Music and Sobriety, is it possible to Rave & Fest Sober?

Music and Sobriety, is it possible to Rave & Fest Sober?

I didn't ever know if I could enjoy music the way I once thought I did prior to my last drink, but little did I know the notes sounded clearer and the lyics made more sense.

Music is probably the only real magic I have ever encountered in my life.

There's not some trick involved with it.

It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals. it communicates. And does all these incredible things. - R.I.P -Tom Petty

Burning Man, through the eyes of a Sober Virgin Burner.

Burning Man, through the eyes of a Sober Virgin Burner.

No words will ever be able to express the experience I took away from my very first Burning Man this past week.  The conversations you have, the people you meet, the feeling of riding your bike into deep playa for the very first time, tired, overwhelmed with the lights, dusty, hungry, excited, lost, only to stumble upon a friend handing out dumplings from a bike cart, is only a feeling that a burner can relate too. My thoughts that I express throughout this post will be my attempt to express the authenticity, the love, the humility that I found within each of my friends I met at Burning Man this past week. The way that multi-year burners carry themselves with so much grace, genuineness, and openness, its infectious.  Sure, did I miss a nice hot shower, air-condition, sports, and my friends and family back home, absolutely! With that said, it was an experience that simply can’t be placed into words, but here is my best attempt at my Burning Man experience and what I took away from my first visit to the playa.

Fear, A Feeling Provoked From My Addiction

Fear, A Feeling Provoked From My Addiction

        My story, both for the good and the bad, could have easily been represented in those rocks.  My story has been weathered, damaged, chipped away by one event after another, never fully broken, still standing.  My life, like those Magic Mountain rocks, were once dark and grey, colorless.  They were just rocks in an isolated desert, serving no purpose, but today, like my life, those rocks, they serve a distinctively fun, meaningful, colorful purpose to exist. Seemingly overnight, an object that most would never believe could change its existence, did.  These rocks, like my life, now has color, filled with a meaning to be shared with others. This  story, my story,  closed one chapter on April 16th, 2014  when I had my last drink, a chapter filled with darkness, and life being lived without meaning, a story that is now being re-written by a new author, the Sober Voyager.

We Are The Author, Not Our Addiction.

We Are The Author, Not Our Addiction.

My weekend at Forecastle was much more than a celebration of music and fun, it forced me to not only listen to my own thoughts about sobriety and addiction issues, but it forced me to hear it from others just like myself. My three days of music at Forecastle was not only a celebration of our first 90 days of sharing our message, but it was a combination of how much our story truly means to complete strangers. We were able to connect with new friends and listen to their stories, whether our message was being worn to honor a loved one that had passed away, or to show support for a friend, our message gave hope that life should be lived, because it is short. Addiction is real, and no matter how much we want to run away we will never outrun our own shadow, even Peter Pan had to learn that.

Mentally Allowing Myself To Enjoy Life

Mentally Allowing Myself To Enjoy Life

This climb, on this day, was just as much about your desire to reach the finish line as it was the actual number of steps it took to reach the top.  Tomorrow I would have told myself, tomorrow it will be cooler, I will hike it then, knowing good and well tomorrow’s temperatures were calling for 115°, basically recreating the same environment and same conditions as the one I was currently living in. My addiction to alcohol never allowed me to embrace the opportunities that laid directly in front of me. I was either too hung over to attempt to accomplish anything great, or allowed myself to make the excuse that the following day would better serve me and my attempts at enjoying my life, giving me the green light to have another drink that evening. This inevitably led to a vicious cycle of living my life like Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day.  

Our First Steps Towards A Movement Of Millions

Our First Steps Towards A Movement Of Millions

There we were, the four of us, marching in unity for a beautiful cause.  A cause that in the 1970’s was looked at like the Sober Voyager’s mission is today, a movement based around addiction, a societal epidemic that is still being viewed by the mass in a negative light.  Addicts, the scums of the earth, worthless to society.  Harvey Milk arrived in San Francisco in the early 1970’s, not publicly open at the time, Milk’s legacy turned into an activist for equality.  Nearly forty years later I marched in a celebration of unity and equality with nearly a million advocates next to me. 

A Thoughtful Insight Behind The Sober Voyager

A Thoughtful Insight Behind The Sober Voyager

Throughout our page, you will find one simple message, we encourage you to support a story, and then Pay It Forward by sharing a few words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement.  When I express the words (Pay It Forward,) it is encouraging you to set an example for others that it is possible to live a life of happiness. Paying It Forward is the ability to show others that you care without ever expressing a single word.  Paying It Forward is understanding that with each story you support you are directly helping to offset the cost of rehabilitation for an individual in need.  Paying It Forward is about creating a lifestyle worth living for our next generation. 

Humility, Found In Redwood National Park

Humility, Found In Redwood National Park

2,000 years of steady growth, straight and narrow, more than 300 feet tall, wide enough to build a tunnel through its massive base, the Redwood is the most mighty of its tree family. Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning I could barely sleep waiting for the break of daylight. “She’s big isn’t she” yelled a park ranger in passing. It was only myself on the trail this early in the morning, only the sounds of the wind blowing through the tree tops, the morning stir of the forest, and the sound of own heart beating.   My morning stroll, a five-mile hike through a maze of memories, reminders, stories that have been running through my head for years.