Music Heals Series – Seattle’s KEXP Spotlights Musicians and Stories of Addiction
The “Music Heals” series, by Seattle radio station KEXP, showcases artists from a wide range of music genres who share their stories of addiction and recovery.
Among those interviewed were Peter Buck (lead guitarist, R.E.M.), Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), Julien Baker and Macklemore.
“I hate that word ‘sober.’ Sober as a judge.”
Instead, he would prefer to call it “focused”:
“I decided that I was in a place in my life where I needed to focus on the things that were really important. ‘Well, what is important in my life?’ And alcohol and drugs or whatever weren’t on the list. It’s family, friends, music. That’s it.”
Seattle native and rapper Macklemore also participated in the series. Previously, he had collaborated with President Obama to promote awareness of the opioid epidemic and put end the stigma that so many drug abusers face:
“I never had moderation. I couldn’t get enough every time that I drank or used drugs. That started at the age of 14 and I haven’t looked back since.”
Before his first stint in rehab, he was resistant but now considers it “the best decision I’ve ever made”:
“I wanted to think that I could do it on my own. I wanted to think that I could white-knuckle it and just stop. At that point, I had had over a decade of trying the same pattern, the insanity of thinking that I can just do this on my own.”
He gave credit to his higher power, 12-step meetings, and becoming involved in the recovery of others, among other activities. He also said that eating a balanced diet, exercising, and music helped him to stay focused:
“If I don’t work a rigorous program then eventually I will go back. Eventually, self-hatred will seep in. Eventually self-seeking and selfishness seep in. That’s when a drink or a drug sounds like the best idea. It’s happened time and time again with me.”
You can read more contributions from artists at https://www.kexp.org/musicheals/.
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~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology