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Sobriety

Sobriety

Today marks one month free of drugs and alcohol for me.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What happened? What rock bottom did Mark hit that made him realize he needs to turn his life around?”

The reality is quite the opposite.

Over the past few years, I’ve slowly come to a realization. This insight was strengthened by a difficult event that happened almost exactly a year before I decided to become sober. It still took me another year to fully understand it, to come to terms with it, and to realize what it means and what I need to do.

That epiphany was the understanding of my true purpose on this Earth. Music is my main passion, but that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to guide, inspire, motivate, and unite others.

Music is but one tool in my toolbox, a way for me to build communities. Music helps me translate my own emotions into sound, which helps me connect with others who deal with the same emotions, be they positive or negative.

Writing is another tool in my toolbox, and one that I’m looking forward to developing and exploring just as much as I have my music. Event production, group performance projects at festivals like Holy Ship!, and photography are other ways that I connect with people, bring them together, and push forward a platform of positivity, acceptance, and love.

Now, I’ll never demonize drugs and alcohol or say that they never did anything for me. I used to have incredible social anxiety, and alcohol and MDMA helped me work through that anxiety and begin to make deeper connections. Psychedelics are directly responsible for my music taste, as well as the fluidity with which I mix and the stories I attempt to tell with my music. I don’t know if I could have ever had the same musical breakthroughs that I have had without psychedelics. That’s not to say that no one can, but I know that they did wonders for my own understanding of music and how it interacts with the world around us.

Much the same, psychedelics have been responsible for almost all of my psychological breakthroughs and understanding of self and community. I’ve had many epiphanies about how the world works and how to let go of my past and how to truly listen to other people and shed my ego so I can become a contributing member of society, not just on a superficial level, but on an emotional and personal level.

However, there comes a point in your life when you’ve received all the benefits you can from one thing or another, and any continuation serves no higher purpose in your life. One of the big realizations I had recently was that I no longer need help with my anxiety, my ability to connect with others, or my understanding of music. I’m now capable of all of those things on my own, and what was once a benefit is now a hindrance.

The second massive realization was that, despite all my touting of this quote, I wasn’t quite living it in the way that I should:

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

In some ways I had internalized this, but I was still in constant battle with myself to remember not to compare my own journey to the journey of other people, even if they were on a seemingly similar path. The second half of this quote is what finally clicked, though. I wasn’t living up to my potential. Yes, I was achieving some success, and it looked like I doing well from the outside… But I know I’m capable of more. I wasn’t pushing myself to my limits, trying to be as superior to my former self as I could be. I would go weeks or months without any real, lasting progress.

That has changed immensely over the past few weeks.

With the combination of realizing that I don’t need substances anymore, that I’m not living up to my full potential, and that my true purpose here is to help others, I could come to no logical conclusion other than, “It’s time to stop. It’s time to focus. It’s time to change the world.”

Today marks one month of sobriety. One month in which I’ve done more for myself and for the people I love than I could have ever imagined possible in such a short time. One month in which I’ve proven to myself that I can serve a higher purpose, and I MUST serve that purpose. I have an ability to connect with people, and if I waste that ability in the name of selfishness, I’m doing a disservice to a community that does so much for me. My desire for drugs and alcohol vanished almost instantly. My mind is now wired to only make decisions that further this cause, and I haven’t felt even an inkling of temptation since I set my mind on sobriety.

This is the first in a daily series of blog posts in addition to my weekly mixes, monthly events, and regular touring, all of which serve that higher purpose. I hope you will follow along with me, and maybe realize your own ability to change the world.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Thank you inspiring me to reach higher, to do more.

Thank you for being you.

Subset

December 7th, 2016

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Chris De La Sole says:

    Good shit man… Glad to hear it I was wondering what happened… I def. saw a shift in your process and I’m really glad to see others begin to recognize our true potential as a people joined together and just how fuckin huge our influence on the universe can be if we believe in ourselves and shed the bullshit and work towards a better whole. Thank you.

  2. Shannon says:

    You are such an inspiration Mark.

  3. Phi says:

    Amazing journey my friend, I love and appreciate you. Let me know how I can help in anyway.

  4. Couldn’t be happier to see the blog back up, and with this as the first post. Wonderful to read this! I think we both knew you were only ever gonna the one to put out the daily post you want people to see when they hit up your site, for whatever reason. Way to be! Whole lotta love.

    Some relevant words from the guy who handed out degrees to those who graduated from the Acid Test:

    “I never said I wanted to be a writer. I’m a magician. Writing is just one of the tricks that I do.”

    and then on moving from writing to pure community building:

    “I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.”

    –Ken Kesey

  5. Stephen Vasquez says:

    Dude, very proud of you. It takes a certain level of life experience to realize this. I was intrigued by your Facebook post for many reasons. I’ve never been addicted to anything but music and film. I drink socially and I’ve experimented with some drugs but I’m not a fan. I can’t even smoke weed without bugging out, its not for me. Initially I thought you were going through some sort of addiction but that’s not the case. The fact that you chose to stop out of your own volition makes it that much more poignant. Much respect brother.

  6. Leigh says:

    Mark, what an incredible journey! I loved reading your post. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Journey on!

  7. Mali says:

    You are one inspirational mothaf*&(& Mark!!! Seriously!!! – I have thoroughly enjoyed watching your progress from the back end of the scene throughout the years. My love for the music is tremendous. For me though…well I just wasn’t ever hugely into the night club seen primarily because it just cost too much damn money at the end of it all (if you consider the drugs and alcohol and what not). BUT… I was lucky enough to be in attendance to several BASSment Saturdays over the years and although you and I never really connected on a different level other than me banging my head to them nasty tunes bleeding from those webby speakers. It has been a pleasure to see you grow and to watch your passion take flight to unimaginable levels. Cheers to you Mark aka Subset! I look forward to seeing what amazing things you do in the future and of course to the upcoming blog entries we have yet to be graced with. Namaste brother!

  8. Dom says:

    I read this whole thing

  9. Wildern Silver says:

    So glad to hear we’re on the same page even though we’re worlds apart. Will miss and love you forever.
    xo

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