The COVID-19 pandemic has truly challenged us — especially in regards to staying on track with the journey to sobriety. People have had to discover new ways to cope and maintain their sobriety through these unprecedented times, and sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing to do.
One individual who has been humble, open and transparent about their struggles with sobriety is Kyle Pfeiffer, most commonly known as Blacklite District, a talented artist who is celebrating over 6 months of sobriety. Through his music and personal experiences, Blacklite District connects with his audiences, giving them a taste of who he is and what he loves to do.
His journey with sobriety is a long one — from having parents who struggled with their own addictions to him continuing to battle his own — but he continues the fight and inspires others to do the same.
Soberocity [S]: Where are you from?
Kyle [K]: I am originally from suburban Chicago. I moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota with my grandparents when I was about 8 years old.
[S]: Where did the name “Blacklite District” come from and what led you to develop this platform?
[K]: There is no crazy meaning behind the name. It was more of a “it sounds cool” type thing when you’re a teenager!
[S]: What do you see in the future for Blacklite District? Is there anyone you’d like to work with or anything you’d like to work on?
[K]: I’m heading to Nashville next month to record my new album. I can honestly say that this is the most excited and inspired that I’ve been in a long time. I fractured my hip two months ago, so I’ve had a lot of “downtime” so to speak, which led me to playing a lot of guitar and writing songs “the old fashioned” way. It’s obviously amazing the technology we have nowadays in terms of recording, but there is something special about one person and a guitar creating something real.
[S]: What has been one of the most rewarding things you’ve received over the years as a musician/singer?
[K]: Watching people from all over the world become connected to my music on a big level. I could have never imaged having such a loyal and passionate fanbase, the same way I was when I grew up loving my favorite artists. Seeing your music accumulate literally hundreds of million streams in a few short years is nothing short of a dream come true for me and I’m absolutely grateful for it.
[S]: Are there any new initiatives/work that you’ve begun during the COVID-19 pandemic?
[K]: Aside from writing music and running my label AK19 Entertainment, I’ve been doing IOP, aftercare and staying engaged in the treatment world.
[S]: How do you define “sobriety” and what does it mean to you?
[K]: In my opinion, sobriety is whatever works for the individual. Everyone has a a different path.
[S]: Though you’ve struggled with sobriety, what led you to making the ultimate decision of getting and staying sober?
[K]: I was tired of going through fentanyl/ opiate withdrawals every other week. I got cocky in the sense that I was making big money and figured “now I can afford” to buy as much as I want and not have to worry about running out… but that never goes as planned. My mother dying from a heroin overdose when I was 9 years old has a had a lasting impression on me. So seeing my 8 year old son inspired me to make big life changes.
[S]: How has it been staying on the path of sobriety during this COVID-19 pandemic?
[K]: Well, I relapsed pretty early in the pandemic, so not good I’d say! Haha. It’s crazy one “lapse” can turn into an almost year long relapse. But in all honesty, looking back, it was coming no matter what. I found myself fantasizing about using more often, and it eventually led to it happening.
[S]: Being in the early stages of your journey of sobriety, is there any advice you would give someone who has just started — or is thinking of starting — their journey too?
[K]: It’s hard for me to give advice to someone getting sober because again, everyone takes a different path, and what works for me, might not work for the next person. One thing I will say is that you have to really want to get clean. It won’t work if you’re doing it for someone else or any other reason than you want to do it.
Kyle teaches us that though the journey may be long, it is your journey and you are the only one that can decide if you will take it or not. The results of COVID-19 are still present and affecting us, but — as we see with Kyle — it isn’t impossible to overcome.