MY STORY: HOW I GOT CLEAN.
My name is Eligh, and I'm an addict.
If you're a longtime listener you might know that fact about me. If not, I'll start in September of 2005 -- I was in a deep hole of desperation and despair. That year, by the time September came around, I hadn't made music in months, and I didn't care. I ruined a relationship; I didn't care. I was broke; I didn't care. I needed to get my next fix. My world revolved around that one simple thought, how do I get high today. I remember I wanted to stop. I tried on my own numerous times, but the drugs I was on, were too powerful and painful to come off of by myself. From that first cigarette, to that last snort of China white, I never tried a drug I didn't like. They took me out of my body; I didn't have to feel. I started using at 14, and stopped at 27. Therefore, I stopped maturing as a human being at 14, and picked up where I left off, at 27. My using stories are pointless. Anyone who knows of the darkness and desperation an addict feels and sees only needs to know how I stopped. First, I came to the end -- I had made a decision, I was done. I didn't want to die. I wanted to feel free, something I hadn't felt in quite some time. Rehabs are expensive. I called many, and they gave me ridiculous quotes, $30,000 for 30 days. Who can f$%#@g afford that?? Movie stars and pop stars, not an underground artist from L.A.. I shared my desire to quit with a close friend of mine, and he asked around and found out about a non-profit program for Musicians called "Music Cares." The day I knew I was done, I called that friend, and Music Cares then called me. All I had to do was prove I was a working musician, and they found a bed for me in a rehab called "New Perceptions."
I remember the first day I came to in this strange place, I had put myself in voluntarily. My counselor, and also part owner of the rehab, Thelma, sat me down and we talked. I told her I was ready to quit heroin, the pain killers, the alcohol, the cocaine, but I had to smoke my weed. You see, weed was a part of my creative process, and I needed it -- she cut me off. She shook her head at me with a look of, "Are you serious?" She told me, "What makes you think you can JUST smoke weed? Have you not abused everything you've ever used Eligh? No. No. You're done." I remember I panicked a little bit because I knew she was right. How could I ever make a beat again without smoking first? Would I enjoy it anymore? It took about a week before I called a friend to bring my MPC to me. I was fiending to make a beat. Yeah. Right then, I knew my desires to make music and create art come from a much deeper and higher place; not any substance, nor outside element.
I stayed in treatment for 30 days. It felt like forever, but when it was time for me to move on to sober living, I was scared. While in rehab, I felt safe. They took us to Narcotics Anonymous meetings every night, and the message was being heard. I wanted to stay clean. I had never been clean off everything for that long, not since I was 11 or 12. Going into sober living was a smart move, and I'm glad I did it. It kept me under the umbrella of structure, and meeting requirements, as well as around other recovering addicts. I kept going to meetings, and I kept celebrating longer periods of clean time. I worked the 12 steps of NA with my sponsor Will, who was also Thelma's brother. He is still my sponsor today, 12 years later. I met Will the first day I woke up, in a haze, and full of pain in rehab, and he's been in my life every day since. People in recovery, in these meetings, become like family. Brothers, sisters, uncles, even father and mother figures to some. This way, the NA 12 step way, is the only way I found that works. I have to stay vigilant in my desire to grow and change. Because, addiction is definitely a disease of the mind. A disease that does not go away. You leave it unchecked, and you'll find yourself back where you started, or worse, dead or in jail. I've seen it over and over since I got clean. I share this with you all to let you know there is a way to get clean, stay clean, grow, change, and become the man or woman you were always meant to be. You just have to want it. It takes hard work, but the reward is beyond words.
PS: This was just my journey,
To find a meeting near you, go to - Narcotics Anonymous
For Information on Music Cares go to - MusiCares
New Perceptions Rehabilitation center
17826 Romar St.
Northridge CA, 91325