I celebrated my 9th month of sobriety last week, and had an interesting thought about power.

The thought was that we all have power, and much more power than we think we do.

We can effect change around us, whether that be positive change or negative change.

When I was drinking, I had periods of time when me and my buddies would be out 3-4 nights in a row.  There would be a certain kind of momentum about what we were doing where the more often we went out the more “normal” it would seem, so we kept it going.  Eventually sitting at home on a regular weeknight seemed strange, and going out became the priority.

While we’re all grown-ups and capable of making our own decisions, I was definitely the catalyst in keeping that momentum going.  I was taking initiative and setting the agenda most of the time, largely in part because my self-employed schedule allowed me to do so.  Both of my buddies had regular jobs and/or school, but we kicked it anyways.

That’s power.  Unfortunately it was used for something that wasn’t constructive.

However, since I stopped drinking, one of my buddies stopped drinking as well, and my other buddy doesn’t really drink as much either.  For the most part, we all kind of sit at home and do shit now (art, medical school, music, etc.)  and get way more shit done.

What does that mean?

I think it means that I had the power to influence people and situations (both good and bad) that I never knew I had.

When I was drinking heavily I was able to rally people around that cause.  And conversely, when I stopped drinking everybody took notice of it. Once we noticed, it caused a different consciousness within us all.

I never really gave it much thought before but it’s kind of deep when you think about just how much power you have to effect change around you.  Not necessarily by doing something really big and grandiose, although big change is good, but more by creating awareness of something more positive–because people are positive anyway and want to live healthier.  I didn’t create anything that wasn’t already inside of my friends–they were both ready to do something different with their lives, all I did was change my life.

I’m realizing that at a fundamental level, that’s what change is.  It’s trying to embrace something within yourself first, that idea taking root, and then spreading to one person at a time.   One becomes a few, a few become many, and so on; all sharing the collective consciousness of an idea that was in all of them from the beginning, even though it may have never been voiced before.

Power can be a beautiful thing when it’s used for good.

Word is Blog

My latest album Two-Headed Monster is out now.  Order/Listen here HERE