It's a damn shame that he survived a plane crash,
only to die 3 weeks shy of a year later.
March 30, 1973 - August 28, 2009
only to die 3 weeks shy of a year later.
March 30, 1973 - August 28, 2009
I did not know Adam Goldstein nor did I ever photograph him. I don't know who took the above picture or I would credit them...just pulled it off the internet. I did mention him once before on my blog when he and Travis Barker were the only survivors of a horrific plane crash last September...wishing them both a speedy recovery.
And I am terribly sorry that I'm posting about him again, this time due to his final tragedy. He was found dead today in his Manhattan apartment, apparently of a drug overdose. I'm guessing that the plane crash may have played a part in his further use of drugs.
I hope that this post and the haunting article below in Adam's own words will reach someone who is struggling with issues that turn them to self medicating. I'm no expert, but I know that drug abuse is a good way to get to the grave before one's time...and there has to be a better way to deal with one's issues. If it's you, please talk to someone...ask for help...
January 2, 2008
As told to Laurie Sandell
I was probably destined to be a drug addict. I grew up in Philadelphia with a father who seemed to hate me: The verbal abuse he subjected me to was unbelievably cruel. I would find out later that there was a good reason my father was so tortured—he was secretly gay and addicted to drugs. I remember him asking me, “Do you mind if I smoke one of my skinny cigarettes?” But throughout my childhood, I blamed myself for the horrible way my father treated me.
To deal with my anger and sadness, I ate. By the time I was 10, I was obese. My parents’ relationship continued to deteriorate: If my family went out to dinner, my father would hit on the [male] waiter right in front of my mom. Finally she’d had enough and kicked him out. Eventually my father was sent to jail for committing bank fraud; my mother packed up my sister and me and we moved to L.A. I was 14 years old and became known as “the fat kid from Philly.” I spent the next two years doing drugs every day, until I went to my mom and actually asked her to send me to rehab. I didn’t know what rehab really was; I thought it would be like summer camp.
Instead, she took me to a treatment center that specialized in “tough love.” Unbeknownst to my mother, the place was an abusive house of horrors that would eventually be shut down. The counselors beat us. They spit in our faces. They starved us. They never let us see or talk to our parents. It was 100 percent brainwashing. Four or five months into my stay, I was told my mother had come to see me. I was praying she was going to say, “I’ve come to take you home.” But she said, “Your father is dying of AIDS. I hope you can deal with that here. I’m proud of you.” And she left.
It was like a bomb went off in my head. I exploded, attacking one of the counselors and hurting him badly; I had to be restrained by several members of the staff. I was stuck there for another year and a half and didn’t get out until I turned 18. When I left rehab, I’d learned nothing about recovery—I attended a few meetings, but within five months I was back doing drugs. Then my father died. Eventually my mom kicked me out of her house, so I lived on friends’ couches and did odd jobs. But my main source of income was stealing cash and drugs from drug dealers. I acted as the middleman: I’d find out who’d gotten a shipment of drugs, then send shady people I knew over to their homes to rob them. We would all split the profits.
All along, I hated myself for being overweight. I used to stand in front of my mirror, holding rolls of flesh in my hands, wishing I could cut it off with a knife. Every time I walked into a room I thought people were saying, “There’s the fat guy.” I wouldn’t eat in front of other people, because I didn’t want anyone to see the way I ate (shoveling it in) or what I ate (fast food, supersized, with dessert).
When I was 20, I started freebasing cocaine. For the next four years, that’s about all I did—with the exception of deejaying, which I’d been obsessed with ever since I saw Herbie Hancock do the song “Rockit” at the Grammy Awards. During the night, I would scratch records, knocking back enough drinks to feel like a fun, social guy. But as soon as work ended, I would take my money, race downtown and buy crack. Soon I was doing three gigs a week—all wasted. If I made $150, I would tell myself, I’ll spend $50 on drugs and keep the rest. But I’d spend $50 that night, $40 at six the next morning, then I’d go back downtown in traffic at 11 A.M. to spend the rest of my money.
