I’m not very good at this blog thing.
I write only when the muse strikes, never regularly. I should probably check my keywords for SEO purposes, but I have to do that so much in terms of promoting my music it gets tiresome.
I do like to write about my victories, and this is one.
113/67. The lowest my blood pressure has been in years. I credit that to sobriety, to eating better, and to walking/jogging consistently.
Of course, in order to understand the significance of these two numbers we have to flash back a bit.
September 17, 2009. I was opening for DJ Heavygrinder in Raleigh, at a brand new venue called Solas. Five years prior I had DJ-ed an EDM Lounge called Rush Lounge. We were the new kid on the block back then, and I thought I was hot shit. I was also 60 pounds lighter.
Now Rush was closed and I was playing a 3-story dance club which stood half a block away. The torch had been passed. Had I been sober, I might’ve grasped the significance.
Instead, felt like absolute garbage. I had been drinking all day, and doing G. At that point I probably weighed 270lbs. I would get so nervous before a gig, I would have to be completely fucked up just to play. And I wouldn’t play well.
Some of the only photos of me that exist from that night…
I opened, I don’t think I got paid. Maybe I did. I was too drunk and high to care. Somehow I made it from Solas down the street to a club called 606, drinking and taking G all the way there. I saw a friend at 606, who later told me I was completely incoherent. I couldn’t remember anything I did after leaving Solas, even how I got to my buddy’s house to crash. I vaguely remember driving.
I had a doctor’s appointment at 8am the next day. I think my girlfriend was the one who wanted me to see this particular doctor. I was having trouble sleeping (shock) and had terrible sleep apnea (again, shock). At that point I was experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, so I made sure to bring a supply of G and some vodka in a flask with me. It would get me through the doctor’s visit.
Even with all that I was terrified when i got to the doctor’s office. My shakes were bad, my anxiety was through the roof. How did I get home last night, again?
After an hour of waiting, they took me back. I spent another 20 minutes in one of those small examination rooms. They took my blood pressure.
The nurse looked at me and took it again. The look on her face was one of absolute terror. No one would tell me what my blood pressure was for almost 30 minutes.
And then I learned: 198/132. Heart attack range. Coma. Death.
For the next eight months, I would be on two different blood pressure medications. I can’t remember what they were. I also bought a blood pressure monitor – the same one you see in the photo. I was taking some measures to look after my health. Nonetheless, my DUI arrest would be two weeks after the doctor’s visit, and my overdose three weeks after that. Then a month of couch-surfing. Then rock-bottom. Then rehab.
Almost 8 years and a lot of history later, I get to see the benefits of my choice(s) to stay sober every day. Sometimes they’re big things – legal victories, musical accomplishments, amends and forgiveness.
And sometimes it’s just two numbers.