It’s hard to open up to others about having a problem.
The first step in achieving recovery is to first admit that we need it and then to realize that we aren’t alone in this need. National Recovery Month reminds us that when we step on the path to recovery and obtaining a life of sobriety and wellness, that this is a path that will not consist of loneliness. There are millions of people throughout the country who struggle with mental disorders or drug abuse; one of the main things that these individuals seek is having an environment that they know that can be blatantly honest with what they are going through and see that they aren’t the only ones with this story. A vital step in the recovery process is finding an atmosphere in which a person can be comfortable with opening up about their struggles.
Mac Miller is the story of a person who didn’t take the next step in the process.
One of the most inspirational and influential rappers in the music industry, Mac Miller used his gift in order to provoke change in the world, uplift all his listeners and connect with his fans on a spiritual level through his lyrics. He is credited for aiding in the careers for fellow workers of the music industry and just bringing an amazing aura whenever he went.
However, along with his uplifting lyrics came the ones that cried out for help. Within his music and even during interviews, Mac Miller was not afraid or ashamed to admit that he suffered with depression and anxiety, coping with his conditions through drug usage. He used his musical platform to illustrate his inner demons and connected with those who suffered the same as he did.
In May 2014, Miller released a mixtape entitled Faces, which discussed the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman—a star who lost his life to drugs—and how Miller was using cocaine, codeine, cough syrup and angel dust. In August of the following year, he revealed how depressed he truly was when creating the album and that his drug usage was extremely heavy, but, he also stated that he used his music in order to relief himself of his depression and that keeping himself isolated from the world was, in fact, detrimental:
“Before, I was super-insular all the time, just staying in a room by myself, and it’s so easy to paint this horrible picture of life when you’re not giving yourself a chance to live it. I was too worried about the legacy that I would leave behind…But now, I’m going to make sure I do some s**t in life, too” ET September 7th, 2018.
During an interview with Complex in 2013, Miller had said:
“I love lean; it’s great…I was not happy, and I was lean very heavy [during the Macadelic tour]. I was so f****d up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost” People September 7th 2018.
He was a man who knew of his problem and knew that he wanted to get help. In 2015, on his album GO:OD AM, Miller talked about his journey to sobriety, focusing on changing his mindset and emphasizing how this album was different from the last, which focused about his depression and struggles. He had come a long way and could accept his journey and wanted to keep pushing forth on becoming completely sober.
“I still smoke cigarettes. I’m not completely sober, but I’m way better than I was at that point…I was afraid of what my life had become. But once you just breathe and relax, you come to terms with it. This is my life, I enjoy it, and it’s OK that I enjoy it” People September 7th 2018.
“I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged-out mess that can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool. There’s no legendary romance. You don’t go down in history because your overdosed. You just die” People September 7th 2018.
On September 7th, 2018, Mac Miller was found dead after going into cardiac arrest after appearing to have suffered a drug overdose. He sought to be sober, but still suffered silently and in the end, the addiction took over him.
As we recover, let us never forget that we are never alone.
One of the most important things that we must remember to practice during a time of recovery is maintaining a community. Though we may believe that we are strong and that we can accomplish this battle on our own, odds are, we need help along the way. Recovering isn’t easy, and it most certainly doesn’t have to be alone. Though it is difficult to admit that you may need help, or it may be hard to approach someone and try to get them on the path to recovery, we all have to be willing to take that first step and seek out others whose stories are similar to our own.
The road to recovery is a battle, but it is not a war that cannot be won! Let us remember to come together and to make this tough road a little easier with the help and support of a community of others who want to join in our fight! If you or someone you know needs help in this process, and are looking for some sort of guidance, take step one to changing a life here. Together, we can create a path of hope and wellness for all those who seek it.