Jimmy 'Stx' Blair, drummer for Heart & Soul Radio (formerly Animo and Dork), just issued a statement that took a tremendous amount of guts to make. "If I have learned anything recently," he states, "it has been that there is no time like the present and complete honesty is always the best policy."
Part of that honesty, apparently, involves coming to terms with his addiction. In a stunningly candid statement prepared by Blair, he talks about being admitted to a residential treatment center last month, how he's in the midst of battling his addiction and how he looks forward to returning to the stage. He certainly comes from strong stock. If anybody has proved resilient, it's definitely Blair and his mates, who kept after it despite several name and line-up changes over the years.
Godspeed, Jimmy. Thoughts and prayers are with you, buddy.
Dear fans, friends and family of Heart & Soul Radio, there are some things that I feel you should know. I apologize if there have been some questions, uncertainties or concerns about some situations behind the scenes. If you are wondering, "What the hell is Jimmy Talking about?" then this letter should answer that question as well.
If you are looking forward to attending the next H&SR show, which I hope you are, you won't see me behind the drums this time. In the past few weeks we have been discussing what to say to the H&SR faithful and when to say it. This decision was respectfully left up to me. If I have learned anything recently, it has been that there is no time like the present and complete honesty is always the best policy.
In early December, I checked into a residential treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction. Since that time I have learned to let go of the shame, guilt, sense of failure, and lack of self worth that came with that decision. After hitting several "rock bottoms" over the years, it was evident that this was the best decision possible, and I am so fortunate that I didn't have to make this decision alone. I have been blessed with many supportive friends and a loving and supportive family. I thank God everyday for my wife, stepson, my brothers in H&SR, my family, the experiences I've had, and most definitely, you.
This is not a sad time, however. I am actually happier and more optimistic than I have ever been. I learned of a world that I knew existed but never really understood. Not only do I now fully understand that world, but I now fully understand myself.
Some of you still might be wondering, "What the hell is Jimmy talking about?" Well, that's the life of an addict. We become great at minimizing, rationalizing, internalizing and covering up a disease that is real and misunderstood. I can assure you that for quite some time, even the people closest to me didn't fully grasp the gravity of the state I was in with the exception of my wife, Marley. If it wasn't for her, I would have continued down the spiral, to what ends I'm unsure of.
Overcoming these addictions is not about willpower. Those who say, "just quit!", are truly uninformed. It was however, about discovering myself, looking into a mirror, and seeing the person that others see. My only regret is not getting help sooner.
I tell my wife that my life isn't changing everyday, but every minute. This is a positive time for myself, but also a wonderful time for Heart & Soul Radio. I can't wait to walk out on that stage again and see all of you, who have become a part of our family. I promise that time will come very soon, but for now all I ask is that you support my friend Ryan when he fills in for me.
So until next time, keep rock'n and remember, "You are the Revolution!"
Jimmy 'Stx' Blair
Special thanks to Sean Hammond for hang'n with me in detox, looking up treatment centers, visiting me, and giving me hope when I didn't have any. To Brian Johannsen for feeding me when I lost all that weight, visiting and calling me and the financial support. Schuyler Ankele for offering hope and love that only a brother could offer, I love ya Skankles. To my stepson for putting up with me when I was being unfair. To my family who supported me all of the way. To my wife, the love of my life. I love you all and without you none of this would have been possible. Thank you for helping me get my life back.