Flea is one of the greatest musicians of all time. His band the Red Hot Chili Peppers has sold millions of albums and toured the world many times. All of the members have struggled with substance abuse as well.
Unlike Anthony Kiedis or John Frusciante though, Flea never got fully strung out. Drugs never blew up his life or turned him into a zombie. It wasn’t healthy, but he told himself he was managing the habit successfully—never having drugs around his kids or blowing opportunities because of them. So why did he suddenly get sober?
As he explained in an interview with Marc Maron,
“I remember having a talk with someone once…about being a dad and my daughter was about four years old or something. And I would get high when I was away from her or whatever, and say, ‘oh, I don’t do it when I’m around her.’ And they said like, “all that matters as a parent is to be present for your kid and be communicative. And you have to be communicating with them when you’re not around them.’ You have to be, it’s like being in a state where you’re always there for them. Like your spirit is always available whenever they need you. And that really resonated with me. And I love my kids so much and I was just like, that’s it, I gotta be there.”
We’ve talked before about the key to parenting is presence. Being there. And what are drugs and addiction and unaddressed issues in our lives? Means of not being there. Which is why we have to sober up. Why we have to deal with our demons. Because even if they don’t feel like they are actively manifesting themselves at home, they are. They are taking us away from our kids. They are putting us in a position to not be there for our kids in the off chance they need us (and they do need us).
And that is unacceptable.