They say that each man kills the thing he loves.
In the summer of 2014 I hit rock bottom. At 21 years old I was completely out of control. My life choices had caught up with me and I was staring in the face of blackouts and misguided riddles that never had answers. Vices and virtues are nothing to screw around with. The straight and narrow is not for everyone, but when faced with the choice of phoning your life in to do whatever questionable behavior you've started, It never gets easy.
My time was slowly depleting into madness. The only thing keeping me from the edge was knowing I was there. Things spin out of control in really funny ways. Whatever vice you engage in to connect with the world around you will not fuel you forever. Get this straight: there is nothing sustainable about self-destruction, if you light something on fire...it's going to burn.
I know I have to be careful, because there is something self destructive in me.
I was watching a documentary about Pete Doherty and his bout with addiction. I started listening to the Libertines in high school and casually followed the downfall and subsequent uprising of Pete, a musician I had always felt a strange connection to. His friends regarded him as an absolute genius that had to pay the price for his strengths with something. He couldn't be the fantastically gifted person he was meant to be because it was too intimidating for others, and when you're dealing with the constant knowledge that you have something to offer that is being constantly misused or understood, it can be crushing. That's where the addiction came in. There was something oddly romantic about watching his old elegantly wasted interviews. I was staring into the computer screen watching as the world tore apart a sensitive soul for laughs on tabloid covers. As a sensitive person, I've had to learn to let things go, but sometimes that's impossible. There isn't anything romantic about fucking up.
Thank god rehab was good to him and he's playing music again. Watching in agony as destructive forces take those you admire is no easy task. It's even harder when those destructive forces have a hold of you.
Without getting into much detail I found myself at the corner of destruction and production. The choice for many is simple. Why would you want to destroy something you've taken so long to build? Why would you want to sabotage your climb to wherever in favor of falling out of the sky? The truth behind that can't ever be universal, but for me the destruction seemed like the best way out of normalcy. Being a musician and entrenched in the poetry and tragedy of the greats, trying my hand at a little self-sabotage seemed like the logical way to go to reach new heights. When everything around you seems so utterly banal that you lay awake at night trying to calculate how you're going get through the next twenty four hours, it takes a toll. When you're constantly towing the line of disappointment and boredom it's not a crazy thought to want to destroy it all. With everything falling down around me, disaster became the only safe bet, and that's not revolutionary...it's routine.
When you're on that other plane where rockstars and martyrs meet for no cause other than themselves, the world becomes impossibly foggy. It was like there was a film over everything I was doing. Something as simple as eating a sandwich became a trial of existential woe.
I'd started staying up for days on end trying to write the next great classic song or poem or whatever, turning whatever greatness I told myself I had into an absolute joke. The problem with living life on the edge of an explosion is that you don't end up appreciating the nice things that come into view. They don't fit your formula for disaster so you just keep walking like a cyclone around the things and people who try and tell you the truth.
The truth is, when self destruction seems like a dreamy, poetic solution to your problems, it's often because we're missing something in our lives. I know I was missing something, I just didn't know what. When I (pictured above) was in the trenches dealing with my choices there was nothing poetic about it. That part of my life will always be with me. And no matter how much people romanticize it or are impressed by it I will always know that destruction didn't fill me or fix me. It only added to the problems.
Because as Pete Doherty pointed out, "Its actually not all that exciting to be fucked up all the time." It's more exciting to be able to live.