One night I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It had been at least a year since I’d really looked at myself—I’d started to avoid it because I felt so disgusting—but now I literally could not look away. I was dripping wet because I always sweated when I smoked crack. My face had a greenish sheen to it. I was hugely fat, because whenever I wasn’t high I was gorging on food. I thought about all my friends who had gone to college and now had good jobs. I thought about how I’d never had the chance to confront my father. I thought about how I promised myself every night I was going to quit, and never did. At 24 I felt like my life was over. So I went into my living room, reached into a cabinet above my TV and grabbed my gun, a loaded .22. I sat back on my heels, cocked it and put it into my mouth. Then I squinted my eyes and said, “F—k this.” I pulled the trigger.
The gun didn’t go off. I thought, Are you kidding me? I’m such a f—king failure I can’t even kill myself? I dropped the gun and broke down. For an hour I sat there sobbing, saying, “God help me. What am I supposed to do?” A friend I’d held on to from the few recovery meetings I’d attended happened to stop by my house to check on me: He took one look around my disgusting apartment, one look at me and said, “You’re coming home with me.” That was the turning point in my life.
I started going to meetings again and distanced myself from friends who were still using drugs. The hardest thing to adjust to was deejaying sober. By then, I was booking jobs at every major club and had started to gain a following. But the first night I deejayed without a drink in my hand I couldn’t think of what music to play. On Monday morning I went to a meeting and said, “I can’t deejay sober—I sucked. This is how I pay my rent, and if I can’t deejay, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” After the meeting, a guy came up to me and said, “I promise you, if you stay sober, your career will go further than you ever imagined possible.” Somehow I knew this total stranger was telling me the truth. At that moment, I began to get better. I started to work out: I’d wake up in the morning and run my ass off. Right away I lost 60 pounds and went from 270 to 210 (I’m 5’11”). I spent the rest of my time practicing deejaying. The more I practiced, the better I got, and the better I got, the more jobs I landed. I did Tom Cruise’s birthday party, Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday party, and the jobs just started to roll in.
It might seem like I snapped my fingers and decided to recover. That couldn’t be further from the truth. After 90 days of sobriety, I relapsed and had to start all over again. Crawling back into meetings was difficult and painful, but at that point I had no choice—it was recover or die. Then something happened that I never could have anticipated: I fell in love with the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life. When I met her, I froze. About a year later we ran into each other again, and the next thing you know, she was my girlfriend. All my life, I’d been the fat guy who no girl ever wanted to kiss or touch. Having her on my arm was my way of saying to friends, “Finally, I fit in—I’m one of you. I’m enough.” But the great lie of my life was that I still believed I wasn’t enough, exactly as I was. So what did I do when this girl eventually left me? I started to eat. And I ate and I ate and I ate.
As the years passed, I grew stronger in recovery, but my food issues spiraled out of control. By the time I was 30, I weighed 324 pounds and hated my body more than anything. I heard the word fat floating in my head at all times. It was so painful, particularly because I’d been there before. I went to a doctor and tried a few medically supervised diets with shakes and protein packs, but I wasn’t losing the weight. After looking at every option, I decided on gastric bypass surgery. Within a year I’d lost 100 pounds. The weight just came right off. But it was by no means the easy way out: Now I had to learn how to like myself.
In my recovery meetings, I was told the solution for low self-esteem was to do estimable acts. Whether it was letting someone over in traffic; calling a friend and saying, “How are you doing today?”; or something more serious, like feeding the homeless at a shelter, I made sure to do one selfless act per day. Then I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it. Little by little, I gained confidence in myself. I no longer needed a trophy girlfriend or drugs to feel good about myself.
I’m 34 now, and it’s been nine and a half years since I’ve had a drink or taken drugs. But every day I have to remind myself that no matter how much time I have behind me, I’m still a drug addict. At any given moment, I’m five seconds away from walking up to someone, grabbing their drink out of their hand and downing it. And if I do that, within a week, tops, I’ll be smoking crack. So even though I have this crazy fabulous life, I have to hold on to the ground, gripping the grass with both hands.
I’m not perfect; I drift all the time. If I go to a restaurant and hear there’s a 45-minute wait, my ego wants to say the worst sentence ever: “Do you know who I am?” Which, of course, really means, “Do you know who I think I am?” That’s when I have to remind myself of just who that is: a fat crackhead who’s lucky to be alive. And believe it or not, at that moment, I feel like the luckiest guy on earth.