big time and small time artist that I have ever read about, whether it be a biography or quote, had used substances and alcohol unceasingly, and then became sober and more wise, and in some cases a better artist. I realized that I didn’t want to follow that same old story. I wanted to create art without collaboration with drugs or alcohol. Though, this path seemed a dream, because I loved drugs and alcohol and bought into the idea that great popular artists needed substance to channel their ever restless minds to avoid imploding from their own brilliance. I needed to be different.
My plan seemed simple. Stop! Just stop drinking. You don’t need cigarettes; all they do is slow you down. The idea was there. The action hid from me. How the **** was I supposed to just stop. I liked the darkness. It made me creative. I imagined what it would be like to be sober and it scared me. The darkness called me heroically. “Destined to dread and anxiety forever more, the young artist showed his fruits and they were good. But, he died early and was never happy.” I didn’t want that ending for myself. I only wanted the former. I felt like the darkness was taped seamlessly to my eyes and brain, and to rip it away so quickly could risk loss of brain tissue and my eyes would pop out. I thought life after drugs could not bring inspiration in the least.
But, it can.
I am slowly but surely reaching a point in my life where I can see the different spectrums of my own inspiration, and what that inspiration produces. I am slowly coming to a pinnacle in my life. I am beginning to see my darkness and own it, as well as my light.
Drugs and alcohol can only bring you so far as an artist. All drugs can do is bring you to a wall, and leave you there to steep in the same thoughts and emotions. To overcome addiction is to expand and break free. There has been no time in my life where I have truly felt that I could continue to drink, do drugs, and smoke the rest of my life. I always knew it would lead nowhere, but I liked being nowhere. That was what I had to overcome.
However inspiring and magical sadness and darkness is to me, I could never be happy when I wasn’t immersed in those feelings. And, when I was feeling dark or sad I wasn’t happy anyway; I was only inspired and fed off of that inspiration. It was only until recently that I discovered how much more I could draw from that dark inspiration when I’m sober and happy. All emotions become more clear when you are clear headed. You can experience sadness, darkness, light, love, and still be able to come back to a solid foundation.
Let compassion, love, intrigue, empathy, people, and nature be your foundation. Don’t buy into drug abuse. I’ll have some alcohol from time to time and maybe smoke some marijuana, but I will do it responsibly and on my own terms; not the drugs terms. I will let myself be truly free and have no crutches; because after all, crutches slow you down. In a world with so much beauty, art, and mystery I pledge to be fully aware and experience; especially on the day that I die.
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