Back then, in my heaviest using days, I was touring with my band, my brothers, playing more than 250 gigs per year, rolling with the punches the only way I knew how. And even then I can recall thinking that someday I would be clean.
Back then, the desire to be clean and sober was there, but it was always tomorrow. Now I see that the best time to get something done is right now. I spent 35 years on the road chasing the dream of being a rockstar, following the reckless path of my heroes, ignoring the often tragic destinations that their paths of consumption and indulgence led to.
After exhausting all physical, emotional and spiritual stamina on the road, I found myself on the doorsteps of a 6,000 sq. ft. building that would become my home and ours. In 2005 I remodeled it as a bed and breakfast, and when I got sober, the purpose of the house shifted.
Now it seems I have finally arrived at where I’ve been trying to get to all these years, a place that feels like home. A place where people can come together and live and learn how to be a community, how to embrace accountability, how to meditate and soul search, how to identify their own spirituality and how it works for them.
The times are exciting. I see miracles everyday.
This is the house I got sober in, and I wanted to share what I found here with others. I called up some of the facilities I tried to get sober in - there were many. My first tour was for music; my second tour was for treatment, and it lasted 25 years. I told my old counselors, many of them now program directors, executive directors, and senior staff members, that I wanted a place where people could come and stay sober with me. And they came.
So now we have 4 houses and a beautiful, dynamic family, and we share. I watch people come in beaten, broken, destitute. They’re lonely and hungry, and we can give them food and nourishment for the body, spirit and soul. We welcome them as new friends and allies in our journey.
I see what abstinence alone can do for a body, and it’s just the start of a transformation. I’ve watched hopelessness turn to hope, and men and women get their families back. I’ve watched little children’s eyes look up at their fathers in wonder, recognizing the clarity that was clouded for so long. The love I see is pure magic.
I see people getting their driver’s license, getting jobs, exercising their minds and going back to school. All these things are miracles.
To see people who have resigned themselves to failure in the throes of addiction, who come to me months later and say I can’t believe how hopeless I was, and now I see the possibilities, that’s a miracle.
To experience this feeling of usefulness when I can help people find themselves is pure joy. It gives my life real purpose. And this sense of being present is a gift to every day.